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Posted on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 10:05 a.m.

About 80,400 Washtenaw County residents with pre-existing conditions could gain coverage under Affordable Care Act

By Amy Biolchini

About 80,400 Washtenaw County residents and nearly 2.4 million Michigan residents under the age of 65 with what insurance companies deem “pre-existing” conditions could gain insurance coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new report.

Families USA, a non-profit, non-partisan consumer health group, issued a report Tuesday, July 24, that detailed the number of Michigan residents that will now be eligible for health insurance as a result of the 2010 act.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the Constitutionality of the act in June after it was challenged.

Pre-existing conditions are medical conditions a person has before applying for health insurance that can be as common as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and asthma. Adults with pre-existing conditions can be denied healthcare by insurance companies -- a practice that will change after Jan. 1, 2014.


University of Michigan Health System photo

About 26.4% of Washtenaw County residents have pre-existing conditions, according to the report.

The Affordable Care Act, which is implemented in phases from 2010 to 2014, means those individuals can no longer be denied coverage, charged a higher premium, or sold a policy that excludes coverage of important health services.

More than half of individuals in Michigan age 55 to 64 years old have a pre-existing condition, according to the report.

Read the entirety of the report here: Michigan Pre-Existing Condition Population.pdf

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.


Rudra N Rebbapragada

Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

WHAT IS PRE-EXISTING CONDITION? We have to carefully define the terms that we use in our conversation. It is important to know the nature of pre-existing condition and recognize it. Does it include the recognition of pre-existing behavior that would put the person at risk? At a fundamental level, man's existence is conditioned and not knowing the same would expose man to a high risk that would undermine the ability to exist in the physical world. In this context, I identify the darkness called 'IGNORANCE' as a pre-existing condition that can threaten man's life. Man is ignorant about his true or real nature and does not understand the nature of his conditioned existence. To live in good health or ill-health, at any stage of life, under all circumstances of life, man needs the Power/Energy/Force called Mercy/Compassion/Grace of the Lord God Creator.

Rudra N Rebbapragada

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:19 p.m.

A SPIRITUAL PLAN FOR HEALTH CARE : These numbers have no truth or validity as there was no actual basis such as a door to door survey of all residents to generate this information. This report intends to sell a plan to people with an intent to enrich all those non-profit entities who profit when people get sick. Kindly define the term 'non-profit' and what it really involves apart from looting and plundering public funds and investments made by people. We have to define the biological basis for man's existence in the physical world and support all the aspects of man's well-being. The issue is not that of paying the costs of pre-existing conditions; the issue is that of existing in good health.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

The issue is pre-existing conditions and affordable health insurance coverage for those who have such a condition. I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't want good health. Good health involves good habits, genetics and no small amount of luck, to name a few. If you have good health, great. If you don't, you now have a pre-existing condition. The definition of the "biological basis for man's existence" has nothing to do with being able to afford to pay for health insurance.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 5:13 p.m.

If you have been paying ANY amount for health insurance in the past, you will now be paying more - a LOT more. ObamaCare has created a whole new bureaucracy (and 1000's of new gov't employees - Federal and State) that will need to be paid. Government salaries, pensions, vacations, health care, etc. ad nauseum, paid from YOUR pocket. Those who couldn't pay in the past still won't pay, as they still can't afford it. However, they will receive vouchers to buy health insurance. It was cheaper to send them to the ER.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

It is not clear from the article how many of these people with "preexisting conditions" have in fact been denied coverage. The article only states that these people "might be" denied coverage.


Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Apparently one needs to be taught sarcasm.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

"Great program we have." Ah, you are finally catching on!


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

Because Affordable Care Act raises taxes on Durable Medical Equipment suppliers, these companies are forced to raise their prices to the customer. Both the end user and the insurance companies pay the higher cost for these durable medical devices. Insurance premiums are going up because of it. Yeah, great system. New York Times reports that the Association of Medical Colleges estimates there will be about 63,000 fewer doctors than needed to cover the Affordable Care Act. And that number will double by year 2025. As a result there will be delayed care. To make it even worse for those on Medicaid, fewer than half of Primary Care physicians accept Medicaid now. As medicaid is expanded and cuts in payment of medicaid to doctors, more doctors are dropping medicaid resulting in a severe shortage of doctors for those who have medicaid. Yeah, great system.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

"Great program we have." Ah, you are finally catching on!


