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vionet87.blogspot.com - President Obama's Moment of Truth: "Saved the Treasury Hundreds of Billions of Dollars"

When the President spoke yesterday, he finally explained what we've known from our experience under Obamacare--Savings, the Affordable in the Affordable Care Act, was in fact designed to help the Federal Government pay out less on behalf of people relying on Federally subsidized entitlement programs like Obamacare, Medicaid, Medicare and Veterans benefits, not the American people.

This is the main reason that neither Republicans NOR Democrats have been willing to help citizens brutalized by the law's increased expenses to consumers--It's about saving the Federal Government and its partner in Obamacare, insurance companies money, not us. Finally since the infamously quoted and requoted lie that people would save $2,500 with Obamacare, the President himself has come clean.

Here's what President Obama said, "Health care costs generally have gone up at a significantly slower rate since Obamacare has passed than they did before which has saved the Treasury Hundreds of billions of dollars," (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfxk5aeCNXo, 1:22:40).

Still, while a momentous admission of the insidious purpose of the Affordable Care Act, to save the government money, the President's statement is unverifiable in terms of accuracy because the government won't count what it spends on itself in terms of infrastructure and staff (and their benefits which are superior to the rest of America's population, http://gogovernment.org/government_101/benefits.php), around Obamacare, CBO Publication 49892, 1/15/15, page 1, “…estimates address only the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA and do not reflect all of the act’s budgetary effects…"

Our attention must prevent just another Obamacare law that promotes the same governmental ends with perhaps even worse means and this is not hard if we're sensible.

First, whatever law is passed, there must be NO EXEMPTION in fact for public employees. We all remember Democrats claiming there was no "EXEMPTION" in Obamacare for public employees. That's technically true, because by categorizing the Federal government as their employer and ignoring that tax dollars pay up to 72 percent of their premiums and give them superior benefits that they design for themselves, pubic employees weren't technically EXEMPTED from the law but instead didn't need to use Obamacare because they had Employer Insurance. Naturally, in fact this worked to exempt them from the law. ANY LAW MUST APPLY TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES WITHOUT ANY EXEMPTION IN FACT by using the federal government as employer escape hatch.

Second, look out for Republican plan words like "continuous coverage," which is the INDIVIDUAL MANDATE in fact. This provision means that enormous premium increases can be imposed by insurers for individuals who have a gap in coverage. Getting rid of the individual mandate and continuous coverage provisions is essential for returning the basic consumer right to vote with our dollars and our feet regarding the offerings of the insurance industry for the financial consumer product of health insurance. Guaranteeing the insurers customers with the individual mandate first of all didn't work, which is why Hillary Clinton wanted to offer up more purchasers in the form of illegals to pacify insurers, and second of all discourages insurers from getting customers by creating a product we want to buy.

Third, get rid of free prevention services. These services establish "free" stuff in health care plans for checkups while creating an excuse for charging MORE to individuals for needed medical care which creates several incentives that discourage consumer health: First, defensive medicine is encouraged because providers just send people for checkups (which are covered) creating a cottage industry of diagnosis rather than treatment, forcing people to undergo covered medical "testing" and leaving them often unable to afford medical treatment. Preventive medicine is finite costs, the cost of a test, and therefore should NOT be part of health insurance coverage especially when it's used as an excuse to further reduce coverage for TREATMENT of illness.

This one's going to be tough, because remember Republicans and Democrats like saving government money (as payer) and have jumped on the predatory checkup-preventive coverage over illness coverage to do it. There's also an underbelly of this type of coverage that permits insurers to force individuals to undergo medical exams as "WELLNESS" checks from their employers in order to "BETTER PRICE" their products. This not only forces individuals to obtain checkups but is a back-door way for insurers to do what they've always done, penalize people for RISK of illness.

Fourth, the CDC MUST include medical error in its list of things that kill Americans. It is the third leading cause of death in this country and the fact that it's IGNORED is catastrophic.

Fifth, the Federal government has always had it within its power to provide a safety net of people denied health insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions and with a sweep of the pen implemented such a plan albeit temporary until the misery of Obamacare which provided such a safety net (pre-existing condition insurance plan). Such coverage would also have been possible by expanding Medicare and-or Medicaid to cover these individuals, which is many of us. This smaller entitlement program would be an ideal interim provision until insurance companies, once severed from their governmental partnership with the government and once again answerable to consumers who could choose to purchase their product or not, began to shift their focus from provide less-charge more and disguise that formula with "free" finite costs of checkups.

Most importantly, we must not delude ourselves, Obamacare's predatory exploitation of consumer resources through the establishment of minimum coverage standards and increasing tax penalties for consumers opting out was popular with BOTH parties that exempted themselves in fact through the federal government as employer loophole and embraced the insurance profit model of "preventive" services covering the finite costs of checkups instead of meaningful coverage of needed medical care and services. This means that a Republican win is not enough if the current Republican players whose voices have drowned out the more sensible voice of moderates for years (and have the election losses to prove it) prevail.

For savings, the government should have and could have done several things, first reduced taxpayer and federal government expenses from providing superior benefits to federal employees through the government as employer loophole. It's a disgrace that the government brags that public benefits are better than those in the private sector in recent years because the private sector PAYS for those benefits.

Second the obvious savings of REQUIRING the government to keep track of how much it's spending to "save" money on what it pays out on behalf of insureds, the number the government refused to count. This involves the reversal of the Congressional Budget Office's CHOICE not to count this money.

Third, annual additional federal government Medicaid payments to states that show ADMINISTRATIVE savings, reduction in government staff, streamlined infrastructure, instead of the billions paid to states to "explore" Obamacare and "study" the possibility of having their own exchanges or handing over money to states that will use their resources in such a way. Such a Medicaid incentive would BAN savings paid on behalf of insureds achieved through reduction in the availability of covered services, which is how Obamacare did it.

Fourth, the implementation of a consumer whistleblower program whereby consumers who provide information that leads to the discovery of fraudulent billing can obtain the same rewards as insiders who are whistleblowers, a 10 percent payment of what is recovered shared among those consumers who provided information about Medicaid/Medicare fraud. This would save on staffing and benefits of the Federal government's "fraud" squads.

Fifth, the administrative revocation of the CMS rule enacted under Obamacare that PAYS providers to counsel people for end-of-life, including whether or not they should take a chance on a treatment considering the EXPENSE of such treatment. This is barbaric and costs the government money.

These are just beginning steps that can save the government billions (after all fraud alone costs the government billions by its own estimation).

A vote against Democrats and Obamacare was not a vote for most Republicans and their ideas for "replacement" of Obamacare and that's where consumers must start.

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