It’s Heeere! Obamacare Takes Over Westport!

This is not a story about Obamacare. I am resisting the impulse to make jokes like: The Republicans hate it so much, they’re furious the website doesn’t work well enough for people to sign up for it.

No. This is a simple public service message.

This Tuesday (January 28, 5 to 9 p.m., Westport Library McManus Room), personal help is available for enrolling with Access Health CT, Connecticut’s official health insurance marketplace.

Individuals, families and small businesses can ask questions about coverage they need, or want. There’s no obligation — just help navigating a complex subject in our own back yard.

The assistance is one-on-one. And it’s free.

They don’t call it the Affordable Care Act for nothing.

Sorry. I said I wasn’t going to go there…

(For more information on Tuesday’s event, click here.)

Obamacare

41 responses to “It’s Heeere! Obamacare Takes Over Westport!

  1. barackAid [with a little b]

  2. Nothing is free. Prepare for “free”loaders clogging up your access to the doctor!

  3. I tried a session at the library at Wallingford with the Access Health CT. We only had one professional who came late and even ate a salad while there. After a frustrating hour of trying to navigate their website, which is user unfriendly, I gave up and said, “I’ll wait until I qualify for Medicare and pay the darn (different word) fine for not having insurance.” Good luck to all who participate. I couldn’t find anything I could afford anyway.

  4. The program is its own joke – no need to add to that! Thankful I am already on Medicare! Too bad the healthcare system wasn’t fixed before all this happened.

  5. A true mess. Insurance companies have announced they might pull out as not enough healthy people joined. But the irony is Obamacare forced companies to insure children of workers to 26. So they will not sign up for Obamacare because they can stay on their parents plan. Shows how dis functional this all is.

    Just got back from UK. They announced 10,000 people could have lived longer but were denied cancer treatment due to their age. I hope others are worrying the so called health board being assembled thru Obamacare will not cause more issues.

    This all cost over $1 BILLION before anyone recovered anything. How much could have been used to take care of the non insured?

    And now the report is out that the uninsured is not signing up. So who did we really help? The individual who had to change their insurance is seeing dramatic increases in their insurance costs.

    So those that had insurance are paying more and those that did not have it are not signing up.

    And this is not healthcare. It is health insurance. Nobody is dealing with health care. Driving forward with how to stay healthier. Obamacare is about health insurance.

    And we really do not know the final outcome.

  6. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Still perplexed that the U.S. can’t, or won’t, understand a universal system.

      • Bart Shuldman

        Thank you. Reading the article in the London Times about 10,000 people who were not granted cancer treatment is another example.

        Obamacare is not health care it is health insurance that is not working. People who had insurance are now paying more and people that were in the need still don’t have it. And the young that make up the low risk, high pay, are not joining.

        And now we have a new government program that is costing billions just to find the salaries.

      • Nancy Hunter Wilson

        MIchael, you’re comparing apples and oranges. Every first world country offers their citizens, everyone, universal medical care. When everyone is covered, there are priorities. The urgent cases receive treatment first. In a universal system you can’t buy your way into the operating room. Priority is assessed by doctors based on medical need. Having to sort out who goes first comes with every universal system. Because you aren’t selling the right to go first for treatment to the highest bidder.

        The only first world exception to universal health care (the only one) is the US system. Priority of care isn’t an issue in the insurance based system because it doesn’t have to try to treat everyone. The insurance system just abandons the ten of millions of the poorest who aren’t covered. If you can’t afford it then tough. No wait lists or priority of care needed. Much simpler, and no waiting, to operate a system that provides health care to only the monied group…. unless you’re the one who doesn’t have the money. For the US poor, they’re on the longest and least fair waiting list (i.e. a lifetime of no care) in the world.

        No system is perfect. But the UK, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and all the other countries that have universal health system would not trade it. It is among the most popular and supported government programs in those countries, with all the many faults of any system.

        • Did you read the article? Do you find the wait times acceptable?

          • Nancy Hunter Wilson

            Yes, I read the article. Did you read what I wrote above?

            • I read what you wrote. You stated your opinion. You are entitled to your opinion whether it is accurate or not. You did not present any facts. An exchange of opinions is not very substantive without facts.

              For example, under Obamacare, the establishment of priorities to determine who gets healthcare will NOT be made by doctors, but by a panel of government bureaucrats. (Read the article I have attached.)

              Ezekiel Emanuel, the man Obama hired to design Obamacare, recommends that LESS healthcare be provided to the very young and the elderly. In the case of the elderly he recommends nothing more than palliative care.

              http://bme.ccny.cuny.edu/faculty/mbikson/Courses/BMESeniorDesign/EthicsOfHealthRationing

              The moneyed will not be standing in line waiting months to see a specialists, they will opt out of the public healthcare system as they have in every country you mentioned.

