Press Releases

Obamacare Is Full Of Surprises, AMAC

AMAC Dan Weber The Association of Mature American Citizens AMACAmong the newest revelations is that subsidies for low and middle income families have ‘strings attached’ – 

BOHEMIA, NY, Apr 5 – “Nancy Pelosi warned that there would be plenty of surprises in the Affordable Care Act and she was right.  It’s almost as if we hear about new and unpleasant revelations each week,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

Among the newest disclosures is that the government subsidies Obamacare will provide starting in 2014 for those who need help buying private health coverage have strings attached, Weber warned.

He explained that the size of your subsidy, if you are eligible, is directly related to your income.  So, if you get a subsidy based on your previous year’s earnings and you get a raise or your spouse gets a new job and you wind up making more than anticipated, you’ll wind up having to pay back part of the subsidy you received.

“To add insult to injury, you will not receive the subsidy directly; the payment goes directly to your insurance provider.  But, the bill for any repayments required on your part will come directly out of your pocket at tax time.”

The Associated Press reported that a preliminary draft of the insurance subsidy application “runs 15 pages for a three-person family, but nowhere does it warn people that they may have to repay part of the subsidy if their income increases.”

The AP report quoted Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., chairman of the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee, who commented that: “It’s potentially going to come as a shock to individuals who meet that criteria where their income hits a point where they owe money back.  The fact is, with variations in income, people could end up owing money back and that will create consternation and problems for them.”

Obamacare called for the establishment of state insurance exchanges where users can choose a health care plan that suits them and the subsidies will be paid directly to the provider resulting in a discounted premium.

“Twenty-six states have decided not to establish these exchanges, so it is unclear how the subsidies will be administered and provided to individuals in those venues,” Weber said.

 

NOTE TO EDITORS: Dan Weber is available for telephone interviews on this issue.  Editors/reporters may contact John Grimaldi at 917-846-8485 or [email protected] to set up a call. 
ABOUT AMAC
The Association of Mature American Citizens [http://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital and conservative alternative to those organizations, such as AARP, that dominate the choices for mature Americans who want a say in the future of the nation.  Where those other organizations may boast of their power to set the agendas for their memberships, AMAC takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests, and offering a conservative insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.

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Rodney
8 years ago

For those of you on here commenting on articles from AMAC. President Weber made comments that the Sequestration will Create Havoc for seniors. The members comments section was nearly 100 % condemnation of his words…and most members were either canceling AMAC or not going to renew their membership. AMAC has already taken that article down before more members read it. I have informed them I intend to pound on AMAC for his comments until he is gone as the AMAC leader or until the membership drops so much that AMAC is no longer a viable alternative to AARP. The very fact they pulled this article this quickly shows how scared AMAC leadership is of the nearly 100 % condemnation that article was getting from the members. Now you know folks…until Weber is gone…AMAC can never be the conservative alternative to AARP. Demand Weber be replaced immediately. Demand the article be put back up for everyone to read…no hiding the truth about AMAC leadership. Do you see the article here on Mr. Weber page of articles. Or in the email they sent to members containing this article. NO…they pulled it very quickly after the membership condemnation.

Sequestration Plays Havoc With the Lives of Senior Citizens, Says AMAC

http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=6364228&msgid=25204&act=VJA0&c=1335715&destination=http%3A%2F%2Famac.us%2Fsequestration-plays-havoc-with-the-lives-of-senior-citizens-says-amac

Cher S.
8 years ago

Snopes.com consistently denies that there are “death panels” in “ObamaCare.” Would you like to set them straight? AMAC sent a petition to me today, and I need to have some assurance that others are getting the message when they search that well-known website, Snopes.com. Please let me know how it goes.
Thank you.

TVOL
8 years ago

I am 70 years old and very active. I am not ready for the Death Panel inquisition. This terrible trashy legisislation needs to be destroyed and the Promoters tried for treason and imprisoned.

