I support states’ rights, and I don’t live in Vermont, so I don’t have anything against Vermont doing this.
I view this the way a scientist views an experiment. I’m curious to see how it turns out.
Will Vermont stick to its plan, or will they chicken out?
Will the federal government allow it to happen, or try to block it?
Will patients’ access to health care get better, worse, or stay the same?
Will the number of doctors per person in Vermont get bigger, smaller, or stay the same?
Will costs go up, down, or stay the same?
Will politicians, celebrities, and rich people participate in it, or will they find some way to get exemptions?
Only time will tell. And I am quite curious to find out.
Obamacare patient who got rejected by all 96 doctors that she contacted says she is “proud” of Obamacare
In Ebony magazine, Danielle Kimberly writes:
As a proud new beneficiary of the Affordable Health Care Act, I’d like to report that I am doctorless. Ninety-six. Ninety-six is the number of soul crushing rejections that greeted me as I attempted to find one. It’s the number of physicians whose secretaries feigned empathy while rehearsing the “I’m so sorry” line before curtly hanging up.
Susan Estrich writes:
As I walked into the pharmacy, the technician who has kept track of all of my prescriptions for years was on an endless call trying to figure out who is going to deliver her baby and where.
The good news: Her new plan, which fully complies with the Affordable Care Act, provides much more comprehensive coverage and lower co-pays than the one she used to have.
The bad news: Neither the obstetrician who has taken care of her for the past six months nor the hospital where she had planned to give birth are covered by the plan.
Now, this young woman is really good at dealing with insurance companies. It’s what she does all day long — getting prescriptions approved, figuring out why they aren’t being approved, going back and forth with doctors and insurance companies about what they will and will not cover. No neophyte, she.
And as I signaled her that I could wait, that she should finish her conversation, she never lost her cool. Me, I would have been a wreck if someone had told me six months into a pregnancy that the doctor with whom I had developed a close and trusting relationship or the hospital that I had always relied on were no longer on my list, and that my choices — within any reasonable geographic distance — basically came down to six doctors I’d never heard of and a hospital I’d never set foot in.
She was not a wreck. But she wasn’t happy. Who would be? Six months pregnant and interviewing doctors who are themselves overwhelmed because they are, in fact, on so many plans.
The Staten Island Advance reports:
Obamacare confusion abounds on Staten Island
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Alexandra Porto believes in the premise of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act — to provide medical benefits for all Americans.
But when she, along with 13 of her colleagues at the Bloomfield-based Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC), received letters stating that their Empire BlueCross/BlueShield health plan will be canceled, she started to have second thoughts about what is commonly referred to as Obamacare.
“The letter said Blue Cross/Blue Shield will be ending our current policy, and it will be replaced with a new policy. It said new premium rates will take effect April 1,” said Ms. Porto, vice president of membership and outreach at the SIEDC.
“The problem is we don’t know what the new policy is or what the new premium rates will be, and we are being told by Empire BlueCross/BlueShield that we won’t have that information until Jan. 1,” she added.
And the folks at the SIEDC aren’t alone.
Ms. Porto said at least 13 SIEDC members — all small business owners with less than 50 employees on Staten Island — were informed that the health plans for their employees have been canceled.
Obamacare causes New York City brain surgery patient to lose all her doctors and anti-pain medications
The Staten Island Advance reports:
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — After receiving her new health coverage in January through the New York State of Health Marketplace, Arden Heights resident Margaret Figueroa, 49, who suffers from two chronic illnesses, went to her pharmacy to fill her prescriptions.
Although her insurance company, EmblemHealth, assured her she was covered, her insurance card was denied.
While she had signed up for new health coverage — because her insurance carrier dropped her old plan — the company’s internal paperwork apparently wasn’t filed.
She also learned that all her long-time doctors didn’t accept the new insurance plan.
For Ms. Figueroa, who suffers from a rare neurological disease called Arnold Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia, this has led to three months of excruciating pain, withdrawal symptoms and immobility.
“It’s hard,” said Ms. Figueroa, through her tears Wednesday at a press conference at Rep. Michael Grimm’s (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) New Dorp office.
“I have been in pain. I’ve been vomiting. I lost 22 pounds. The pain is unbearable. My medication helps me function during the day,” added Ms. Figueroa, who has undergone four brain surgeries for her conditions, which require her to take numerous amounts of medication.
After intervention by Grimm’s office, Ms. Figueroa was able to obtain some of her prescriptions on April 1 for which she had refills.
