Report: Health insurance costs, uninsured to rise under Romney's plans

The cover of a 48-page report released today by Families USA. Uploaded

The cover of a 48-page report released today by Families USA. Uploaded by Karrey Britt

Kansas families buying health insurance would pay nearly twice as much under proposals offered by presidential candidate Mitt Romney than under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, according to a report released today.

Under Obama’s plan, it’s also estimated that 220,000 Kansans would gain insurance coverage by 2016, while under Romney’s plan 90,000 residents would lose coverage.

Families USA, a national nonprofit health consumer organization that claims to be nonpartisan, released a 48-page report that compared three health care plans:

ObamaCare — The Affordable Care Act that passed in 2010.

RomneyCare — The Massachusetts health care insurance reform law signed by then-Governor Mitt Romney in 2006.

• RomneyCandidateCare — Health care proposals of presidential candidate Romney, which include repealing the Affordable Care Act and converting the Medicaid program to a block grant while reducing federal funding provided to states.

The report was produced with the help of three health analysts who participated in the development of both RomneyCare and ObamaCare. It uses 2016 for the comparison because it’s the last year of the next president’ term of office and it is a year where there is full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Ron Pollack, Families USA executive director, said during a teleconference call that the Affordable Care Act and the Massachusetts health plan are similar, but there are stark differences between those and Romney’s health care proposals.

“They are as different as day and night,” Pollack said.

Among the key differences:

170,000 — middle-class Kansans would receive tax credit subsidies to help pay for insurance premiums under ObamaCare in 2016, while 90,000 would receive tax deduction subsidies to help pay for insurance premiums under Romney’s plans.

$4,590 — the average size of those tax credit subsidies under ObamaCare in 2016, while the average size of the RomneyCandidateCare tax deductions subsidies would be $2,621.

281,600 — Kansas Medicare beneficiaries received free preventive services such as colonoscopies and mammograms in 2011 under ObamaCare. These would no longer be free under Romney’s plan.

40,900 — Medicare beneficiaries received help with prescription drug costs under ObamaCare, and the average amount was $610. Such help would be eliminated under RomneyCandidateCare.

Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, helped compile the report. He said he helped with the Massachusetts health care plan and he described it as “an enormous success.” He said it provided a model for the Affordable Care Act and it works because it contains three key elements:

• It made reforms in the insurance markets so people could no longer be discriminated against because they had pre-existing conditions or became sick. According to the report, about 26 percent of nonelderly Kansans, or 627,000, have a pre-existing condition that frequently results in denial of insurance.

• It mandated that everyone buy insurance so health costs were spread among the healthy and sick.

• It included subsidies to help low-income people afford insurance.

“It has been a success by any objective measure,” he said, adding the cost of premiums have decreased. He said the uninsured rate in Massachusetts is 3 percent while the national rate is 18 percent.

For the full report, visit familiesusa.org.

Tagged: pre-existing conditions, Families USA, Affordable Care Act, insurance, health care reform

Comments

Milton Bland 1 year, 6 months ago

I have been diagnosed with a condition that is life-threatening if not corrected by surgery. The good news is the problem can normally be corrected by a specialist. The bad news is I have had a very difficult time finding a doctor who will see me. And that's why I am sharing this.

My insurance is medicare and supplemented by Humana. The insurance is regulated by Obamacare. It says the insurance company must pay out a certain percentage of premiums in doctor's services and limits the amount that can go to overhead. If they don't pay out this amount in doctor's services, they must reimburse the subscriber. (That's us). In my case Humana says they are not allowed to make enough money to pay overhead. So they have sent all their customer service work to Pakastan, India and low wage countries. (Way to provide jobs in the USA!) These people do not understand my situation. I have spent most of last evening and all today trying to find a doctor in my area that will take Humana. The doctor that was recommended to me in a nearby town no longer takes any medicare patients. His office told me they lose too much money on every medicare patient, even those with supplemental insurance. My procedure will run about $5,000. Of that the various staff including nurses and anesthesiologist get paid, and malpractice insurance, office staff, and general overhead total about $4800. The federal government says they can bill medicare $3200. That means they are losing quite a bit of money on every medicare patient. And they will not allow me to pay cash because they are afraid I will be upset and not pay my bill!

Today I saw my primary care doctor. She almost cried., She said this whole thing is such a mess and the Affordable Care Act has just barely been implemented. I asked her to recommend a different insurance company since I am so upset with Humana. She replied that she could be fined by the government if she did so.

I then called the "broker" that sold us the supplemtal insurance., After listening to her for about a half hour, I said "it sounds like Obamacare has anyone over 65 screwed". She said, "you did not hear this from me, but that is exactly right. In a few years there will be very few insurance companies, maybe none. The ones left will be working directly for the government" with basically a single payer which is what Obama wants. She went on to say insurance companies are already training customer service personnel to ask medical questions and decide what a patient qualifies for. No doctor, nor even nurse, will be involved.