Leo
8 years ago

What everyone is forgetting, is the huge role the Media, Hollywood, Television, and the Music industry plays. I think many of you are coming down too hard on our Republican leaders. The Media used to be the watchdog for the American people. They used to shed light on both political parties when they committed crimes, fraud, graft, and abuse of power. Sadly these organizations today are not watchdogs but, instead lap dogs for the Democraps.
I can see how our Republican leaders are fearful of them. Just look and see who’s careers and lives these scum have destroyed! The minute a conservative rises up and starts to galvanizes the people the media sets out to destroy or discredits them. They put a target on Rush Linbaugh and discredited him as a pill popper, Dr. Laura spoke out for decency and they dredged up nude photos of her and picketed her station, Sarah Palin’s career and family were ruthlesslly demeaned by Saturday Night Live and the rest of the media, Newt Gendrich was once a powerful figure ditto for him! Paul Ryan has been savages, Rommney.was blamed for the death of a woman with no healthcare and potrayed shoving a woman in a wheelchair over a cliff, And no president has been villified and demeaned as bad has George W. Bush. Did you notice how his father was portrayed decentlly only when he was teaming up with that PIG Cliton?
On that earlier post the person said the elderly people were afraid of losing their medicare and were gonna vote for Obama, you think they got that idea from the campaign? No. They got it from the nightly news, The Tonight Show, their favorite TV shows, and the movies they watched.
I’m sorry folks it doesn’t matter what message the Tea Party ( You noticed how the Tea Party has been portrayed) or any other conservative or Republican tries to get out to the public. We are always going to lose the public debate. If you have the ability to get out of this country, please do so. For the rest of us, we must hunker down because, the end times are coming. The signs are all there. Good will be called bad and bad will be called good, Man will lay down with Man etc, etc… Look at Revelations it’s all there. Peace be with you Brothers and Sisters. We will not have to be here for the coming cesspool this world will become.

midgeesma
8 years ago
Reply to  Leo

Leo you’re a man after my own heart. Only thing though, we republicans are going to HAVE TO keep on trying. We can’t just give up. We need to speak up during sessions like the dem dongs do. We need to be more aggressive. Our party has become meek & weak and afraid to even speak up. It’s disgusting the way they don’t stand up for our rights. If Bamma was a republican, do you think he would still be president? ABSOLUTELY NOT. The Dem Dongs would have impeached him a long time ago. Here we sit with a NON- AMERICAN president and we do NOTHING. It’s high time us republicans get to work. There’s plenty of evidence out there to impeach Bamma. LET’S GET TO IT!!!!!

PeggyLynn
8 years ago

The first RED flag was when Obamacare was passed without ANYONE in congress knowing what was in it! What does that tell you. Every Congressman should have been run out of Washington. The President talks a good game but watch what he does. He tells you what you want to hear but he delivers something different. It’s called LYING! He came from a culture that despises Christian principles and was a member of a church that the main message for 20 years was for God to Damn America. And we are suprised that he is dismantling a premier medical system, wanting to collect our money, and our guns. His early life filled with activist, Communisum and Marxist view that we are hearing today. The fact that he even asked the DOJ for a review regarding fighting so-called terriorist on American soil with armed drones, tells me that he probably hasn’t even read the Constitution much less studyied it.
But,as Hillary would say, Who Cares?! All his records are sealed. As far as Benghazi, just when is the President NOT available?? Yes, he is African-American and my friends tell me it was such a great feeling when he was elected. The barrier has been broken, but I feel he uses people and concepts to HIS advantage. We are in for a long…four year!

Lise from Maine
8 years ago

Hi!

Obama has handlers, and if he doesn’t do what they want, then something
awful will happen to him.

Look what happened to Kennedy.

Thank you!

Desert Rat
8 years ago

If you doubt where this country is heading, click on the link below…….

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rrjU-HBkmLE?feature=player_detailpage

Mike
8 years ago

I think we need to trash Obammer and his Obammercare NOW! This guy is leading the USA around by the nose or ba*&s and no one seems to care and NO ONE can stop him!! He, Joe, Nancy and a few others needs removed from office and the sooner the better!

Don
8 years ago
Reply to  Mike

I remember as a child ” Chicken Little” the sky is falling.
Have you noticed how everything comrade obama wants must be NOW!

Don’t read anything just do as I tell you.

What happened to check and balance – Senate and House.
All became lying wimps, like obama “Americas’s Biggest loser”

Thomas-Avery Blair
8 years ago

Obamacare is basic Euthenasia, Part II (Part I was Roe-vs-Wade leading to over 50,000,000 abortions). Those who voted for him and his agenda should be utterly ashamed for doing so because they chose a “buy now and let my kids pay later” disfunctional socialist welfare-based-economy and policies that will lead to the downfall of the USA.