She takes five different medications several times per day, like morphine for the chronic pain and other medications to help slow the affects of her nerve damage.
But some of her prescriptions had no refills, forcing her to go without them for three months.
And Ms. Figueroa can’t find a doctor who participates in her new plan to write new prescriptions, give her referrals for pain management care, or treat her for her illnesses.
“Even though the insurance company cashed your check, it doesn’t mean it (the policy) has been implemented,” said Grimm.
“That’s the problem — that the back end of Obamacare hasn’t been fully built. You can go on the front end of an application and look at a list of plans, but what they don’t tell you is that many of those plans don’t have doctors yet.”
Ms. Figueroa said only six doctors in the borough accept her new health plan, and she has yet to be able to get an appointment with one.
Grimm says he’s dealt with at least one dozen Staten Islanders who have had similar issues as Ms. Figueroa after signing up for healthcare via the NY State of Health Marketplace.
“We didn’t solve anything (with Obamacare), all we did was destroy a good thing,” said Grimm. “Obamacare wasn’t ready for prime time.”
Obamacare forces Los Angeles family to buy dental insurance that covers zero dentists within 100 mile radius
Scot Vorse lives in Los Angeles, California. He writes:
I noticed in my new Anthem monthly premium under Obamacare that I was required to pay a separate monthly charge for dental insurance for my two teenage children (I also have to pay the monthly charge even though I don’t receive the benefits, but that is a different issue). This dental plan was assigned to me and not my particular choice.
Today, it is time to take my kids in for their six-month cleaning, so I checked to see if their dentist is covered under my plan. They are not. OK – there are other dentists. Let’s see about within five miles of my house. Nope – not a single one. Within ten? Nope. Within 20? Nope. Within 50? Nope. Finally, what about within 100 miles? Nope. What is even worse is that the Anthem search feature doesn’t expand past 100 miles. I don’t know if there is any dentist in California that accepts my plan.
Perhaps if I fly to Sacramento or Modesto I can find a dentist that accepts my mandatory-policy kids. I wonder if, after the cost of airfare, a teeth cleaning will still be “affordable.”
Mr. Vorse also included the following screencap, which shows that when he searched for an Obamacare dentist within 100 miles, the results said that there were zero Obamacare dentists within that 100 mile radius:
Obama voters in San Francsico area complain that Obamacare does not actually give them access to a doctor
Mountain View, California, is part of the San Francisco area, where Obama won both elections by a huge percentage. Obama voters in this area are complaining that Obamacare does not actually give them access to a doctor. KPIX, the CBS affiliate of San Francsco, reports:
Some Covered California Patients Say They Can’t See A Doctor
MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX 5) – While open enrollment for coverage under the Affordable Care Act is closed, many of the newly insured are finding they can’t find doctors, landing them into a state described as “medical homelessness.”
Rotacare, a free clinic for the uninsured in Mountain View, is dealing with the problem firsthand.
Mirella Nguyen works at the clinic said staffers dutifully helped uninsured clients sign up for Obamacare so they would no longer need the free clinic.
But months later, the clinic’s former patients are coming back to the clinic begging for help. “They’re coming back to us now and saying I can’t find a doctor, “said Nguyen.
Thinn Ong was thrilled to qualify for a subsidy on the health care exchange. She is paying $200 a month in premiums. But the single mother of two is asking, what for?
“Yeah, I sign it. I got it. But where’s my doctor? Who’s my doctor? I don’t know,” said a frustrated Ong.
Nguyen said the newly insured patients checked the physicians’ lists they were provided and were told they weren’t accepting new patients or they did not participate in the plan.
And Nguyen says – while the free clinic isn’t technically supposed to be treating former patents they signed up for insurance, they can’t in good faith turn them away.
Dr. Kevin Grumbach of UCSF called the phenomenon “medical homelessness,” where patients are caught adrift in a system woefully short of primary care doctors.
Those who can’t find a doctor are supposed to lodge a complaint with state regulators, who have been denying the existence of a doctor shortage for months.
Meanwhile, the sick and insured can’t get appointments.
“What good is coverage if you can’t use it?” Nguyen said.
I’ve updated my list of Obama criticisms. The list can be found at https://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/obama-252/
Judicial Watch reports that the Obama administration had secretly given military equipment to Russia after Russia invaded Ukraine.
I wonder what makes Obama’s supporters happier – the fact that he gave Russia this military aid after it invaded Ukraine, or the fact that he kept it a secret.
