Obamacare unleashes flurry of claims
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said: "On this very day in Florida, it was announced that 300,000 people are going to lose their individual coverage because of Obamacare. Now those people next year, they don't have health insurance," was in response to letters from Florida Blue.
The Florida Blue letter actually said: "The Affordable Care Act mandates that all health insurance coverage packages provide 10 categories of essential health benefits. Because some plans offered by insurers did not include all of these new services, they will no longer be available. Approximately 300,000 current Florida Blue members are enrolled in plans that will not meet these new benefit requirements. It is important to note that a person's individual situation will be the key driver of what they will pay for coverage under the ACA. Subsidies will be available in the marketplace to lower the cost of coverage for eligible individuals, and the amount an individual will pay could vary significantly once his or her specific age, area in which they live, smoking status, family size, and income are factored in."
The letters also state that consumers will have "continuous health care coverage" and gave them the option to contact Florida Blue and choose other plans.
Lawrence O'Donnell said the Internal Revenue Service cannot pursue 'either civil or criminal remedies' for people who don't purchase health insurance.
Experts said O'Donnell's point is pretty accurate: The IRS cannot use its most effective collection weapons - the threat of jail time or seizing of property - for the individual mandate penalty. The law did not take away its power to pursue lawsuits against delinquent taxpayers, though experts say it isn't likely given the small size of the penalty. The IRS could extract the penalty from a taxpayer's refund.
Sean Hannity said health-insurance premiums would be up 99 percent for men, 62 percent for women. His claim relies on a study that focused on the individual marketplaces for insurance under Obamacare. The study relies on knowing how much people pay for insurance today, before Obamacare. The Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt said there are several reasons not to compare cost before and after Obamacare.
Part of the challenge is the new health-care law requires that insurance plans include more services than many do today, such as maternity care and mental-health coverage. That means the plans people will buy in 2014 are not the same as the ones they bought in 2013. Regardless of the accuracy of the analysis, it spoke to the experience of a small minority of Americans, and it did not factor in the subsidies that will cushion some people from increased premiums.
The rollout of the Obama administration's health-insurance marketplaces website has been so roiled with problems - from a pricing glitch, to flawed data, to widespread log-in fails - that even journalists from left-leaning media are calling for top officials to be hauled before Congress. A test group of 10 insurers that had access to the site advised the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that the site was not ready to launch nationwide.
The Colorado site, connectforhealthco.com is up and running. In 30 minutes this writer was able to create an account, login and generate 19 differing plans.
The cost were from $679 to $845 a month without subsidies. Applying subsidies reduced the premiums to zero for the Bronze plans. The Silver plans would have a limit of $188 per month. The subsidy information is from the Kaiser Family Foundation site: http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/