Obamacare facts & what it means for you; creast cancer, the young, the elderly

 

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Obamacare [Cartoon by Lisa]
In light of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there are some facts that should be considered in regards to Obamacare.

During a press conference, Obama made reference that “The Affordable Healthcare Act could save the lives of cancer patients.” After careful evaluation of the Affordable Healthcare Act schedules, a person could reasonably conclude that his statement was misleading to Americans.

With so many politicians involved with Obamacare, it is no wonder why the public is hesitant to trust in anything that comes from the White House; and with very good reason.

If the public feels Obama and his staff have not been forth coming in regards to Obamacare, the public would be correct in that assumption.

Ocala Post didn’t have to dig very deep to find serious flaws in the Affordable Care Act. Citizens might ask themselves why they have not heard anything from insurance agencies, or why haven’t they been on the news? It’s because the insurance agencies are on the payroll list.

The team at Ocala Post has spent the past week in meetings with medical insurance billing companies and sitting down with individual doctors in order to get the hard facts of Obamacare from the inside; and finding out how it is already effecting citizens as well as medical offices.

While Obama continues to point the finger at the republican party, the facts are clear cut.

Let’s start off simple. What exactly is Obamacare and the Health Care Reform? On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The purpose of this law is to not only provide Americans with options to affordable healthcare but to improve, regulate, and reduce spending in healthcare. On October 1, 2013, the Health Insurance Marketplace went live to provide open enrollment for Americans to apply for and choose insurance plans that are federally regulated with subsidy assistance for those that qualify. The Affordable Care Act is literally over a thousand pages of reforms made to the current insurance industry. By reforming the current industry, healthcare costs will be reduced, thus making healthcare affordable. There are millions of Americans that are uninsured because they cannot afford coverage or don’t meet other qualification factors for Medicaid or Medicare. The Health Care Reform will solve this issue. By providing affordable and subsidized coverage, more Americans will become insured and receive healthcare that they may have not otherwise have. Additionally, the reform will expand Medicaid and Medicare to people who may have not qualified in the past. Open enrollment is October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. Plans will become effective January 1, 2014. Those are the facts! If you want to read about all the ins and outs of Obamacare, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/.

We’re going to highlight The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly; basically what you SHOULD know but probably do not. If you think you have heard enough about the good and the bad of the Health Care Reform, then do yourself a favor and skip down to “The Ugly.” That is the scary part.

The Good:

We’ve already discussed the fact that affordable insurance will be available to Americans; hence improving overall health care. There’s no doubting that the Health Care Reform does have some good perks that millions of people can take advantage of. Remember, the new provisions will take effect January 1, 2014. Most importantly, the reform will:

  • provide preventative and wellness services with no out-of-pocket expenses. To see a complete list of covered preventative services, visit http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsabrecs.htm
  • eliminate pre-existing conditions and gender discrimination.
  • ensures that quality insurance is available to everyone that is not able to obtain a policy through their employer.
  • increases protection from being dropped from policies if you become sick, have met lifetime limits, or inability to pay your premium.
  • expand Medicaid coverage to millions of uninsured Americans that may have not previously qualified.
  • offers cost assistance (subsidized plans) to those that make less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($93,700 as a family or $43,021 as an individual in 2013) through tax credits. The subsidized plans will cost 0-9.5 percent of taxable income.
  • allows children to stay on their parent’s current insurance plan until age 26 regardless if they are married, student status, or living arrangements.
  • offers rebates back to you on the premiums you pay if the insurer under-spends.
  • offers credits to businesses that provide policies to their employees.
  • mandate that the following “Essential Benefits” be included in ALL insurance plans:
  1. Emergency services
  2. Hospitalizations
  3. Laboratory services
  4. Maternity care
  5. Mental health and substance abuse treatment
  6. Outpatient, or ambulatory care
  7. Pediatric care
  8. Prescription drugs
  9. Preventive care
  10. Rehabilitative and rehabilitative (helping maintain daily functioning) services
  11. Vision and dental care for children

The Bad:

The summary of the benefits listed above certainly do seem appealing. What are the cons to Obamacare? Mostly political and economical consequences result from mandated healthcare. A quick overview of the downside:

