US Quietly Earmarks Money for ObamaCare Insurers
It's a safety net to cover any losses; Republicans cry foul
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 21, 2014 5:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – ObamaCare just became a win-win proposition for insurance companies. Tucked into hundreds of pages of new rulings on the Affordable Care Act last week was a promise to pay insurers for any losses they incur by providing coverage on government exchanges, the LA Times reports. The Obama administration inserted the provision to try to keep premiums down; insurers get the money, which would be diverted from other health programs, only if they keep rate hikes modest.

Conservatives are already bashing the move as a "bailout," and some Senate Republicans are accusing Obama of making "another end-run around Congress." The administration defended the move by saying it was "highly unlikely" the funds would actually be needed. In other bad news for the law's supporters, a poll of emergency room doctors released today found that 46% had seen an uptick in visits since benefits kicked in, compared with 23% who saw a decline, the Huffington Post reports. One of the law's selling points was that giving people access to primary care would reduce ER visits.

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May 25, 2014 11:15 PM CDT
One of the main reasons for the uptick in the use of hospital emergency room is the fact that 24 States in this country have refused to expand Medicaid services to the very poor. That was originally a requirement in the ACA but the Supreme Court decided that States could opt out of that provision. Of course the poor in these States are going to continue to use the emergency room which everyone knows is the most expensive and inefficient way to provide medical treatment. Where else can they go? If these hold-out States had any sense they would see that, but in their hatred of Obama and "Obamacare" they would rather keep an outdated, more expensive and inefficient healthcare system. But that's their loss and a loss to their citizens.
May 23, 2014 3:59 PM CDT
I am a retired senior on a Medicare Advantage plan. My premiums did not increase, my benefits have expanded, my costs have been reduced and all my doctors are the same. These are facts. Everything the GOP said about the ACA and Medicare -- lies.
May 23, 2014 3:55 PM CDT
• ObamaCare does not cut any benefits from Medicare Advantage. • ObamaCare reduces payments to Medicare advantage rewarding those providers who increase the quality of their coverage. Medicare Advantage payouts are now more in line with other areas of Medicare. • ObamaCare reigns in excess spending on Medicare Advantage, which is currently causing a burden on the taxpayer that is disproportionate to the amount of people it helps. Medicare Advantage is run by private insurers and costs $1,000 or more per person. • According to the CMS, Medicare beneficiaries are expected to save, on average, about $4,200 over the next 10 years due to lower drug costs, preventive services, and reductions in the growth of health spending. • The protection of Medicare is ensured for years to come. The life of the Medicare Trust fund will be extended to at least 2029—a 12-year extension due to reductions in waste, fraud and abuse, and Medicare costs, which will provide us with future savings on premiums and coinsurance.