I hold the Republican Party also 50% responsible and have dropped my membership altogether for the mess our nation is in. I now support the Tea Party and watch how each and every Representative and Senator votes. The Republican party has gutless and failed leadership, failed policies, failed ethics and almost total corruption of our Constitution during their 30-year-plus watch. I see no real or significant differences anymore between the Demo-rats or the Rinos (Republican by Name Only), and I have learned about and now understand fully why The Federal Reserve was designed to fail financially to the benefit of the few and to the detriment of the vast majority of Americans for generations, even those yet unborn.

Too bad more caring American citizens never read the book “The Creature From Jekyll Island” to see clearly that the agenda set in 1910 and the establishment of both The Federal Reserve (actually the Third Bank of the US but re-named because people knew historically about why the first two lost their federal charters…and because “The Federal Reserve” sounded more like some kind of federal piggy bank) and the 16th Amendment that lead directly to a federal income tax and to the complex code now administered by The Department of the Treasury/Internal Revenue Service.

I don’t personally even expect to physically or financially survive ObamaCare, and I pity those who draw breath in the next few years…they have no real or sound idea yet how much misery they brought upon our nation and working taxpayers, retirees, and future generations. I strongly believe there will be a bloodletting, but I also pray that our nation will repent of its core of evil against God Almighty and ask God’s forgiveness in Jesus’ name, and that He effect intervention into the lives of all those who still love America who must try to rebuild in whole or in part what we working Americans have failed to protect and are about to lose,

Pat T.
8 years ago

I totally agree with you. I am also very upset that the Republicans did absolutely nothing about all the rampant voter fraud. It was as though they were either blind, deaf or simply did not care. I will send them no money anymore and instead, support the Tea Party.

Carol Durand
8 years ago
Reply to  Pat T.

Not only did Republicans neglect to address the rampant voter fraud, they become less significant by the day. The Tea Party and related grasssroots organizations have become the only fighting chance real patriots have to stop this social/Communist TAKEOVER of our beloved America. I Pray that God will hear our prayers.

Bob Sonnelitter
8 years ago

The evils of Obamacare must be spread throughout the country. Too many people vote based on their emotions without knowledge of the facts. Although there are many who really don’t want to be informed, the more of us who are informed can only be good. I would gladly participate in any effort to sift through the many pages of the Obamacare law and related regulations to identify the ways the law is counter productive and the ways it reduces our personal liberties.

Ralph L Mason
8 years ago

Greetings to all out there concerned about our country now and for the future. I sat down this morning and completed a Survey from “Ask America Nationwide Policy Survey a Special Project of the Republican Party”, which hit on many of the issues and concerns I think we all express in this blog. I was able express concern able about the need for change in The Republican Party Campaign Strategy, how it must reach out to broader voting base. Will it help, at least it won’t hurt?

The Derb
8 years ago

I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.

AJS
8 years ago
Reply to  The Derb

9 of the scariest words ever uttered.

RayP
8 years ago

I agree with the comments about AARP. Lets continue to talk them down and convert people to AMAC. It’s a place to start for the average person.

mike v
8 years ago

ObamaCare is here to stay. I work medical see pts. every day – who are angry, unsure & seeking care. ObamaCare needs to be changed & dismantled piece by piece. Also need tort reform & buying insurance across state lines.

kris Littlefield
8 years ago

There are so many Socialists, Communists and Marxists in the White House today I don’t know if we’ll ever get it back. I could kick myself for not paying more attention to what was going on. I don’t even trust most of my fellow Republicans. Where are all the leaders? Where is the media? There are probably 50 books out about Obama and you can go online and check out all these people that he has appointed, and their politics but yet he got elected at least once, I’m not so sure the second time was legitimate. We’re going to have to do something or else we are going to wind up with a one party system. That’s what they’re pushing for. I was shocked when I found out that Socialists, Communists, Marxists and criminals are teaching our kids at Universities all over this country. It’s scary. It’s no wonder so many young people voted for Obama. We need a plan………

Angela M. Rosati
8 years ago

obama is president not because of the “content of his character” but because of the “color of his skin”. Most of our frightened politicians will not oppose him because they don’t want to be labled racist. I guess stupid is a better lable.
Angela

