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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

No Pro-Obamacare Ads on the Airwaves? You Don’t Say!



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A dog that isn’t barking:

“Pro-Obamacare ads are like an endangered species, like seeing a unicorn or the Loch Ness monster,” said Elizabeth Wilner, Kantar Media senior vice president for political advertising. “Democrats are either not talking about it at all or talking about it needing to be fixed.”

This shouldn’t be that surprising. Enough people have had enough genuine headaches, stress, frustration, and misery from the Obamacare rollout — either through canceled plans, higher premiums, higher deductibles, higher co-pays, not liking the selection on the exchange, long waits when they call the help line, the website crashing, the website not sending the right information to the insurance company, their company reducing 401(k) benefits to cover the new costs of plans under Obamacare . . . 

When he was asked on CNBC this morning why AOL was making the change, Armstrong said it was to spare employees from what he described as the added costs of Obamacare.

. . . or their insurer is talking about either doubling their rates or departing the exchanges . . . 

There is so much uncertainty about Obamacare that Aetna, the U.S.’s third-largest insurance provider, may be forced to double its rates or opt out of the program, the company’s CEO, Mark Bertolini, told CNBC on Thursday.

. . . or they’re witnessing the end of the era of small-group medical practices . . . 

Experts say the demise of small practices — or their absorption by larger groups and hospitals — is an unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act.

Whether this ultimately is good for health care is up for debate.

Attorney John Fanburg, chair of the health law practice at Brach Eichler in Roseland, is living the trend. He has helped negotiate the acquisition of about a dozen physician practices by hospitals around the state.

. . . or they’re one of the 22,000 folks who have errors in their records that cannot be changed . . . 

Tens of thousands have filed appeals to the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) regarding coverage errors pertaining to HealthCare.gov to no avail.

According to the Washington Post, an estimated 22,000 Americans are stuck in Obamacare limbo, helplessly awaiting their appeals to be amended. Problems reported from the faulty website include incorrect calculations of eligible subsidies, wrong program placement, and even completely denied coverage. Months after the October 1 launch of HealthCare.gov, at least 22,000 Americans have had their appeals untouched.

. . . or they’re being denied specialty treatment at the hospital by insurance providers on the state exchange . . . 

Administrators at Seattle Children’s today said they predicted this would happen, and it’s even worse than they expected — Patients being denied specialty treatment at the hospital by insurance providers on the Washington health benefits exchange. Children’s filed request on behalf of 125 of their patients. Of those, they say they got only 20 responses, eight of which were denials.

None of those people want to hear the success stories and happy talk. I’m sure in a nation of 317 million people, you can find somebody who’s happy with their deal under Obamacare. But it’s a raw deal for millions of Americans, and they’re not going to be receptive to an ad that tries to tell them otherwise. If you’re a Democrat, it’s easier to try to change the subject.


Tags: Obamacare


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