April 1, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Affordable Care Act has passed its first big test, but the law's distribution of winners and losers all but guarantees the achievement will not quiet its political opposition. White House officials, who had a near-death experience with the law's rollout six months ago, were nearly giddy Tuesday as they celebrated an open-enrollment season that ended on a high note. Despite the early problems with the federal website, "7.1 million Americans have now signed up," President Obama declared in a Rose Garden speech to members of Congress, his staff and supporters in which he notably returned to referring to the law as "Obamacare.
March 23, 2014 |
If there were fairness in this world, Rita Rizzo would be a media star. Rizzo, 60, owns a management consulting firm for nonprofit groups and government offices in Akron, Ohio, with her husband, Lou Vincent, 64. Vincent, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, has gone without health insurance for 10 years. "We got 30 denial letters," Rizzo told me last week. Three years ago, Rizzo got a hip replacement. Her own insurance premiums were going to rise by $500 a month, to about $800, so she chose instead to triple her deductible to $6,000 to keep the increase to a mere $150 a month.
October 30, 2013 |
Deborah Cavallaro is a hard-working real estate agent in the Westchester suburb of Los Angeles who has been featured prominently on a round of news shows lately, talking about how badly Obamacare is going to cost her when her existing plan gets canceled and she has to find a replacement. She says she's angry at President Obama for having promised that people who like their health plans could keep them, when hers is getting canceled for not meeting Obamacare's standards. "Please explain to me," she told Maria Bartiromo on CNBC Wednesday, "how my plan is a 'substandard' plan when ... I'd be paying more for the exchange plans than I am currently paying by a wide margin.
March 13, 2013
Re "GOP renews effort to kill ' Obamacare ,'" March 11 The costs and limitations of America's healthcare system have made it unsustainable. President Obama's healthcare law addressed some of the issues effectively but failed to address others and included some bad features. However, the correct path is not to scuttle the law entirely. If we do that, we will remain with an unsustainable healthcare system. We cannot go back to square one because it is highly likely that we would remain there.
July 14, 2013
Re "Focus on fixing, not gutting, the healthcare act," Column, July 12 David Lazarus wants our lawmakers to act like adults when weighing healthcare reform. However, when that large group of mature men and women in the House votes 37 times to repeal a democratically enacted law upheld by the Supreme Court, and also lies about the law's effects, we are dealing with the tantrums of children. The way to make a child modify his behavior is to take away some of his privileges.
June 28, 2012 |
The Supreme Court is shaking up the political chessboard today by ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act - a.k.a. "Obamacare" - and there is one player who will win no matter what the decision may be: the insurance industry. When Congress was debating healthcare three years ago, health insurers were no fans of reform. They were making gobs of money with the system just as it was. For years, their lobbyists managed to kill any attempt to tinker with the status quo, and major tinkering, like instituting a Canadian-style single-payer scheme, was out of the question because it would cut them out of the healthcare equation. Also, for sensible business reasons, insurers had never been especially keen on being forced to offer coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions or to pay for preventative care or various other benefits the Democrats and President Obama wanted as part of a healthcare reform package.