Of course if a Republican president did this, the so-called “peace activists” and “anti-war activists” would be livid with protest. But since Obama is a Democrat, they don’t mind at all. I’m sure they’d happily elect him for a third term if he wasn’t term limited by the Constitution.
This is the trailer for “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn,” a new Robin Williams movie that opens on May 23, 2014.
There’s a major spoiler at 1:36 in the trailer.
This spoiler can only decrease one’s enjoyment of the movie, and discourage people from seeing it, thus causing the movie studio to lose money. I’m not sure why they put the spoiler in the trailer, but it was a really, really, really bad idea.
Here’s the trailer. If you want to watch it but don’t want to see the spoiler, then stop it before it gets to 1:36.
It took the government two years and 30 trials to fire a court stenographer who typed gibberish instead of actual transcripts
Here’s a great example of how difficult it is for incompetent government employees to get fired. For at least two years, and for at least 30 trials, this court stenographer did not do his job properly, but was still able to remain employed.
I can’t imagine someone in the private sector keeping their job for even one day after doing something like this.
Retrying these 30 court cases could easily run into millions of dollars.
Why doesn’t the government make audio recordings of these trials?
The New York Post reports:
Rogue alcoholic court reporter kept writing ‘I hate my job’
An alcoholic Manhattan court stenographer went rogue, channeling his inner “Shining” during a high-profile criminal trial and repeatedly typing, “I hate my job, I hate my job” instead of the trial dialogue…
The bizarre antics by Daniel Kochanski, who has since been fired, wreaked havoc on some 30 Manhattan court cases, sources said, and now officials are scrambling to repair the damage.
One high-level source said his “gibberish” typing may have jeopardized hard-won convictions…
Kochanski’s botched transcripts include the 2010 mortgage-fraud trial of Aaron Hand, who was also convicted of trying to hire a hit man to take out a witness against him.
A source familiar with the case said Kochanski’s transcripts of that trial were a total mess.
“It should have been questions and answers — instead it was gibberish,” the source said.
And in a scene right out of 1980’s “The Shining,” where Jack Nicholson’s off-the-rails writer repeatedly types “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” a source said of Kochanski: “He hit random keys or wrote, ‘I hate my job. I hate my job. I hate my job,’ over and over.”
Judge Jan Jurden gives probation instead of jail to rich guy who raped his own three year old daughter
I’m not sure who is more evil in this case – the guy who raped his own dauther, or the judge who refused to put him in jail.
Huffington Post reports:
One Percenter Convicted Of Raping Child Dodges Jail Because He ‘Will Not Fare Well’
A Delaware man convicted of raping his three-year-old daughter only faced probation after a state Superior Court judge ruled he “will not fare well” in prison.
In her decision, Judge Jan Jurden suggested Robert H. Richards IV would benefit more from treatment. Richards, who was charged with fourth-degree rape in 2009, is an unemployed heir living off his trust fund.
Richards is the great grandson of du Pont family patriarch Irenee du Pont, a chemical baron.
… he admitted to assaulting his infant son in addition to his daughter between 2005 and 2007. Richards was initially indicted on two counts of second-degree child rape, felonies that translate to a 10-year mandatory jail sentence per count.
Richards hired one of the state’s top law firms and was offered a plea deal of one count of fourth-degree rape charges — which carries no mandatory minimum prison sentencing. He accepted, and admitted to the assault.
In her sentence, Jurden said he would benefit from participating in a sex offenders rehabilitation program rather than serving prison time.
Unite Here says Obamacare “threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage.”
Unite Here is a union that represents 300,000 employees in the hotel and restaurant industries. It supported Obama in both elections.
In March 2014, Unite Here said:
“If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage.”
“… the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage.”
“Obamacare will cost our members the equivalent of a significant pay cut to keep their hard-won benefits.”
“… it will inevitably lead to the destruction of the health care plans we were promised we could keep.”
Dr. Katherine Albrecht lives in Nashua, New Hampshire. After she was diagnosed with breast cancer, doctors at her local hospital told her there was nothing they could do for her. So, she went to experts at the Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston, Massachusettes, who saved her life. She later received follow up care at Cornell Breast Cancer Center in New York City. Her insurance paid for her treatment at both of these out-of-state facilities.
Afterward, her insurance policy was canceled, because it did not meet Obamacare’s minimum requirements.
Her new, Obamacare-compliant policy does not cover treatment in Boston, New York, or any other out-of-state medical facility.
She said of this:
“Under Obamacare, I’d be dead.”