I then called the State Insurance Commissioner. I heard the same thing from his secretary. She said it does not look good for anyone in the medical field. Salaries will be limited, fees will be set by the government. And she said you had better be in good health when you hit 65. Not that it matters, but I believe the commissioner is a Democrat. (I do not live in Kansas)

I REALLY HATE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT!

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stuart 1 year, 6 months ago

Does not really matter if you are pro Obama anyway, Romney will win Kansas. So why bother?

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Jean Robart 1 year, 6 months ago

Don't believe what they say. This is only a scare tactic to get people to vote for reelection of the worst president in our country's history.

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gravitykills 1 year, 6 months ago

My insurance went up and we still don't have the 30 million more on board yet. Those are hard facts.

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LegendaryBeast 1 year, 6 months ago

Here are the facts as they pertain to me personally. When Obamacare passed, my health insurance costs dropped by a few bucks per month. The coverage was EXACTLY the same as it was the day before passage. I don't care which set of stats and figures you freaks think are true. Blow all you want to about who's plan costs more and who's plan covers less. Facts are facts and dollars are dollars. And Obamacare is saving me dollars while providing the exact coverage I had before Obamacare. If saving a few bucks a month for the exact same coverage is "Pro-Obama spin", then sign me up for more of THAT spin! That's the kind of spin that makes MY life better! Obama has my vote!

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Michael Rowland 1 year, 6 months ago

Is it too much to ask for something set up so I can buy reasonable health insurance (I can go to the doctors without wiping out my savings) at a price that also won't wipe out my savings or cost more than my rent? It's already way to close to my rent.

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patkindle 1 year, 6 months ago

this is why we need to goose step to the rock chock chant when we vote for obama, hope and change you know

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Scut Farkus 1 year, 6 months ago

The sad part is that all those families who would be impacted are still going to vote for Romney. "My granddaddy and daddy voted Republican so that's good enough for me". Kansans were warned about Brownback and look how that turned out.

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MacHeath 1 year, 6 months ago

Its kind of hard to tell who to listen to in this debate. I worked in the healthcare industry for many years, and I can say this: Don't believe anything you hear from the healthcare lobby. This includes doctors, hospital CEO's, and insurance companies. They all believe that their reimbursements will greatly decrease if the so-called "Obamacare" which is really "oldRomneycare" stays in effect. They may be right...but, this may not be a bad thing. Right now, doctors and hospitals have no problem problem getting paid for whatever service they can justify. They make more money doing this. I am not saying that all these charges are not needed...but, obviously some are not. You can do the sour grape thing, and call this rationing, or you can take the sweet lemon approach, and call this a needed adjustment. It certainly will not be any worse than Medicare is now, and I believe that it will improve Medicare, in the long haul, by widening Medicare's scope. You should have heard the wails of doom when Clinton took office...

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Bud Stagg 1 year, 6 months ago

What a crock this report is. My insurance guy just explained all the obamacare stuff to my company. This report greatly differs from what the guy who deals with this on a daily basis is telling me. For example, Mammograms for one are no longer covered until after 50, that means preventative screenings, you have to pay for out of pocket. who is going to do that? Don't believe everything you read and hear from the media, they are too biased.

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UltimateGrownup 1 year, 6 months ago

This article is propaganda that is intended to fool readers. Obamacare makes the health care system worse and more expensive at the same time. It's like trading a new Toyota Corolla for a rusty old Hyundai, while paying the Hyundai owner. Obamacare will lead to health care rationing, waiting months for treatment, lower physician standards, and the government -- not the doctor and patient -- deciding what to do about a person's health. At least Romney would hit the low-hanging fruit by making lawyer-enriching malpractice lawsuits harder to do.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 6 months ago

Romney will lose

President Obama will win re-election

Rush Limbaugh will be selling tea bags with Palin's photo (along with his other dittocrap)..

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optimist 1 year, 6 months ago

http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/09/27/families-usas-fatally-flawed-comparison-of-obamacare-and-romneys-health-reform-plan/

Here is the dispute to the story. This author admits his bias and backs up his claims. In order to come to their conclusions Families USA had to take everything the Obama administration says about the Affordable Act as truth despite the fact that we know that the law either double counts $716 billion in Medicare money or robs that money from Medicare. The problem is we don't yet know which is true and won't until after the election. It isn't until the next presidential term that this will have to be addressed and it will be addressed not by passing legislation but rather by the Secretary of HHS with the swipe of his/her pen. A lot of fuzzy math here.

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BrooksideJayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

No doubt you can provide us with a link to that story, Center.

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Centerville 1 year, 6 months ago

This piece of political shillery was printed today because yesterday the AP reported that, thanks to Obamacare, health insurance will cost $3,000 more per family next year.

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sowhatnow 1 year, 6 months ago

Point taken. They do at least appear to be pro-obamacare. And, what's bad about being progressive? Regressive is better?

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toe 1 year, 6 months ago

Romney is toast. The electorate demands free stuff that nondescript rich people pay for in retribution for their wealth.

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