  • Obamacare requires that ALL Americans have health insurance either through a private provider or through a state or federally assisted program, If you do not have insurance in place , you must pay a tax equal to 1% of your income in 2014 and 2.5 percent in 2016.
  • Obamacare requires that all employers with over 50 full time employees offer health insurance to their employees. If the employers choose not to comply, they will face a penalty. In this economy, many employers are already stretched far too thin. In order to avoid the penalty, many employers have decided to downsize their workforce or reduce employee hours so they are no longer required to provide benefits. In turn, this causes even more hardship on the employers and obviously the employees.
  • The fear that the government is controlling the Americans by forcing them into purchasing health insurance; therefore indirectly violating their constitutional rights.
  • A Government website recording ALL of Americans indentifying information; even though claims have been made that citizens do not have to input personal information. A claim in which Governor Rick Scott of Florida says is completely false because personal information is being required.
  • Immediate doctor shortage with lower reimbursement rates therefore creating a lower quality in care.
  • Even with subsidized assistance, the financial strain will be too great for many Americans that already struggle to feed their families or put gas in their cars without having to pay an insurance premium.
  • Americans that wish to purchase a private insurance policy may, but if it is determined they qualify for Medicaid according to the income guidelines they will be forced to carry Medicaid.
  • Ultimately, this will create more taxes for American’s.

The Ugly:

Now that we’ve briefly highlighted the pros and cons from an economic and political standpoint, let’s touch on the issues that have not really been talked about. The issue that will directly impact each and every insured individual. While it is true that the reform will provide for no cost preventative and wellness services, it is not as clear cut as you might think. While it is true that the reform will cover preventative screening and wellness exams, what they have not told you is that there are schedules to follow. For example, it is typical for a sexually active woman to receive a pap smear every year until her doctor feels they are no longer necessary. The new standards under Obamacare will limit pap smears to once every THREE years for women ages 21-65. So, what happens if you are under 21 or over 65? Well, they aren’t covered because they are not recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. While screening mammography for high risk women remains yearly, routine or low risk women mammography will be covered every two years. How does this offer “better” preventative care and better cancer screenings? Cervical and breast cancers are usually quite aggressive; however they can be manageable when caught and treated early. When it comes to cancer, days, weeks, and months mean the difference between life and death. Can you imagine what years do?

Another issue is healthcare rationing; something Obama denies time and time again. However rationing is an undeniable fact after reading the schedules on the governments own website.

One view of rationing by many is the fact that it appears that as a person gets older, their benefits become limited as you can see from the recommended testing schedule above. Another view of rationing is the shortage of doctors and providers available for patient care. Look at it from this perspective. As part of the reform, reimbursement and allowable fees to doctors are being decreased. If the doctors insurance remittance amounts are decreased, the doctor will ultimately have to decrease their staff size. With the reform also comes more paperwork for doctors offices to complete for authorizations, referrals, and certifications and if not followed or submitted timely, the doctor will be penalized. In other words, you have taken a medical office that had to decrease their staff due to reimbursement rates but now there is more work for the office to complete on a reduced/limited staff. This will then limit the amount of patients a doctor can see in a day and furthermore, it will limit the amount of time a doctor actually spends with their patients. Underpaid and overworked doctors doesn’t make me feel too confident in their abilities to treat, diagnose, and manage my health or the health of a loved one. Another issue that many providers will face are the restrictions that Obamacare will put on the way they manage their patients. While a doctor feels it is in a patients best interest to have their blood checked every 6 months to manage or follow up on a condition, if the patients insurance no longer covers that frequency, the patient will most likely refuse the test; hence making it very difficult to effectively and safely manage that patients care. While there are certainly ways around the allowed frequency; such as appealing for medical necessity, who is going to do all the appealing when there is limited office staff in the doctor’s office?

Below is feedback from individuals that have tested out the “Obama Exchange.”

“With existing on two adults and two kids with pre-existing… And the mental health for ADHD ADD and OCD is ridiculous but another story.. I deal with 80 and 90 and hundred year old people Of course they all have pre-existing… Our insurance has tripled in one month… For a lot of people who don’t understand this crap (like me ) don’t know what to do…… And the crazy thing is nine out of 10 clients on Wednesday received a letter from Medicare telling them that they are responsible for this astronomical amount of money… Reason being Medicare says if it’s not paid by July 1 they cant receive any medical funding and it’s supposedly a accumulated amounts over the time they used Medicare… My parents received one yesterday saying they owed $1954… What the heck is this ? Do you know by chance I was hoping maybe you might be familiar with this letter? … We are very confused! … Keep the informative post coming we need them they also help us to try to figure out what we’re gonna do.”

