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ACA Fail Fractal
Two Million Get Obamacare, But At What Cost?

The numbers are in: after numerous extensions, exemptions, and delays, about two million people signed up for insurance in state and federal exchanges by the December 24th deadline. Though the law was passed largely to extend insurance to the forty-eight million uninsured Americans, that two million isn’t only people who were previously uninsured—it also includes people who had to get new plans after the ACA forced insurers to cancel their plans. But even with that cancelled coverage inflating the numbers, the exchanges still netted one million less than the three million Obama administration predicted.

What kind of health care experience will those two million people have? The WSJ reports that people who bought new insurance on the exchange are flocking to providers to make use of their old coverage before it expires. The new plans are often more restrictive than the old ones—in some cases much more restrictive—and patients are trying to use providers that their new plans won’t cover while they still can:

UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas has seen requests for complicated imaging tests and colonoscopies rise in recent weeks, said Bruce Meyer, an executive vice president. Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis has seen “dozens” of patients push up elective orthopedic surgeries, a spokeswoman said. Cedars-Sinai Health System, a top teaching hospital excluded from most exchange plans in the Los Angeles market, said it has fielded thousands of calls from people concerned about losing access and wanting to schedule elective procedures before Dec. 31.

The article points out these restrictions could save consumers money in the same way the HMO movement did in the 1990s, but provider restrictions are likely to be just as unpopular now as they are then—especially for people who were forced off of plans that gave them access to providers they liked. Whatever you think about the benefits of networks restrictions generally in lowering costs, the particular way the ACA is pushing people into smaller networks will ensure that the law will continue getting bad press far into the future, fixed website or not.

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  • Anthony

    An ACA on running critique may be interpreted as cacophony of conformism; more importantly, Obamacare focus may overlook a potential frenzy of hospital mergers detrimental to typical American family spending on health care over long term. See inflation adjusted change in Medicare and Commercial health insurance claims costs… –

  • Gerald Marsh

    Enrollment is NOT the issue. The PLAN is a fraud.

    Bernie Madoff misrepresented his “plan” to his clients and was
    arrested for Fraud, convicted and is in prison.

    Obama misrepresented the “ACA plan” to his clients (US
    taxpayers) and not only is still “free” but continues to try to
    sell his plan.

    Democrats in Congress conspired with Obama on this Fraud. Some
    were duped, but all were negligent in performing their duties to
    represent “WE THE PEOPLE”.

    Anywhere but in Washington DC this would be called FRAUD and
    prosecuted – promising benefits that Obama KNOWS are not true and
    cannot possibly be done.

    “You can keep your current plan”

    “ If you like your doctor, you can keep him”

    “It will be AFFORDABLE high quality health care”

    “This health care package will pay for itself”

    “ The health care bill will not raise the deficit by one dime”

    “ We should not mandate the purchase of health care”

    “ This law will save the average family $2,500 a year”

    “ Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund

    “ ObamaCare fee is not a new tax”

    “ Obamacare will cost less than your monthly cell phone bill”

    “You will have choice in your plan” (The only choice is how
    much you will pay, both in premiums and in deductibles/co-payments).

    The government has no “magic wand” that will reduce health
    care costs.

    You lose your freedom of choice.

    Is it “fair” that the young/healthy should pay for the

    It is “fair” that you have no choice of what benefits your
    plan covers?

    Is if “fair” that taxpayers should foot the bill for the plans

    Should the Obummer-in-chief have the ability to change the details
    of the law at will, which he has been doing?

    Vote out all congress persons who voted for Obama’s “plan”.

    Impeach Obama for his fraud.

    REPEAL Obamacare NOW!!.

  • Boritz

    If you like your new doctor, who cares. if you don’t, like your new doctor, try herbal medicine, who cares.

  • gvanderleun

    Why so eager to accept that 2 million claim as “the truth, the current truth, and nothing but the received truth?”

  • xbox361

    My office is not seeing the Obamacare BlueCross product. It is lousy.
    Good luck to our former patients, we wish we had a better president who wasn’t bent on destroying American healthcare.

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