Following on my successful series of seminars and webinars for the VSCPA, MaSCPA, MeSCPA and AICPA, I’ve posted a flash version of the slides that deal with the ‘reforms” to health insurance at https://www.cpa.net/resource/slides/

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” The sage Mr.Clements seems to have foreseen the failed attempt to derail the ACA.

“Never try to anticipate what fools will do, lest you become a fool yourself in the effort.” My own admonition to prognosticators who “bet the ranch” on predictions as to the ultimate outcome of the ACA. Hedging is in order.

Copyright Mark O. Dietrich, 2013, All Rights Reserved. 🙂

On the other hand, I confess that the scale of Obamacare’s failures is beyond my imagination – with security breaches, identity theft, and complete failure in website design that the Massachusetts’ Health Connector implemented before the 2012 election. Nonetheless, as a CPA, I suppose that a wild imagination is inconsistent with the profession and I take ongoing comfort knowing that my factual analysis in 2010 indicated it would fail. There’s no accounting for taste … or accounting for turning the proverbial blind eye to the facts in Washington.

More incredulity here about the exchange between Sec Sebelius and Cong Dingle. Here is what healthcare.gov actually says about grandfathered plans – and it is wholly inconsistent with the testimony.

“What grandfathered plans do and don’t have to cover

Here’s a quick look at the consumer protections that do and don’t apply to grandfathered plans:

All health plans must:

End lifetime limits on coverage
End arbitrary cancellations of health coverage
Cover adult children up to age 26
Provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), a short, easy-to-understand summary of what a plan covers and costs
Hold insurance companies accountable to spend your premiums on health care, not administrative costs and bonuses”

Each of the first three mandatory benefit changes has dramatic cost implications and would lead to cancellation of existing policies that do not conform and their replacement with a new, more expensive policy that does conform. The last one – deliberately misleading in the fashion presented – actually requires insurers in the individual and small group market to spend at least 85% of premiums on medical care. Also a dramatic premium “increaser.” State law regulates when insurers are required to issue policy cancellation notices.

Notwithstanding abuses in some states by insurers, not all of that difference between the mandatory 85% and historical spending was for “administrative costs and bonuses.” Some went as commissions to agents who sold the policies – that is how they make their living; some went to reserves because of the extreme actuarial volatility in the individual market; and administering individual policies is considerably more expensive.

Have not seen the suddenly awakened media address the employers who escape Obamacare – unless they choose to dump employees into the Exchanges. Self-insured employers are subject to very few of Obamacare’s provisions. Here is a slide from a October, 2010!

large ers from 2010

And here is a link to a piece that explains why Unions woke up to the hazards of Obamacare.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-14/obamas-union-allies-want-a-big-obamacare-gift

Completely exasperating to listen every day to all the feigned surprise over policy cancellations, premium increases and the failed insurance exchanges, to say nothing of the 3 years of blatant misrepresentations about Obamacare. Anyone – ANYONE – who bothered to read the law, the Congressional Research Service analyses of various provisions, my BLOG(!) or even the very regulations issued by HHS would have seen it in Black and White. Better yet, Supreme Court Justice Alito raised many of the same issues in his questioning of the federal government lawyer who defended this sad piece of legislation.

I was dumbfounded at the exchange today between HHS Sec Sebelius and Congressman Dingle claiming that cancellation notices on individual market plans were purportedly solely at the discretion of the insurer since those plans were “grandfathered.” See https://www.healthcare.gov/what-if-i-have-a-grandfathered-health-plan/ , the Obamacare website.

Below is a slide from my 2012 Reform course on the “grandfather” limitations – qualifying is generally regarded as nearly impossible.

slide 1030 post

Sudden surprise at the major media outlets that Obamacare results in policy cancellations and big premium increases! Here is a little hint from my 2011 Reform courses.2011 slide

I am pleased to have been dead right on what a fiasco Obamacare would be, notably the Exchanges. 3 years ago I devoted a considerable portion of my book to looking at the Massachusetts Exchange, a/k/a the Connector, including screen shots, to demonstrate how ridiculous the idea was. You may as well ask people to order cars starting with the pistons, fuel injectors, electrical wiring etc.

That said, the idea was so incredibly naive that it required no great predictive ability to foresee a disaster. The crime is that the press failed to do its job, during the “debate” before the bill was passed on a parliamentary maneuver and until after the 2012 election. Even now, very few reporters have a clue about exactly what is going on, only that it does not work.

I suggest you call your Agent.

AICPA was kind enough to invite me to be a guest blogger on their BLOG and my posts on the impact of the ACA on small business have garnered more than 13,000 hits. You can read them here:
http://blog.aicpa.org/2013/05/small-businesses-and-health-care-reform-what-now.html

I’ll be speaking on these issues at the AICPA Practitioner’s Forum in Las Vegas on Monday, June 10.

Marathon

April 20th, 2013 | Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Our condolences to the victims of the terrorist bombing in Boston and their families and friends and to the family and friends of the murdered MIT policeman. Also, our thanks to the law enforcement agencies for their diligent and rapid elimination of the terrorists. Finally, our prayers for the transit officer recovering from gunshot injuries in apprehending the terrorists as well as the many victims recovering from bomb blast injuries.

May justice be resolute, swift, certain and effective.