              In Canada citizens had to bring suit, and win in the Canadian Supreme court, to get access to private health insurance. Why did they go through that trouble?

              In France, when universal healthcare was introduced, about 15% of French citizens had private health insurance, now it is around 85%. Why do you suppose that trend took place?

              Obamacare, does nothing to increase the supply of health care while it increases the demand for health care. Will there be doctors available to provide healthcare to those who are insured?

              The poor in the US are not without healthcare. Their healthcare is funded by the rest of us, who pick up the bill for their healthcare when they show up at hospitals and cannot pay their bills; hence the mandate in Obamacare.

              BTW You did not answer my question.

              • Nancy Hunter Wilson

                What is wrong with picking up the bill?

                • Such an action provides the wrong incentives and distorts factor allocations.

                  Will you answer my question?

                  • Nancy Hunter Wilson

                    Simply put, if the U.S healthcare system was operating so well, for all, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

                    • I agree, everyone should have free access to the minimum necessities of life. Also, we should move everyone to Westport and make sure they have at least one Volvo (or better), lobster or filet (from the Craft Butchery) at least once a week, and choice of DisneyWorld of ski vacation over spring break.

                    • you seem very reluctant to answer my question. I answered yours. The healthcare system you find unacceptable was created in a regulated environment. Every insurance company is regulated. Every healthcare giver is regulated, and now you champion more regulation of the sort that produced the healthcare system you don’t like. Very curious. BTW I understand why you won’t answer my question.

        • Bart Shuldman

          Nancy. Congrats on writing your opinion but most is not accurate. At a minimum Obamacare was to provide health insurance for the poor and others who lost insurance due to pre conditions. The sad fact is those that were suppose to get help are not signing up. Why?

          Another huge issue was the math. Obamacare is based on the young signing up and paying big premiums to offset the cost of the people with pre conditions and elderly. Except Obamacare also forced companies to cover children to 26. So anyone whose mom or dad have insurance will not sign up until they turn 27. This will limit the amount of young on Obamacare and drive the cost much higher. Seems almost stupid what they did. They incentivized children not to sign up. Huh? And then the fine for a young person not to sign up is so low most will not anyway. And the numbers prove what is happening.

          And finally my friends in Europe will tell you the reality. If you make a decent wage you get private insurance that greets you better care. It’s not just for the so called rich. They all talk about it. They get better doctors. And quicker care. And if there is a real issue they come to the US.

          Obamacare is now a disaster. More people are paying much more-like a tax. Taking this money out of the economy to pay for more IRS workers and a computer system that does not work will now hurt the economy. People are scared and upset.

          If the economy takes a hit due to Obamacare then everyone las lost. Right now most have lost except a new IRS worker or the computer systems companies. And of course Speaker Reid got an exemption for his staff.

  7. Mary Ruggiero

    Although this article seems to deal only with elective surgery, wait times for non electives are also longer in places like Canada and uk. Medical scanners and other technologies are far less accessible in canada and the uk has made many changes in their system in the past 10 years due to increasing costs and lowered patient care. Let’s learn from their mistakes. Single payer system does’t work especially in a country our size.

    And this program was poorly conceived and rammed through. Why are folks surprised by its problems and “unintended?” consequences.

    • You can’t take care of everybody. However, those that indiscriminately reproduce, making extra unwanted people that [when they grow up] will never pay into the system? We might just be willing to pay a little extra for their “snip snip”.

  8. Mary Ruggiero

    http://rt.com/news/uk-nhs-health-crisis-049/

    The article above is also interesting.

  9. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Dan, what is rt.com?

  10. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Well I think I’ll leave it at that. I thought that a viewpoint from elsewhere might be helpful. Interesting to read the responses, some a bit extreme. I hope that solutions are found. Good luck with it.

  11. To answer Nancy, rt.com is a news network..but the topic of the article and its source are what are impt.

    Just google healthcare uk. Here is another article closer to home

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottatlas/2013/07/05/happy-birthday-to-great-britains-increasingly-scandalous-national-health-service/

    Must articles are just descriptive: what is theNHS?

    Then there are the others. 2 samples above.

    • Nancy Hunter Wilson

      Good heavens, Mary! rt.com is the Russian Government news agency, controlled by Mr. Putin himself!

  12. Can’t help but comment when I read about- “free loaders clogging up your access to the doctor”, “10,000 denied cancer care”, “unacceptable wait times for elective surgery”, “provide the wrong incentives and distort factor allocation”!!