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 1:38 a.m.

Many are realizing that nothing in the ACA helps reduce the cost of health insurance. People are now realizing when it was said it will lower premiums it is not true. It was said our taxes will not go up, but now we are realizing that we are being taxed. It was said if we like our plan we can keep it, but don't dare change your copay because once you do then you can't keep your existing plan.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.

Ah, and how could we forget how the CBO didn't calculate all the workers (IRS and the federal government) to manage and run the ACA? Nothing but costs going up, both premiums and taxes. Great program we have.


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

Of course any "overpayment" will be taxed. Why wouldn't it be? Request that the insurance company refund the overpayment to the payer = no tax to be owed. Next argument?


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

sHa, There is no spin. It happens to be in the link that you provided. I will repost for you so you can read it for yourself: As you will notice when you read what the IRS says, any overpayments to the insurance companies will be taxable to the individual. But you are right, it does get pretty boring when people don't read what the law states, but just listen to the political sound bites out there.


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

"if the government pays too much of my health insurance I will get taxed on that "extra" money that they paid" Can't you come up with a more original "scare tactic" than this one, maallen? I suppose the insurance companies will be allowed to keep all the overpayments, too, right? Just more Fox News spin...pretty boring by now.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

Wow, this just keeps getting better and better! Instead of having to pay on a monthly basis for my health insurance. In 2014 I can take up to three months to pay and the insurance company can't cancel me! Feel sorry for the doctors and hospitals. Their reimbursements are going to take even longer. Oh, and if the government pays too much of my health insurance I will get taxed on that "extra" money that they paid. Hmmmm.....people are going to milk the system. They will make sure that the government pays more than they need because it will be cheaper for them in the long run to pay the taxes on any overage than actually have to pay the premiums! Yeah, this is going to be a great racket! The cost is going upwards and there is no limit!


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

maallen: Here's a link to a recent IRS publication that you may want to review: It explains how the ACA will work concerning tax credits.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 12:10 a.m.

Maallen: Read the 4th sentence in the paragraph below for the answer to your question. Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit Starting in 2014, individuals and families can take a new premium tax credit to help them afford health insurance coverage purchased through an Affordable Insurance Exchange. Exchanges will operate in every state and the District of Columbia. The premium tax credit is refundable so taxpayers who have little or no income tax liability can still benefit. The credit also can be paid in advance to a taxpayer's insurance company to help cover the cost of premiums. On May 18, 2012, the IRS issued final regulations which provide guidance for individuals who enroll in qualified health plans through Exchanges and claim the premium tax credit, and for Exchanges that make qualified health plans available to individuals and employers.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

sHa, Now I think you are catching on! So, if the premium is $800 a month, how exactly will someone afford the coverage if they can't afford to pay it? How will someone pay that $800 a month premium all year only to be credited on their taxes when they file at the end of the year?


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

A person's income, reported on their tax return, will have everything to do with their health insurance premiums. Less income = more credit = affordable health insurance.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

Of course I get it, maallen. In the end, a person will pay (or be credited by the government) for their health insurance premiums based on their income. I understand that concept perfectly. If you want to get technical about it, fine. But the concept is still the same.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

sHa, Apparently you don't understand the definition of health insurance premiums. What you cited was the subsidy that the federal government will give to someone who buys health insurance through the exchange. The amount of subsidy is based on one's income, in which someone could get a subsidy of up to 85%. However, the health insurance premiums will be set by the insurance carriers, and is not set by their income. So a 35 year old and family could be paying $800 a month in premiums. But at the end of the year, they will receive credits (government subsidy) on their tax returns based on their income. Now do you see the difference? The premiums are not set by one's income, but by the insurance carriers based on one's age and smoking. But according to you, someone could only be paying $50 to an insurance company because his/her premiums are based on income, which is absolutely false. The person will pay the full amount of the premiums set by the carrier. And then at the end of the year the government will give a person a credit on his/her taxes (meaning the taxpayer will subsidize the cost.)


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 6:50 p.m.

