‘Dirty little secrets’ buried in Obamacare
by Jon Gillooly
January 24, 2014 12:49 AM | 6856 views | 13 13 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print

U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) is greeted by business and civic leaders Thursday as he arrives to speak at a luncheon at Vinings Bank. Price told the group the American public is in for a lot of sticker shock on premiums and deductibles as President Barack Obama continues to roll out his Affordable Care Act. <br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) is greeted by business and civic leaders Thursday as he arrives to speak at a luncheon at Vinings Bank. Price told the group the American public is in for a lot of sticker shock on premiums and deductibles as President Barack Obama continues to roll out his Affordable Care Act.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
SMYRNA — The public is in for some sticker shock as Obamacare is further rolled out this year.

That’s the message U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) gave a group of business leaders gathered for lunch at Vinings Bank on Thursday.

In the next six months, many people will learn that their premiums will be much higher than expected, Price said.

Many will also see higher deductibles than they’ve seen before. Deductibles have usually been between $1,000 and $2,000.

“These deductibles for most individuals start in the $5- to $6,000 range and for a family of four to $12,500. That’s out of pocket,” Price said. “Those are deductibles that the American people by and large have never seen before unless you had a high-deductible catastrophic plan that you selected yourself.”

A “dirty little secret” of those deductibles is that if the individual decides to see a doctor outside their network of coverage, that visit will not apply to the deductible, he said.

Insurance companies are expected to announce in the April to June time frame what their premiums will be for 2015.

The problem for insurance companies is that healthy, young people who are needed to sign up to make Obamacare’s financial model work are not doing so. They are not signing up despite the law requiring it and issuing a $95 penalty. Many would rather pay the penalty.

“Our son looks at a $95 penalty and a $1,500 premium and a $6,000 deductible and says, ‘Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll pay the $95.’ Young healthy people are not signing up,” Price said.

Private health data is vulnerable

Price also predicts identity theft violations occurring in the next six months.

“Security on the website and security of this system is clearly not up to par, and I think that we will begin to see some of the stories roll out about folks’ identities being stolen because of the system,” he said.

President Obama delayed the employer mandate part of the law for a year. That mandate, Price said, stipulates any business that employs more than 50 people must provide health coverage that meets “Washington’s standards.”

“That’s the problem because the standards are much more lavish than many businesses currently utilize to cover their employees. So all of the health savings accounts, all of the high-deductible catastrophic plans, all of the minimum plans that many businesses use, all of those will be illegal when the employer mandate takes effect (Jan. 1).”

The employer mandate was delayed for a year because employers told the president that if enforced they would not be able to keep their businesses open. Nothing, Price said, will have changed when Jan. 1, 2015, rolls around.

“I don’t see how this ever comes to pass,” he said. “I don’t think it will, and if it does it will be because of the pure recklessness of this administration to crash the economy because of his signature issue.”

Price was asked if he agreed with the theory that Obamacare was designed to fail so as to

move the country into a single-payer system. About 20 percent of Congress wants a socialized health care system, he said.

Obama said was his preference, as did the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“I think that’s where they’d like to take it when this continues to crumble,” he said. “The reason that I’m optimistic about that not occurring is that the American people, you and everybody else, are getting a pretty doggone good lesson right now on what government health care looks like.”

Politifact awarded its “Lie of the Year” to Obama for his claim that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. Period.”

Obamacare has caused 6 million people, Price said, to lose their insurance. Obama has pledged to ensure those people regain their insurance, but Price doesn’t believe he has the power to do that without congressional approval.

“I think in this and many areas he has usurped power that is not executive power,” Price said. “But you remember the individual who is supposed to hold him to account and say, ‘No, Mr. President, by the way, you have to go to Congress to get that thing taken care of’ is the Attorney General Eric Holder, who clearly is a political individual acting in the administration and not a lawyer for the administration in recommending based upon the law.”

Among those who attended the luncheon was WellStar Health System CEO Reynold Jennings, who shared the greatest challenge the health care law presents to WellStar.

“Our greatest challenge is that with a growing population we have to make multiyear decisions that include a lot of investment, and when you’re not sure your sources of revenues and the predictability of those revenues it is a pacing issue that we could get behind getting ready for the things our local citizens need so that’s the biggest challenge we have right now,” Jennings said. “Many of the other things of course are difficult, but we think we can work our way through them as they happen, but it’s the long-range planning that gets compromised when you go into uncertainty.”

Comments-icon Post a Comment
January 25, 2014

""“Our son looks at a $95 penalty and a $1,500 premium and a $6,000 deductible and says, ‘Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll pay the $95.’ Young healthy people are not signing up,” Price said.""