Wendy
8 years ago

You hit it on the head. That is why a black man was chosen by all these progressive dems. to put it nicely.They knew any one questioning him on anything in this politically correct society would be labeled a racist. Most of the younger generation have not been taught correct history,that is why they do not know the Democratic party was against the civil rights bill in 1964. We had a senator who was a democrat who was also a member of the KKK and the party didn’t try to hide it. The democrats were for slavery during the civil war. Corrections need to be made at the education level. The truth needs to be taught. Not the trumped up lies of these socialists teaching in our schools from K to college. This I fear is our largest problem. DUMB DOWN the younger generations before they start to vote. then you have your sheeple. I was Republican voter for years.I no longer support that party.I am looking into the Tea Party. I also like the guts and determination of Rand Paul.

Chuck Johnston
8 years ago

Don’t forget Muslims trying to instate sharia law.

Richard J.
8 years ago

I so miss the America that I grew up in! The last election pretty well did me in. I knew Obama would win because so many modern day prophets saw it coming. When we throw God out, he will allow us to reap what we have sown. God IS in control; however, I do not think that HE expects us to roll over and just accept the worlds standards. I have been reading about the Nazis and Hitler in Germany and their rise to power. There are many similarities in what I see taking place in our country. The democrats are socialists pure and simple. I work at a large retirement facility and talked to several “older” (older than me) folks and heard repeatedly that most of them would vote for Obama because they were scared to death that the republicans would take away all of their benefits. I cannot understand why people of the “greatest generation” could be so gullable. Obama is a liar. We who care about this country MUST start educating our friends and neighbors about the truth! There is so much more to America than the economy!! If we lose our Constitutional rights, we have lost everything. We all need to repent and pray that God will bring about a spiritual revival first and also open the eyes of Americans to the TRUTH. Talk to people about the 2014 elections and make them realize what is at stake if the democrats get the majority vote. In the mean time we all need to start writing our elected representatives and tell them that we will not accept their socialistic agenda anymore. Flood the offices of everyone including the president. Send letters to the judges as well. Do what you can do! If we don’t do anything, we deserve what we will get. Time is almost gone folks, another 4 years of this garbage and we won’t be able to right this ship, it is already listing heavily to one side. Wake up America! It will take a grass roots effort to change our countrys future. Time is of the essence. Good luck!

Michael Portner
8 years ago

Frankly there is an answer and that comes to us in, 2014. Between now and then we must stop the complaining, the wineing, and statements designed to incite violence. We must get off our fannies and help elect representatives who may not be perfect but who are far better than those currently screwing up our lives. We can complain till the cows come home or become very active with republican seekers or the Tea party and be prepared to use some shoe leather to get the message out and the voter to the polls. I suspect this is far better than trying to start some violent activities which will only bring about Marshall law!

Ralph L Mason
8 years ago

Michael Portner, I agree with your comments, which are positive toward the future, instead of complaining about the present situation. We must try to influence the Independents, Moderate Conservatives, and those in the middle. I think the Political Right activities of the last two Presidential Elections have alienated this voting group. We cannot change the Liberals or those who want the Federal/State Benefits.

Angela M. Rosati
8 years ago

Michael and Richard:
You are right! We must write to our reps and senators. I’ve written to my heavily Democratic politicians, who proudly say they voted for obamacare (lower case deliberate), not even knowing what was in it. Unconstitutional, to say the least. I’ve even copied items from THE INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY, which tells it like it is and snail mailed it to them. I guess they’ll wrap garbage in those copies. The Gay furor is covering up a more important issue: BENGAHZI. We want the truth. Washington consideres the American people fools. I’M OFFENDED!!!!!!!!!!!!
Angela

Alice
8 years ago

If there were a way to take away the senators and house members health insurance and make them use obamacare, we would have it fixed in a jiffy. All those rats aren’t even on obamacare……if it’s good enough for ‘we the people’, it should be good enough for them.