“I just did my family of 4…two adults two kids based on 75K income..$7,863 in premiums with a $12,700 deductible….yeah that sounds like a great deal to me…NOT! There is no way a typical family can afford to spend over 20K of their 75K salary for medical….those are the facts!”

If citizens have not been involved, now would be a good time to contact congress and the President of the United States to express your concerns.

We want to hear from you. How do you feel about Obamacare?

Florida’s U.S. Senators


Sen. Bill Nelson (D)

Website: billnelson.senate.gov
Twitter: @SenBillNelson
Facebook: Bill Nelson

Washington Office
716 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5274
Fax: (202) 228-2183

Orlando Office
Landmark Two
225 E. Robinson St., Suite 410
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 872-7161
Toll-Free: (888) 671-4091
Fax: (407) 872-7165

Tampa Office
Sam Gibbons Federal Court House
801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: (813) 225-7040
Fax: (813) 225-7050


Sen. Marco Rubio (R)

Website: rubio.senate.gov
Twitter:
@MarcoRubio | @SenRubioPress
Facebook: Senator Marco Rubio

Washington Office
317 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3041

Orlando Office
201 S. Orange Ave., Suite 350
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 254-2573
Toll-Free: (866) 630-7106

Tampa Office
3802 Spectrum Blvd., Suite 106
Tampa, FL 33612
Phone: (813) 977-6450

———————————————

Florida’s U.S. Representatives

(Representing the Orlando and Tampa Bay areas)


District 3 – Rep. Ted Yoho (R)

Website: yoho.house.gov
Twitter:
@RepTedYoho
Facebook: Congressman Ted Yoho

Washington Office
511 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5744

Gainesville Office
5000 N.W. 27th Court, Suite E
Gainesville, FL 32606
Phone: (352) 505-0838

Orange Park Office
1213 Blanding Blvd.
Orange Park, FL 32065
Phone: (904) 276-9626


District 5 – Rep. Corrine Brown (D)

Website: corrinebrown.house.gov
Twitter:
@RepCorrineBrown
Facebook: Congresswoman Corrine Brown

Washington Office
2111 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-0123
Fax: (202) 225-2256

Orlando Office
455 N. Garland Ave., Suite 414
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 872-2208
Fax: (407) 872-5763


District 6 – Rep. Ron DeSantis (R)

Website: desantis.house.gov
Twitter:
@RepDeSantis
Facebook: Congressman Ron DeSantis

Washington Office
427 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2706
Fax: (202) 226-6299

Port Orange Office
1000 City Center Circle
Port Orange, FL 32129
Phone: (386) 756-9798
Fax: (386) 756-9903


District 7 – Rep. John Mica (R)

Website: mica.house.gov
Facebook:
John L. Mica

Washington Office
2187 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4035
Fax: (202) 226-0821

Deltona Office
840 Deltona Blvd., Ste. G
Deltona, FL 32725
Phone: (386) 860-1499
Fax: (386) 860-5730

Maitland Office
100 E. Sybelia Ave., Suite 340
Maitland, FL 32751-4495
Phone: (407) 657-8080
Fax: (407) 657-5353

Oviedo Office
95 E. Mitchell Hammock Road, Suite 202
Oviedo, FL 32765
Phone: (407) 366-0833
Fax: (407) 366-0839


District 8 – Rep. Bill Posey (R)

Website: posey.house.gov
Twitter:
@congbillposey
Facebook: Bill Posey

Washington Office
120 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3671
Fax: (202) 225-3516

Melbourne Office
2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C
Melbourne, FL 32940
Phone: (321) 632-1776
Fax: (321) 639-8595


District 9 – Rep. Alan Grayson (D)

Website: grayson.house.gov
Twitter:
@AlanGrayson
Facebook: Alan Grayson

Washington Office
430 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-9889
Fax: (202) 225-9742

Kissimmee Office
101 N. Church St., Suite 550
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: (407) 518-4983
Fax: (407) 846-2087

Orlando Office
5842 S. Semoran Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32822
Phone: (407) 615-8889
Fax: (407) 615-8890


District 10 – Rep. Daniel Webster (R)

Website: webster.house.gov
Twitter:
@RepWebster
Facebook: Congressman Daniel Webster