"Under the ACA, the amount received in premium credits (for purchase of health insurance) is based on income tax returns". Source: Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, dated June, 2012 Whether you want to admit it or not, the cost for health insurance premiums under the ACA will have everything to do with one's income.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

No one is asking you to believe anything, maallen. For anyone that is interested: the ACA is laid out in a fairly easy-to-understand explanation: One can call it taxes, sharing the costs, or whatever you want to name it. Bottom line, health care is expensive (and barring a miracle, it won't be less expensive anytime soon) and it will be costly to get everyone covered. The idea is health care coverage for everyone. I am sorry if you don't want coverage for everyone, maallen, but it looks like you will just have to deal with it.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

sHa, "When the dust settles, health insurance premiums will be based upon an individual's income." And where are you getting this "info" from? The law clearly states that it is community rated and whether or not you smoke. You may now agree that taxes will go up, but Obama and the politicians promised that our taxes will not go up and our premiums will not go up, but down. Many are just now finding out what Obama and the politicians told us is not true. So why are we to believe anything else they say about the ACA and how wonderful it is?


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 11:26 a.m.

There is no free lunch. In order to provide health insurance coverage for everyone, of course taxes will go up. No arguing that. When the dust settles, health insurance premiums will be based upon an individual's income.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

sHa, The health insurance premiums in the Health Exchanges are not based on one's income. It is obvious you have not read the law. Premiums will be based on community rating and whether one smoke's or not. So what that means is it will be based on your age and whether you are a smoker or not. Obviously, smoker's insurance premiums will be more expensive as well as older people. For an example, if you are between the ages of 20-25 you will pay a set premium. If you are between 26-30 you will pay a higher premium, etc. Now, the government (the taxpayers) will be subsidizing those premiums up to 85% depending on one's income. So, since the carriers will no longer ask questions, the health insurance premiums will go up so that they can protect themselves from the unknown, and stay solvent. Not only will there be a spike in the health insurance premiums in the exchanges, but also the taxpayers will pay more in taxes to help subsidize up to 85% of the insurance premium. So again, the taxpayer gets a double whammy.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 11:37 p.m.

I repeat: Whining about the costs doesn't solve the problem.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 11:34 p.m.

I would expect health insurance premiums to be based upon an individual's income.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 11:29 p.m.

sHa, And what do you think will happen in 2014 when those carriers participating in the Health Exchanges can no longer ask medical questions? Do you think the premiums will be lower when they don't know what their risks are? Or do you think the premiums will be higher in these exchanges so that the insurance carriers can protect themselves from the unknown and stay solvent?


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

Regardless of coverage, or not, for pre-existing conditions, BCBSM is still unaffordable for many.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

bern, That's because in the state of Michigan no one is denied coverage due to pre-existing condition. Blue Cross Blue Shield takes everyone. The article is very misleading.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

What difference does it make what the exact percentage is of those who have been or are denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions? If such a denial affected you or your family member, you probably would not care if it was 50%, 30% or 1%...


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

the law as currently constituted will save taxpayers $84 billion, the CBO said, as greater government-subsidized participation in health-care exchanges is more than offset by lower costs from fewer Americans enrolling in Medicaid. if the law is fully repealed, as many as 30 million Americans, however, would be without health care insurance by 2022, according to the CBO.-Christian Science Monitor


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

clownfish, You conveniently left out the part where the CBO says ""That change primarily effects a $4 billion increase in collections from such payments by employers, a $1 billion increase in such payments by individuals, and an increase of less than $500 million in tax revenues." In other words, there is an additional $5 billion increase in taxes on businesses, $1 billion increase in taxes on individuals and another $500 million increase in taxes elsewhere. Now these are taxes that were unaccounted for in the original estimate. Gee, I wonder what else is unaccounted for. And all these increases in taxes, guess who ends up paying for them? Us, the customers.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

"if the law is fully repealed, as many as 30 million Americans, however, would be without health care insurance by 2022" That's only assuming status quo. REAL reform would fix that. But nobody's open to real reform.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:25 p.m.

Would love to read some solutions to our health care problem from those that find the former GOP mandate position unpalatable. What would you do to lower costs and provide service to US citizens that need medical care? Whining does not save lives. Why is that when it comes to gay marriage we are a "Christian Nation", but when it comes to helping sick people we don't hear that phrase much? Why do we have a "right to Life" that suddenly ends when medical care is needed?


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

Many "Christians" don't practice their own religious tenants of compassion and love for their neighbor. It seems to be "every man for himself".


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 11:29 a.m.

and I wonder how many will end up without coverage when their employer figures out its cheaper to NOT offer coverage and pay a fine...