    Are you talking about some third world foreign country or the good old USA (which includes Connecticut and Westport)???

    Let’s get a few basics out of the way- just to see we all stand-

    1- would anybody want to deny medical coverage for children?
    2- how about for old folks?
    3- how about someone changing jobs and may be even having a pre existing condition- (had a dizzy spell, episode of vertigo, bad indigestion)?
    3- how about for a family where the bread winner loses his/her job after 20 or 30 years on the job?
    4- Call someone a free loader and I guess it is okay to deny them coverage- but how about calling them poor working stiffs (minimum wage at Ronald Mac, Waldwhatever, restaurant service etc) who don’t get coverage from their jobs? Why should they and their families clog up the system for us high wage earners??

    “More than 10,000 are denied cancer care” in this country all the time because the insurance companies decide the treatment is too expensive, not covered under the terms of the plan or experimental- when it is effective- could it be a delaying tactic to save some money- talk to any practicing oncologist who takes care of patients- happens too often! Most Docs are more threatened by the BIG Brother Insurance companies than by the Affordable Care Act- sorry I meant to say- abridged semi emasculated eviscerated barely passed Obama care.

    United Healthcare (up to now an AARP sponsored insurance company) has very recently unilaterally effectively fired a couple of thousand doctors in Connecticut from their medicare advantage plan without cause (no reasons given) (being fought in courts in many states) to purportedly get leaner and meaner and highly efficient to meet the needs of their insured!! Baloney- the insurance companies have figured out an effective way to CLOG up your access to YOUR physician – deny you your doctor- not try to make it easier to see your doctor!! A ploy to demand more money from Uncle Sam to cover your ills!! And they can blame it on Obamacare- hmmm- more people getting insurance, same number of people getting sick but the insurance companies are firing large numbers of your doctors right here in Connecticut to make it easier and more efficient for you to see your doctor!! Oh and then blame it on Obamacare- did I say that all ready?? Can I sell you a Brooklyn Bridge or some ice in winter??

    Ask anyone in this country who has had an elective knee or hip replacement how long it takes to get scheduled for ELECTIVE surgery- not much different than a lot of foreign countries with single payer systems!!

    Keep an eye on the enemy! Forget the Democrat and Republican warfare! Look into your heart and ask what would I want in a good health care system. Don’t listen to the baloney being served up by the insurance companies- look at the result of their actions on your access to healthcare.

    Sorry about the wrong incentives and distorted factor allocation- it seems to me it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor- we all get sick, we all go to the hospital sooner or later, we all get bullied by the insurance companies, and we all “clog up the health care system” in one way or another!!

    Oh, and if you’re wondering- I just might be one of those many fortunate doctors who loves what he/she does every day- taking care of you when you get sick no matter who you are or how rich or poor- and also gets to train young resident physicians. I should add for the sake of clarity- I am not registered to either political party-( I am fiscally conservative, philanthropic and socially liberal), I read Ayn Rand and loved Atlas Shrugged when I was a teenager- BUT hopefully I have the ability to look past the hype from the political parties, ideologies and the insurance companies to see what reality is!!.

    • Bart Shuldman

      Congrats. You just told is why Obamacare is so bad. Think about it. Insurance companies ‘so called’ dropping doctors. Ok. But due to Obamacare. People told they can only go to certain doctors or hospitals. All due to Obamacare. Insurance costs increase on individual payers due to Obamacare. No doubt. A committee of 12 will decide on care. Obamacare. Young being asked to fund more-except the can stay on their parents insurance so they are not signing up. Obamacare. Young willing to pay fine and not sign up. Obamacare. Those that do not have insurance not signing up-Obamacare.

      You are not happy with insurance companies. But Obamacare is all about insurance companies. So you should not be happy with the program.

      $1BILLION spent on a software program that does not work and data, personal data can be stolen. Obamacare. $1 BILLION new government employees being hired to manage this new program. Billions being spent. And who benefits? Not you as you complain.

      Not to argue with you, but all your complaints are either due to Obamacare or not solved by Obamacare. Yet billions being spent.

      This is not political to me either. Presidnet Obama shoved this thru with not one bi partisan vote. And now we see the results. One word. Disaster.

      • Obamacare [barackAid] has got to be paid for by somebody. It certainly won’t be paid for by the helpless people making extra babies that will end up in the system [government].

        You people that are for barackAid, and need a feel-good ::: YOU PAY FOR IT!

    • The problems that you cite have all been created in a highly regulated industry. The government creates the regulations, and the insurance companies and healthcare providers must comply. Now you advocate more regulations of the same type.