Wanda
8 years ago
Reply to  Alice

We need to get rid of Obama care as well as Obama, then everyone working for the government should be put on medicare and social security and let them get an IRA. Obama Care is just a way of letting you die. There is no shortage of money for medicare or social security if they would stop borrowing from it (should call it stealing). Get rid of the illegals NOW, anyone not born in this country by at least one legal parent is not a citizen (send them back to). Stop most of the welfare and put people back to work by stop the outsourcing of jobs. If the big corporations want to use India, China, Pakistan, etc. charge them an excise fee of $500 a person per week for hiring outside of this country. Lower the corporation fees and make it better to hire American. Get out of the United Nations, we should be tired of supporting them by now. Stop all foreign aid. Do politicians have a brain or do they think we are there unlimited money source. The National Debt could be paid off in 10 years just doing the above. If Americans are working they are paying taxes buying things like cars, homes, clothes, etc. Taxes come from all of that.

Evelyn
8 years ago
Reply to  Wanda

Wanda! I like how you think! I agree with you wholeheartedly! Now we need to see how to implement this plan. I’m sure it would work!

Jeanie Otis
8 years ago
Reply to  Wanda

I agree whole heartedly, we need to get rid of everyone in the present White HOuse. Starting with Obama, his wife, who spends enough money that would stop a lot of the deficit, to Pelosi, Harry Reid, Biden, and most of the Liberal Democrats who by the way, think they are above having to have our Insurance, our life style because they are living high on the hog off of our money. They are stealing our Social Security to give to the illegal immagrants and those who are on welfare and food stamps. Now they want to disarm the common people who want to defend themselves and let the criminals continue to have weapons. Wake up America you are living in a shell if you can’t see just how hard Obama is trying to rule this country. Now we have to worry about North Korea who has built up there nuclear weapons, while Obama has cut a lot of ours down. We used to be the strongest Nation in the World, we are slipping away because stupid people voted that Muslim back in. Our tax debt could be lowered by a bunch by stopping all the flying all over the world by Michelle Obama and her entorauge.

Sharon
8 years ago
Reply to  Alice

You are so RIGHT. America needs alot alot and alot of Prayers. May God Help us. Sharon

Barb45
8 years ago
Reply to  Alice

I so agree. There needs to be an amendment that makes them not benefit any more than those they represent. They should not get an income for life when they leave and they should have to have the same insurance as put on those they are suppose to serve.

Amy
8 years ago
Reply to  Alice

AMEN to that!

Gary Carnes
8 years ago
Reply to  Alice

WE DON’T HEAR THIS KIND OF QUESTION OFTEN ENOUGH! STRANGELY WITH ALL OF THE RIDERS ON
OBAMACARE THIS WASN’T ONE OF THEM; ALMOST MAKES YOU THINK THAT OBAMA DIDN’T WANT TO
INCITE A RIOT FROM WITHIN THE RANKS OF DC. BABY SCREAMS LOUDLY WHEN YOU TAKE THE CANDY
AWAY!

Bill Michaels
8 years ago

Analsys of Scripture leads me to the idea that all evil, all sin, comes fromour selfishness. We now have a world where unselfishness id distrusted and asumed to be evil. Conclusion whst else do you sxpect.

Jim Long
8 years ago

Don’t give up! Those of us who left AARP must talk to others who have not. Obamacare will soon limit what Medicare will allow. Obama and his folks will not deny care directly but economic value of persons being treated will become a factor. Thus, it will become harder and harder for a senior to get a knee replacement or heart by-pass surgery. Why? Because a senior’s economic value is not enough to justify the cost. This is a basic philosophy of the architects of Obamacare.

If you don’t want federal bureaucrats and democratic elites running our lives and ruining the future for our kids and grand kids, speak up and don’t get bought by “free stuff” because it is not free. I do not know even one democrat elitist who really is for individual freedom and hard working, patriotic folks. Do you?