....And your son will not have health insurance then when he gets sick others will have to foot the bill. Damn Obama holding people accountable with his liberal views

On medicare
January 24, 2014
"The public is in for some sticker shock as Obamacare is further rolled out this year.

That’s the message U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) gave a group of business leaders gathered for lunch at Vinings Bank on Thursday."

If this is indeed true, why doesn't Dr. Price do something about this. After all, he is a medical doctor and ought to know what should be done to help the public.
Just Wait
January 24, 2014
Does anyone really think Price would say anything positive about Obamacare? He is a Republican, one of many who cannot get over the fact that their lame candidate for President got beat. There is so much wrong with the Republican party that their only hope is to keep bashing everything associated, no matter how remotely, with Obama. Pity they don't spend that time working on their own parties problems.
truth versus fiction
January 24, 2014
So the good Doctor dares to tell the truth and is beaten up by the far left liberals who, frankly, would probably love to see more government take-over of our daily lives. And the present administration, that doesn't seem to hold Honesty as a virtue, can not, obviously, be trusted. So just shut up, lefties, and let the truth come out.
Like my coverage
January 24, 2014
So much for fair and balance reporting. This article is basically a press release with absolutely no balance. And you have the nerve to make it the top story. Do you even try to enlighten your readers or are you just going to be a mouthpiece for one side? I would love to hear your side.
Pastor Ric
January 24, 2014
The right-wing media dubbed the healthcare system "Obamacare" to play on the residual biases of people who lived through segregation, Jim Crow, the civil rights movement, etc. While Obama planted the seed for the bill, it was actually written by professionals in the insurance, pharmaceutical and medical fields and their lobbyists, (a common practice), which is why they left out some of the things the President called for and, instead, slanted it in their own favor. Add to that all the pork barrel BS and loopholes Congress snuck in and its no wonder its in the mess it is at present. The solution? Knockout off all the prejudices, partisan grand-standing and posturing and BOTH sides of the aisle knuckle down, do the job they were hired to do, and fix the healthcare system, bringing it more in line with the generally successful role models used in several, clearly more civilized nations!
Pastor Liar
January 24, 2014
"While Obama planted the seed...it was actually written by...."

Wrong. The architects of Obamacare are mostly left wing partisan hack Marxists like Zeke Emmanuel, brother of Clintonista and Chicago-thug mayor Rhamm. Also Nancy Ann DeParle, the former White House Director of Health Care Policy (now a fat cat lobbyist making millions off her insider knowledge) and Jeane Lambrew, also from the White House (Obama staff). While millions of middle class Americans are seeing their previously fine health coverage either vanish or having their premiums raised un-attainably sky high, these liberal democrat hacks skate over to K Street to become "experts" on their own failed policy. It's not Congress who "snuck" anything "in" but Obama who exempted labor unions, friends and other special interests, leaving America's young professionals to foot the bill for the subsidies now given to those who are enrolling in Obamacare (those now subsidized by the government who also mostly had unsubsidized health care previously...but still health care). The truth is going to be glaring over the next months, as regular people are hurt by this horrendous mess. Price is correct, and all the propaganda and paid "internet commenters" in the world will not be able to hide the truth. Now go away, paid commenters hired by Democrats, and let the MDJ's regulars have a go at this topic. Samuel Adams
Pastor Ric
January 25, 2014
"Pastor Liar"... you have seriously got to stop drinking the Kool-Aid. The GOP love to blame everybody else for the mess this country is in when they are anything but innocent. BOTH parties, via partisan heel-dragging, have played their role in the downward spiral of the US... and stupid people who parrot their garbage are just as guilty. I have friends on BOTH sides of the aisle... (including the man who, God willing, will be our next Governor)... and my information came from staff members of a REPUBLICAN political leader in my home state. Hard to argue when what I stated came straight out of the mouths of Capitol insiders who were obviously not seeking to skirt responsibility nor deny their own capability.
Cobb Mom of 2
January 25, 2014
Pastor Liar and Pastor Ric to some extent are incorrect. The bill that President Obama proposed limited the amount insurance companies could raise premiums each year. The insurance industry has very deep pockets and with some generous campaign contributions the premium limit was removed in order to get enough votes to pass.

Now you should be asking yourself, did my Congressional Representative and Senator only vote for the bill after the change was made or not at all? I personally am tired of "our" elected officials being the errand boys for the insurance industry and will not vote for any of them that were against healthcare reform.