      I have had joint replacement surgery in the US and the wait time was a matter of days from when I decided to have the procedure until it was performed. The wait times in places like Canada are much long as the data in the article I posted indicate. The wait times for MRIs, and CAT scans are far longer in Canada than in the US.

      Nations that have universal healthcare coverage, are struggling to fund them. The supply of services is being reduced.

      I suggest you read the piece by Emanuel that I referenced above. His plan, and now Obama’s plan, is to provide LESS healthcare not more.

      • Nancy Hunter Wilson

        This truly is my last word. Michael, I can only assume that you have terrific health insurance to have your elective surgery done speedily. So, don’t you understand that your elective surgery and room was RESERVED for you? You had the LUXURY of that, while someone in an ambulance, with little or no insurance, had to drive past your hospital and your room, from hospital to hospital, to finally find one that would accept him/her. By that time, it may be well too late. As I said before, good luck with this system

        • You are wrong again. My health insurance was not very special.
          And you have still not answered my question.

          • Nancy Hunter Wilson

            I’ve forgotten your question. Was it about waiting? Then, a reasonable person waits for others.

            • For how long? That was the question.

              • Nancy Hunter Wilson

                As I said, I would, and do, wait my turn for others who need to take the spot ahead of me. Priority needed. Common sense. Civility. I’m quite confident about my future healthcare, unlike yourself.
                I will never understand your complaint of Canada’s system, but I wish you good health. America needs to solve their health problems by looking outside its insular box.

  13. Even if rt.com is a Russian News websitey – the basis for the article is comment by the UK health minister, so the fact that it was published on rt does not matter to me – it is not an editorial only piece. And there are many other articles pointing out the same problems with the NHS – I included only one other with many facts cited therein.
    The NHS is a disaster – both medically and economically, and we are heading down that path. while I agree that there is need for a change – this is change we can’t believe in.

  14. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Still, it’s an odd source, especially for this discussion.
    And apologies to Dan for the question. Being shocked by the rt.com reference makes for sarcasm.

  15. Mary, Michael and Gary-

    I see the light!!

    We can save a lot of money – billions and billions- and at the same time make the government much smaller if we could all just agree on getting rid of not only Obamacare but also claw back on Medicare altogether (especially the Medicare Plus Program).

    We can see how that goes and who protests. Doing away with Obamacare and Medicare at the same time would be a great start – Play no favorites!! Think of all the free loaders taking more out of the Medicare system than they put in – that includes almost every one- especially anyone with an illness who really soaks the system- who wouldn’t be clogging up access to the doctors!! We could not only get rid of the 40 million who might have gotten insured under “Obama aid” but probably another 50 or 60 million old sickies under Medicare.

    I am so sorry I didn’t see that !!

    We could turn it all back over to the private insurance companies who will be incentivized to do a better job – they can fire as many docs from their panels as they want for easier access, end the unneeded Obamacare regulations for portability, exclusions, limited coverage etc.

    Why didn’t any rational person see this logical extension of your cogent observations as so well demonstrated by your tangential references??

    Let me hear who is on board- we can get this plan rolling with at least three or four of the writers to this blog!! We can start with a letter writing campaign to our senators and congresspeople!

    If I have overlooked something please chime right in by sharing your thoughts!! I see a tidal wave, a gathering tsunami that will sweep away Obamacare, Medicare, and any other care you may have!!

    • Obamacare provides access to health insurance not healthcare.

      The insurance industry is motivated to comply with government regulations, they are not able to act without constraint.

      Obamacare includes a substantial reduction in the funding for Medicare, so that part of your plan is already in the works.

      Under Obamacare the healthcare system will be run by the IRS, government bureaucrats, and Ezekiel Emanuel’s panel of deciders, with the object of reducing healthcare costs by providing less healthcare to the very young and the elderly.

      40 million will not gain access to health insurance under Obamacare.

      Your plan can’t be any worse than Obamacare.

  16. Mary Ruggiero

    Actually, Steve, I think it is too late to do either of those things, but having means testing for Medicare was a step in the right direction. My father and I used to have lively discussions over his Medicare premium and how that was woefully inadequate to approach bills for the average 85 year old. That and rampant fraud will likely doom the Medicare system unless the govt can control that and do some restructuring. And unless this new debacle sinks of its own weight, fraud will be a large factor there too. We have 48 little countries, not just one. What has the fed done well except maintain public security, which is what it’s supposed to do. Oh, and the postal service???

    Thankfully, my premiums more than cover me, and probably another person! Unfortunately, the “ACA” attempts to cover many more folks with many fewer client dollars. But I still like your plan if it takes down the affordable???? Care act!