Amy
8 years ago

For all that Pres. Obama complains about how nasty health insurance companies are, he sure has given them a big gift. This is NOT single payor healthcare as they have in Canada & the UK. To be single payor, they’d have had to expand Medicare to cover everyone.
I know this is a long post, but this is the real reason it costs so much to get healthcare now.
When I got too sick to work as a hospital bedside nurse, I took a 33% paycut just to keep working (which is why, now, when I’ve had to go on disability when I wish I could work, I get really ticked off at the assumption made by so many of my fellow conservatives that those of us on disability are lazy…of course some game the system, but no lazy person would take a pay cut to keep working & endure being loaded with the work of 6 people just to keep a job = which is what made me too sick to work as I was also caring for a sick mom & husband & a type 1 autoimmune diabetic son at home!).
The jobs I took at that point were in IT, helping & then being in occupational health, education, & while in education, I had to learn a LOT about how insurance “worked,” Federal regulations/Corporate Compliance, risk management, billing, Medicare & Medicaid regulations, regulatory standards & agencies (JCAHO is BY FAR not the only one; I’d guess there are close to 50 specialty groups who run their own inspection & certification for various departments in the hospital/clinic/etc.& the health care facility has to pay for the inspection, for fancy hotels even if the inspectors live less than 5 miles from the site, pay per diem & travel, & entertain them at expensive venues so they’re not in a bad mood when they inspect the place, on top of the fees & fines for things they don’t pass).
BTW, if you’re looking for culprits for the ridiculous things insurance companies try to wiggle out of paying, you should know they are only following the Government’s lead. MEDICARE IS BY FAR THE WORST SLOW PAY/NO PAY INSURANCE OUT THERE. The government expects civilian companies to pay for things Medicare won’t touch. If YOU ran an insurance company, & saw the government get away with refusing to pay for some expensive item while they expected you to pay for it, what would YOU do? Refuse to pay for it, too? Yet, no one EVER blames Medicare/Medicare for denials & slow pay/no pay – all they do is fault private insurers (BOTH should be faulted). Also, for at least 3 decades now, Medicare has balked at paying for cancer treatments for anyone over 72, on the basis that they’re “old” & will likely die anyway. They do pay if the patient/family is smart enough to get that into the media – but since the media is still osculating Barack Obama’s gluteus maximus so much that they seem to be fighting to do so first, longest, etc., it is probably hard to get them to pay attention. If you can, though, there’s usually enough of an uproar to get very basic (the cheapest they can get away with) treatment for the cancer.
On to what has REALLY raised the price of healthcare.
I also can tell you if a hospital buys a computer system, even if it doesn’t have modules for the ER, OR & associated areas, outpatient, imaging, & rehab,& no customizations that doctors demand, for one hospital in the late 1990s the cost was $10 MILLION dollars (that also did NOT include the computer systems & workstations required to run the system, nor the network to connect it, which was easily in the high 6 figure range). If you added all the missing modules (& esp if the company that sold the base system didn’t have those modules or they didn’t work the way the facility wanted), you would easily double the cost due to interfaces needed for one system to communicate with the others. Facilities have to hire more IT personnel as well, esp.interface & database management types. The salary for ONE of those people would pay for 2 nurses, so they start cutting (actually, closing open positions & claiming the ones still open are enough for safe patient care – something with which many people would strongly disagree – by closing the positions, they eliminate them from the staffing count & make staffing look complete for the regulatory agencies, all of whom apparently don’t have the common sense to figure out what’s going on – the publicity about new nursing grads who can’t get jobs when there’s a severe healthcare professional shortage that has led to an increase in medical errors despite checklists in many cases SHOULD give them their first clues to how bad it is). Meanwhile, while the government is forcing healthcare facilities to buy computer systems, the customizations in legal setup & billing insurers from state to state alone can stop one system by the same company from communicating with another by the same vendor in a different state, meaning they have to print out the chart anyway & FAX it – yes, I said fax it – to the receiving facility. If you have imaging done, you have to either get a print out of the digital image or have it “burned” to a CD to take to your new/additional HC professional. What most people DON’T know is that the government INSISTS ON HANDWRITTEN NOTES from rehab professionals, social workers, case managers, & dietitians, & will not accept even a computer printout signed by hand on each page. In addition, the VA & military healthcare facilities ARE computerized – using a programming language that was defunct in the 1970s! Every time they try to update it things get worse. My spouse is retired military & they recently upgraded the pharmacy system. It crashes at least twice a month – some claim it does so weekly. It stays out of commission for as long as a month at a time, something the old system didn’t do, & it is LESS efficient at physician order entry