Is the bill in it's current form perfect? No, but things this large and important are rarely perfect on the first try. It does need amending to further protect the humans of this nations and stop protecting the profits of the insurance industry. For profit health insurance has put too many American families into bankruptcy and it needs to stop now.
Price is lying
January 24, 2014
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a new report that finds premiums in the Health Insurance Marketplace will be nearly 20 percent lower in 2014 than previously expected.

The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers in every state to publicly justify any premium rate increases of 10 percent or more. Health insurance companies now generally have to spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar on health care or improvements to care, or provide a rebate to their policy holders. In addition, when the Health Insurance Marketplace opens for enrollment on October 1, 2013 consumers will be able to make apples to apples comparisons of quality health insurance plans.

“Today’s report shows that the Affordable Care Act is working to increase transparency and competition among health insurance plans and drive premiums down,” said Secretary Sebelius. “The reforms in the health care law ensure consumers will have access to better coverage at a lower cost in 2014.”

Specifically the report finds that:

•In the 11 states (including the District of Columbia) that have made information available for the individual market, proposed premiums for 2014 are on average 18 percent lower than HHS’ estimate of 2014 individual market premiums derived from CBO publications.

•In the six states that have made information available in the small group market, proposed premiums are estimated to be on average 18 percent lower than the premium a small employer would pay for similar coverage without the Affordable Care Act.

•Both estimates are based on premium proposals for the lowest cost silver plan in the individual and small group markets. Actual premiums in 2014 may be even lower when health plans are offered in the Marketplace this fall. Already, in a number of states (DC, OR, RI, VT), the rate review process and competition are resulting in final rates that are significantly below what was proposed earlier this spring.

•Preliminary premiums appear to be affordable even for young men. For example, in Los Angeles - the county with the largest number of uninsured Americans in the nation - the lowest cost silver plan in 2014 for a 25-year-old individual costs $174 per month without a tax credit, $34 per month for an individual whose income is $17,235, and a catastrophic plan can be purchased for $117 per month for an individual.

January 24, 2014
Premiums being lower than the government had predicted does NOT mean that premiums are actually lower--only that they did not RISE as much as predicted. Cold comfort. Sebelius is also not talking about the lack of signups among the younger healthy folk whose premiums were expected to subsidize the older, sicker group who were the first to sign up. Sooo--just wait and see what the 2015 numbers look like!!

Your commentary looks like a set of Democrat talking points- probably is---and also ignores the other little-discussed item hidden in the bowels of this monstrous bill: There is a stop-loss bailout for the insurance companies. The Feds will step in, WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS,to cover any losses insurance companies incur from offering regulated, under-priced coverages during the roll-out.

For every isolated "success" story you liberals are able to find and gush over, there are hundreds of people who have lost coverage they chose and were happy with, only to have it replaced with "better" coverage chosen by Obama bureaucrats for which premiums and deductibles are many times higher than what they had before the government started meddling in their lives and deciding what was "good" for them. I personally know ONE person who is actually benefiting from Obamacare---because he got a subsidy you and I helped pay for. I know dozens of others who are living the nightmare instead of the dream because of Obamacare.

And for you and some of the other posters here: Place the blame for this mess where it belongs---squarely on the backs of Harry the Weasel Reid and B.H. Obama. No Republicans voted for this train wreck when it was shoved down our collective throats. Republicans had numerous ideas they wanted to see in the legislation, but were not even allowed into the meeting rooms where it was being crafted, in secret and in mocking defiance of Obama's "transparency" pledge (among many lies he told on the campaign trail.)

Since passage, Republicans have sent bill after bill to the Senate aimed at postponing, repairing, or repealing sections of the ACA, and The Weasel has refused to let any of them come to a vote or even be considered. So don't whine and ask why Tom Price et al are not "doing something" about this disaster. If you voted Democrat in the last two elections, look no further than your mirror to see who is responsible and who will have to step into the voting booth come November to help change it!!

Frustrated consumer
February 26, 2014
When talking about comparing apples to apples, the people that support the ACA consistently refer to the low premiums, but ignore the deductible comparison. Deductibles are the affordable plans are outrageous! Copayments are not affordable either. What good is affordable insurance if you never go to the doctor because you can't afford deductibles and copays!
H Woodfin
January 24, 2014
Thank you Congressman Price, for nothing. If you and the rest of the Republicans in Congress had been more cooperative, "Obamacare" would not have to be like this. It's infinitely better than what Republicans would have enacted on their own. Maybe you ought to do some soul searching before spreading such crud. If you were not critically questioned by the attendees at the business luncheon, that tells you a lot about them as well.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides