Si Se Puede

            In an article entitled “Sebelius: Misinformation is Obamacare Enemy No. 1” (8-15-13) Wall Street Cheat Sheet’s Meghan Foley writes: “A speech given by Department of Health and Human Services (NYSE:HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius before the National Conference of State Legislatures Health Summit in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday was meant to highlight the efforts the Obama administration was making to help states “meet the challenges” of implementing the Affordable Care Act. But the comments Sebelius made in an interview after the speech carried a much stronger indictment of what she believes to be the main problem facing implementation: misinformation.” Midway through the same article Foley interjects: “Education of some form is needed; a Kaiser Family Foundation showed in April that more than 40 percent of Americans are confused as to the legal standing of the Affordable Care Act, and the administration is hoping as many as 7 million Americans who are not covered by employer-sponsored insurance plans sign up by early next year.” The article ends with “As for the success of Obamacare, states like Georgia that have declined to expand Medicaid present “a big challenge” for enrollment efforts, she [Sebelius] added.”


            The Affordable Care Act, referred to as Obamacare by its detractors, certainly is surrounded by misinformation and deliberate attempts to destroy it by whatever means (“In Congress, Senator Mike Lee of Utah and a small group of other Republicans have threatened to force a federal government shutdown unless President Barack Obama agrees to cut Obamacare funding from the fiscal 2014 budget.” Same article). There is obviously a plethora of misinformation available from innumerable sources (contributing to the nascent scam industry that feeds on such nationally recognized and embraced disinformation). Some things we do know, or can put together from what is out there. First of all that Ohio, like Georgia, has declined to expand Medicaid and therefore presents a “big challenge”. We also know that Newark is located in central Ohio and that probably, at least 40 percent of the population are confused in terms of where they stand within the Affordable Care Act and the lack of an expansion of Medicaid. As pointed out in the previous post, no official state funded resources will be utilized to help these tax payers learn about this, a travesty of what government purports to be about. And yes, they are taxpayers. If you don’t believe it, look at the recently enacted Ohio budget which raises the sales tax in addition to shifting the burden on other taxes.


            To become informed of the various mechanisms and contents of “misinformation” is not the purpose of this posting. Articles like that are as plentiful (and available) as tabloid articles regarding Hollywood stars. Sources like The Wall Street Cheat Sheet satisfy content requirement by writing articles about the misinformation mills. Some things multiple sources seem to confirm. Writing for the Motley Fool Keith Speights writes (7 things you need to know about Obamacare before 2014 8-24-13): “You could have to pay a penalty if you don’t have health insurance. You will be required to pay a tax penalty if you’re not covered by an acceptable insurance policy. The penalty for 2014 will be the greater of $95 per adult and $47.50 per child up to a $285 family maximum or 1% of income above a specified filing threshold ($10,000 for an individual and $20,000 for a family) — whichever is greater.” Unfortunately no one informs how this penalty will be actually assessed – ticket in the mail, court summons, lien, etc. “Under the ACA, insurance plans offered in the individual and small group markets will be required to cover a particular set of benefits and services called the “essential health benefits” package. These cover services in at least 10 categories, including prescription drugs; emergency services; hospitalization; mental health disorder services, and others. Some of those benefits haven’t been previously covered by plans. Additionally, consumers can’t be denied coverage because of their health status as they can be now in some states.” (5 Things to Know About the Cost of Obamacare Coverage By Lisa Scherzer | The Exchange  8-19-13) Writing for Money Talks News (8 Steps to prepare for Obamacare 8-22-13) Angela Brandt states: “So, if you currently have an individual policy — some 15 million Americans do – you may or may not want to keep it. Or you may find that your insurance company is eliminating your plan and replacing it with plans that meet the new standards for care.”


            OK, so from others we learn that everyone needs to get involved with obtaining health insurance and that under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, no one can be denied coverage because of any pre-existing condition, or financial status. If you already have health insurance through your employer and it doesn’t cover the “essential health benefits”, you can opt out and obtain coverage through that provided by an exchange through the ACA. In an article entitled “Analysis: Many insurance options under exchange Analysis finds most of Wisconsin will have multiple insurance options under new exchanges” the AP’s Scott Bauer (8-23-13) writes: “In Wisconsin, about 92,000 people currently on Medicaid will be losing their coverage starting in January. Gov. Scott Walker, an opponent of the federal law, toughened Medicaid eligibility, forcing those people off of the state’s BadgerCare plan and into the marketplace.” As Ohio has no Medicaid expansion involvement, those in Newark who have no health insurance coverage (through their employer or otherwise) and who would have qualified for inclusion in the Medicaid coverage (because of their financial status or otherwise) MUST involve themselves in participating by obtaining health insurance coverage through the federally established health insurance exchange. The State of Ohio will not be providing a health insurance exchange so don’t call Ohio’s tax payer funded public servants like Jay Hottinger, Tim Schaffer or John Kasich if you need help, education, or assistance.


“Si se puede.” Together we will investigate and discover how this can be done in future posts.  



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