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

snark12, Then you will admit the statement "if you like your health insurance you can keep it" is false. Once the insurance plan is dropped, then you can never get that plan back because then you are forced to buy the insurance that has all the mandates that the government requires. Also, employers dropping their insurance will not lower the cost of health insurance. Just think a little bit here: If the employee has insurance dropped, the he/she will have 4 choices: If he/she qualifies for medicaid, then get medicaid which will drive the cost of medicaid up and the taxpayers pay more. 2nd choice: By insurance on their own outside of the exchange. But why would someone do that if the government is willing to pay up to 85% of the premiums if bought within the exchange. 3rd choice: Not buy insurance because they are healthy and save on the premiums until they get sick. 4th choice: buy insurance through the exchange because they have a medical condition. The government subsidizes the premiums. Costs go up because more and more people are going the exchange route and the government has to pay more and more money. The health insurance premiums are high because it is mainly people who have pre-existing conditions. You see, ACA does nothing to lower the cost of insurance, but does everything to raise the cost of health insurance premiums. So as the federal government pays more and more money to subsidize these premiums, the taxpayers will be paying more and more taxes. The taxpayer ends up paying more taxes and higher premiums. A double whammy. Obama and the politicians stated that we won't pay a dime more in taxes to cover ACA. We now see how false that was.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 2:39 a.m.

mallen, you just explained one of the benefits of the PPACA. Personally, I don't the situation you described is a bad thing. If employers stop offering health insurance and people instead by it from exchanges, then 1) we will move away from people's insurance being tied to their job, which is silly, 2) we will have larger and larger pools of people in specific insurance plans which will lower costs, and 3) employers can save money. This would be progress in my mind.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

clownfish, I know you are a smart individual so let's answer your question "What makes you think they will stop now?" The reason why employers didn't drop their health insurance before is because they wanted to attract good employees. So they offered health insurance as a benefit hoping that it will attract employees to work for them. Now that the federal government will pay up to 85% of a worker's health insurance premiums if it is bought through the exchange why would a business keep their health insurance and the extra cost? Since everyone will be covered, each employee can buy their own insurance with the government's help then there is no need for a business to offer it. They will save tons of money and they know their workforce is covered.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

It is even cheaper NOW to not offer coverage, but they do. What makes you think they will stop now?


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

Since health insurance premiums will be in line with a person's income, most will be able to afford it under the ACA, even if their employer does not offer coverage. Those who are currently self-employed, and now pay much higher rates for health insurance, will finally be able to have affordable coverage.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 10:45 a.m.

That statistic is extremely misleading. How many people with pre-existing conditions have coverage? Statistically, the vast majority, and they don't need this. In my family, I have two people with pre-existing conditions. We have insurance already, and obamacare will just make it more expensive. What this law does is allow the folks who didn't bother to buy insurance for years, to jump in a get insurance when they get sick at the expense of those of us who have been paying all along.

Robert Hughes

Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 11:54 a.m.

For profit insurance companies have to continually grow their bottom line and give dividends to shareholders. When the government provides health care, it isn't concern about profit.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:07 a.m.

Still waiting for your answer, maallen...


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

I repeat: Whining about the costs doesn't solve the problem.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

No problem, maallen, I'll do that when you answer my question: How do you propose "streamlining" those state/federal programs you mentioned the other day to make health insurance affordable for everyone, especially those who may be a bit over the poverty line and don't qualify for Medicaid? Everyone knows there is no free lunch. The only way to have healthcare for everyone is for everyone to pay for it. Yes, it will be expensive. My biggest problem is with the people who do not seem to care about their fellow Americans who cannot afford health insurance.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

That's the way liberals think - it costs trillions of dollars but it's more affordable.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3 p.m.

sHa, Can you please explain how the law makes it more affordable? This will be very telling.....


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 11:45 a.m.

"What this law does is allow the folks who didn't bother to buy insurance for years, to jump in a get insurance when they get sick at the expense of those of us who have been paying all along." What this law does is allow the folks who could not afford to buy insurance at an exorbitant cost (or who were denied health insurance), obtain it at an affordable cost and be able to have the same peace of mind as everyone who is now covered.

average joe

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 12:31 a.m.