than the old system was. They can force their enlisted programmers to work 24/7 on stuff, & they can afford to hire regular staff &/or travel & agency nurses to fill their rosters – something that, with new Obamacare regs & the price for computer systems, no civilian facility can afford. Therefore, between having enough nurses & techs, & having rules that you can’t sue for substandard care (except in cases of wrongful death or loss of conjugal relations) unless you get the government’s permission to sue (figure how often they’d say “yes” to THAT request!), they also have very LOW legal expenses, & they don’t have to pay people to review charts in preparation for lawsuits. So, they have much lower computer standards than they allow for civilian facilities. Now, in civilian facilities, billing has to be automated, too. HIPAA is so complex that civilian hospitals have to hire special companies to take the heat for them for any inadvertent errors (& HIPAA gets more complex every single year) – but those medical records had best be automated. If I’m not mistaken, if it hasn’t become a condition yet, it soon will that paper chart items have to be scanned into the medical record. Yet, the VA is FAAAAAAAR behind on PAPER claims. Their solution was not to scan the paper into an automated system – it was to shore up the near-to-collapsing (from the weight of all the paperwork) floor & put in more FILING CABINETS. As a result, all those young people I see when I go to Walter Reed Bethesda’s brand new hospital (mostly merged with the Navy hospital), those people who are paralyzed, have lost sometimes 4 limbs, are scarred up, they are waiting 2 – 3 YEARS for the VA to consider their claims. Meanwhile, no one will hire vets (except a few rare companies) because they are all assumed to have PTSD (thanks in large part to the media’s portrayal of all soldiers as psychological wrecks, something that was never done to WWII or Korean vets – it started with the Vietnam vets that little to nothing was done to them & no one hired them). Medics trained in combat medicine are lucky to get a hospital job mopping floors part time because the military doesn’t make sure they’re certified in at least one state (that way, they can force them to go career, but if they’re wounded, they can no longer be career military). What they know about handling trauma would put many of the people in shock trauma centers to shame, but all that education is going to waste for stupid stuff – they’re not even allowed to take the test for certification unless they go back to school to learn what they already know. The Feds make so many stupid laws – I would think they could make a law that having been a medic allowed you to take EMT courses 3 times before they make them return to school. Same thing goes for people trained to fix helicopters & airplanes, vehicles, trained in the use of media (news/weather, etc.),, trained imaging techs (x-rays, ultrasounds, MRI/MRA, CAT scans etc.), & IT. We NEED these people, but no one will hire them unless they get a state certification, which is a bit tricky to do in a battle zone, or when you’re forced to work long hours that preclude tests & school once you get back to the US.
Oh, yeah, another thing from the corporate compliance angle: SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley), a complex set of Federal regulations designed to ensure IT privacy (among other things) DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS HIPAA in many places. IT departments are especially hard-hit by SOX and HIPAA both – meaning they cannot obey both sets of rules, so they will always have to pay a fine. All they can do is switch whom they’ll offend from one set of inspections to another – to the tune of, with HIPAA, around $11,000 A DAY until they are satisfied you fixed it – PER OCCURRENCE. That means if you upset the inspector 10 times, it’s 10 X $11,000 A DAY ($110,000 a day). until they’re happy – and they are NEVER happy; if you fix it properly, they & the government lose all those fines.
NOW, does THAT tell you the REAL REASON that healthcare is so expensive? Just getting a claim paid practically requires 2 billing specialists, meanwhile, the facility goes unpaid for their work. So, they’re paying for IT staff, new & up to date computers & systems, big legal staff, corporate compliance lawyers, etc., plus all those surveyors who inspect for these regulatory agencies, plus the state, sometimes local, & federal inspectors (the government ones are rude, often slovenly, no people skills, & if they can’t find a mistake, will lie on the forms & claim they found a mistake). Aside from the costs listed above so far, there are a lot more. I’d bet that using only one regulatory agency, having people be reasonable about errors & acknowledge that all the rules were obeyed instead of having to have a planted error to punish so they’ll leave, would cut costs enough to hire more nurses & keep patients safer.
Obviously, aside from exempting all the rich congresspersons from Obamacare (raising our taxes to pay for THEIR Cadillac care while we go for long lines & “end of life” counseling (next stop, Dr. Kevorkian), the fact is that nothing has changed in how many lawyers, IT staff, billers, etc., are needed by the civilian sector. The REAL reasons prices got so high for healthcare include health insurance companies, over-regulation that takes resources AWAY FROM PATIENTS & PUTS THEM TOWARD MAKING GOVERNMENT REGULATORS “HAPPY.” Eliminate the over-regulation, frivolous lawsuits, & IT systems that will likely never “talk” to each other & you’d have a lot more money to hire staff (esp. nurses) to keep patients safe & healthy.

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