Washington Office
1039 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2176
Fax: (202) 225-0999

Clermont Office
685 W. Montrose St.
Clermont, FL 34711
Phone: (352) 383-3552
Fax: (407) 654-5814

Tavares Office
122 E. Main St.
Tavares, FL 32778
Phone: (352)383-3552
Fax: (407) 654-5814

Winter Garden Office
300 West Plant Street
Winter Garden, FL 34787
Phone: (407) 654-5705
Fax: (407) 654-5814

Winter Haven Office
451 Third St. N.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Phone: (863) 453-0273
Fax: (407) 654-5814


District 11 – Rep. Richard Nugent (R)

Website: nugent.house.gov
Twitter:
@RepRichNugent
Facebook: Rep Rich Nugent

Washington Office
1727 Longworth Hob
Washington, Dc 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1002
Fax: (202) 226-6559

Citrus County Office
212 W. Main St., Suite 204
Inverness, FL 34450
Phone: (352) 341-2354
Fax: (352) 341-2316

Hernando County Office
11035 Spring Hill Drive
Spring Hill, FL 34608
Phone: (352) 684-4446
Fax: (352) 684-4484

Marion County Office
115 S.E. 25th Ave.
Ocala, Fl 34471
Phone: (352) 351-1670
Fax: (352) 351-1674

Sumter County Office
8015 E. County Road 466
The Villages, Fl 32162
Phone: (352) 689-4684
Fax: (352) 689-4621


District 12 – Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R)

Website: bilirakis.house.gov
Twitter:
@RepGusBilirakis
Facebook: Rep. Gus Bilirakis

Washington Office
2313 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5755
Fax: (202) 225-4085

Dade City Office
36739 State Road 52, Suite 212
Dade City, FL 33525

New Port Richey Office
7132 Little Road
New Port Richey, FL 34654
Phone: (727) 232-2921
Fax: (727) 232-2923

Tarpon Springs Office
600 Klosterman Road, Room BB-038
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Phone: (727) 940-5860
Fax: (727) 940-5861

Wesley Chapel Office
5901 Argerian Drive, Suite 102
Wesley Chapel, FL 33545
Phone: (813) 501-4942
Fax: (813) 501-4944


District 13 – Rep. C. W. Bill Young (R)

Website: young.house.gov

Washington Office
2407 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5961
Fax: (202) 225-976

Seminole (Pinellas County) Office
9210 113th St.
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 392-4100
Fax: (727) 392-4989

Dunedin Outreach Location
William E. Hale Activity Center
330 Douglas Ave.
Dunedin, FL 34698

Gulfport Outreach Location
Gulfport Public Library
5501 28th Ave. S.
Gulfport, FL 33707

Safety Harbor Outreach Location
Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce
200 Main St.
Safety Harbor, FL 34695


District 14 – Rep. Kathy Castor (D)

Website: castor.house.gov
Facebook:
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor

Washington Office
205 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3376
Fax: (202) 225-5652

Tampa Office
4144 N. Armenia Ave., Suite 300
Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: (813) 871-2817
Fax: (813) 871-2864


District 15 – Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R)

Website: dennisross.house.gov
Twitter:
@RepDennisRoss
Facebook: Dennis Ross

Washington Office
229 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1252
Fax: (202) 226-0585

Lakeland Office
170 Fitzgerald Road, Ste 1
Lakeland, FL 33813
Phone: (863) 644-8215
Alt. Phone: (813) 752-4790
Fax: (863) 648-0749


District 16 – Rep. Vern Buchanan (R)

Website: buchanan.house.gov
Twitter: @VernBuchanan
Facebook: Congressman Vern Buchanan

Washington Office
2104 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5015
Fax: (202) 226-0828

Bradenton Office
1051 Manatee Ave. W., Suite 305
Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone: (941) 747-9081
Fax: (941) 748-1564

Sarasota Office
111 S. Orange Ave.
Floor 2R, Suite 202W
Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone: (941) 951-6643
Fax: (941) 951-2972


District 17 – Rep. Thomas Rooney (R)

Website: rooney.house.gov
Twitter:
@TomRooney
Facebook: Tom Rooney

Washington Office
221 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5792
Fax: (202) 225-3132

Riverview Office
Summerfield Shoppes
11345 Big Bend Road
Riverview, FL 33579
Phone: (813) 677-8646
Fax: (813) 677-8698

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