Civitas Review

Now we Know Why the Administration Won't Tell Us Healthcare.gov Enrollment Figures

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Nov
01

CBS News reports on the incredibly low number of people who actually successfully signed up for health insurance through the complete failure commonly referred to as the Obamacare exchanges.

SCOTT PELLEY: Good evening. For 31 days now, the Obama administration has been telling us that Americans by the millions are visiting the the new health insurance web site despite all of its problems, but no one in the administration has been willing to tell us how many policies have been purchased, and this may be the reason. CBS News has learned enrollments got off to an incredibly slow start. Sharyl Attkisson obtained documents that haven't been seen by the public until now.


Publicly, the government said there were 4.7 million unique visits in the first 24 hours, but at a meeting Wednesday morning, the war room notes say 6 enrollments have occurred so far.

That's right…six, in the country, signed up on the first day – out of an alleged 4.7 million visitors. The report continues to note only 248 had enrolled after three days, in contrast to the average of 39,000 a day needed to meet the goal of 7 million enrollees by March 1. That's 1 successful enrollee per 783,333 alleged visitors to the site. The odds of being struck by lightning in the U.S. are literally higher than the odds of a visitor to healthcare.gov on its first day successfully enrolling for insurance.

Notice how this is just the latest in a clearly evident pattern of lies and hiding facts coming from the Administration. They have for years lied in their promise that those who liked their plan could keep their plan, all the while knowing the opposite. They launched the website knowing there were significant technical problems and security risks. They decided at the last minute to prevent shoppers on the website from seeing the actual costs of the insurance plans until after applicants have entered personal information in order to conceal the true costs. And now we have evidence of what we already suspected: the number of actual enrollments are far below what they have been suggesting, and that the Administration knows exactly how many people are signing up but they continue to lie by saying they don't know the number – because they are embarrassed to admit the real numbers.

93 Million Could Lose Health Insurance Plans

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Oct
31

The hits just keep on coming for the Affordable Care Act.

So far the most outrage over the ACA (Obamacare) has centered on people with individual plans. But people will other plans will be hurt too — and that's based on the Obama administration's own official comments.

Based on the administration's own estimates in The Federal Register, Forbes reports, 93 million Americans could lose their health plans. That's because employer-sponsored insurance plans will also fall victim to the ACA:

“The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34,552 of the [Federal] Register. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and get canceled. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013.

Forbes figures the total of people who will lose individual or employer-sponsored plans will be 93 million.

In other words, this isn't just about a website. It's about lies that helped sell the ACA, and about how the ACA is destroying the health insurance system.

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BTW, North Carolina has caught flak for not sponsoring its own state-sponsored health exchange. Supposedly such exchanges in other states work better.

Uh, no. CBS has found that states have spent $1 billion on setting up their exchanges. And many have the same kinds of problems HealthCare.gov has displayed.

As my colleague just reminded us: There's no such thing as a free lunch. ACA advocates have said the federal money is free, but of course here's one more case when it isn't.

"To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever delivered a baby?"

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Oct
31

In an exchange yesterday during her testimony on Capital Hill, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius attempted to defend the Unaffordable Care Act's provision of requiring health coverage neither wanted or needed by the individuals purchasing insurance. The questioning came from Renee Ellmers, Congresswoman from NC's 2nd district.See and read about the exchange here.

The exchange ends with Ellmers asking Sebelius: "To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever delivered (given birth to) a baby?"

Obviously, Ellmers has never seen the movie Junior.

Thanks to Obamacare, this is covered!

NC Medicaid Enrollee: My Experience with the 'Dep't of Hell and Inhuman Services'

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Oct
30

A handful of left-wing advocates held a press conference earlier this week demanding that Gov. McCrory hold a special legislative session to re-consider North Carolina's decision to refuse Medicaid expansion available under the Unaffordable Care Act.

In response to this, Annette Smith – a mother of a special-needs son who has been enrolled in NC Medicaid for several years – wrote Civitas to warn that those lobbying to expand Medicaid should "be careful what you ask for." Smith then shares her horrific experience with Medicaid (emphasis added).

There are thousands of DHHS and Medicaid employees in NC who are good employees but they are forced to defend and uphold bad policy and regulations.

My son and I have gone through 3 DHHS Medicaid appeal hearings this year (one county and two state). In each instance, the process is conducted without the benefit of any thought, common sense or reasoning. They all parrot the same answer: “This is what the policy says and we must abide by it”. Two of the state hearings utilized the same final hearing officer which was a waste of my time and the State’s money. It is clear the process is more about moving paper and churning cases and less about meeting the needs of those ensnared in the system.

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Being on Medicaid, twice a year we are required to send the State my son's bank statement to ensure he has no more than $2000 in total assets. If my son wished to work and earn money, $1 out of every $2 earned would have to be given to Medicaid. If my son wishes to marry, but marries an able bodied woman, all of his benefits will be taken away from him. He may keep his Medicaid only if he marries another disabled person.

His wheelchair had a retail cost of $80,000, a staggering expense for any family. The Medicare cost was $40,000+ and we had to pay $10,400 out of pocket for the options not deemed necessary by Medicare/Medicaid. There was never any thought or consideration as to how he was going to pay this amount even though the system is structured in such a way as to deter his ability to earn any income. All we asked during the appeal is to treat the wheelchair as a medical expense and allow us to apply the out of pocket costs towards our spend down deductible. It was denied because wheelchairs according to the current Medicaid regulations are not considered medical expenses thus cannot be applied toward any deductible.

The point is the system is absolutely void of common sense and is not working. Maybe if you find yourself on Medicaid, the system will be kinder to you and pass rules to make your life better and easier with the ACA. But if you are born disabled through no fault of your own, prepare to be baffled and discriminated against. Not until the government bankrupts you and your whole family, will they be satisfied. You will be at the mercy of a system void of common sense, compassion and human dignity. Dept. of Health and Human Services? Bah! I say it is the Dept. of Hell and Inhuman Services. Our next stop is superior court to see if a judge can do anything. Any lawyers willing to take this on?

Annette Smith
Advocate for all who suffer the NC Medicaid injustices

Ms. Smith paints a vivid picture of a cold, inflexible, baffling, nonsensical program designed to control people's lives and provide perverse incentives against gaining financial independence. This reveals the true intent on those Medicaid expansion advocates: an increase of state power and government dependence in order to accumulate greater political power.

School sends home political fliers

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Oct
30

Yes, I know Carolina Plott Hound broke this story last night, but it cannot receive too much attention.

Yesterday our friend Lady Liberty wrote about her anger  in finding a political flier in her child's homework folder when he returned home from a Wake County school.  The flier was publicizing a "walk in" at the school on November 4th and encouraged attendees to wear "red 4 ed"  It is not legal to for a school to distribute political materials.  The flier is linked to a web site Organize 2020.   Interestingly, the last line of the organization's rambling mission statement is : We need a union.

Do you think there might be a few connections to NCAE?