I was wondering how this group came up with the numbers of 'pre-existing conditions' patients, since HIPPA sort of hinders getting info on specific cases. But here is the explanation from the report from Families USA- "Generating State- and County-Level Estimates The MEPS data do not provide state or county identifiers, so we could not use these data to generate state- or county-level estimates of the number of people with at least one of these conditions. Therefore, we developed a probabilistic predictive model to determine the probability of having at least one of the conditions based on a person's age, gender, race, employment status, income as a percent of poverty, health insurance status, and Census region." Yes, a "probalilistic predictive model to determine the probability.." will do it.... And by their enthusiasm for the Supreme court's ruling a few weeks ago, they clearly are NOT non-partisan, and they are certainly pro-affordable care act.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

"About 26.4% of Washtenaw County residents have pre-existing conditions, according to the report." Should we just let ONE QUARTER of the County be excluded from health care, Republicans ? What is YOUR solution? It seems to be hidden along with Mitt's income tax forms, bank records from Bermuda/Cayman Islands/Switzerland, and his fundraising bundlers.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

Outrage. Let free market solve problem. All pre-existing condition residents die, no more pre-existing condition resident. Problem solve.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

One of the problems with the free market program is providing health care coverage to those that cannot afford it. I'm not sure where your political stance resides, but it appears that most conservatives believe that we shouldn't have a national health care program and that medicare should be abolished. Then what happens to those that cannot afford health care coverage? Do we just let them die because they can't afford it?

Tom Todd

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

Hi Mitt good luck with the election.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:17 p.m.

You have just described the Republican plan.

Angry Moderate

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:19 p.m.

Wow, this article is completely wrong. Just because someone HAS a pre-existing condition does not mean they don't have health insurance or can't get it. They may already have it, or they may still be able to buy it--insurance companies were never BANNED from covering people with pre-existing conditions.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

Maallen, you have never answered my question: How do you propose "streamlining" those state/federal programs you mentioned the other day to make health insurance affordable for everyone, especially those who may be a bit over the poverty line and don't qualify for Medicaid? Whining about the costs doesn't solve the problem.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

sHa, What in the Affordable Care Act will make the health insurance premiums go down? The Affordable Care Act, in fact, does the opposite. It drives the insurance premiums up. The Secretary of Human and Health Services, Kathleen Sebelius, even has admitted that ACA drives the premiums up and not down.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

Problem is, many people cannot afford today's exorbitant costs for health insurance, even if they can find coverage. Health insurance premiums have skyrocketed. Middle class wages have stagnated.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

This is a good thing but why did we have to have a trillion dollar health care plan to make this happen. Very strange that the CBO is now saying Obama care will cost 2 Trillion dollars but when the plan was first intoduced it would save the US money. Remember " You have to pass this thing to find out whats in it" (Nancy Pelosi) UNBELIEVABLE!?!?!


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 3:25 a.m.

snark12, You do realize that the CBO based their report on a lot of assumptions, don't you? Part of what is paying for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are the cuts in medicare to a tune of billions. The problem with using the billions in savings to help pay for the ACA is the fact that the CBO has already used that money to help keep medicare solvent! That is called double dipping. How can you count it twice? Plus, if you really think about it do you think congress is actually going to cut billions in medicare when it comes to it? That won't happen. So in actuality, the billions to help pay part of the ACA does not exist. Plus, part of the CBO's estimates were based on the voluntary Long Term disability that was part of the ACA. CBO was using that money (in the billions) to help pay for the ACA. So, the government was going to collect premiums and then use those premium money to help pay for the ACA. The problem is/was what happens when someone made a claim? The money is/was spent to help pay for ACA. In the end Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Human and Health Services, has stated that the Long Term disability was/is not sustainable so it was axed. However, the CBO is still using those numbers in their estimates. So a lot of numbers estimating the savings by CBO do not exist anymore.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 2:33 a.m.

mallen, I wasn't using the CBO estimates to prove anything about the PPACA cost. I was using them to "prove" that the original poster was deliberately mis-stating what they actually were to give the impression that the Obama administration had said one thing two years ago and is now saying something different. The CBO estimate two years ago was that the PPACA would have a small net deficit reduction. Today they're predicting it will have a slightly larger net deficit reduction. In other words, they're saying pretty much the same thing they've said all along, only it's a little more positive today. Yes, I agree the estimates are almost always wrong. But let's at least agree to truthfully report what the bi-partisan CBO is actually saying and not to try to selectively use it to burnish one's argument.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 11:22 p.m.

snark12, If we are using the CBO estimates to prove how well the ACA is going to work then the estimates better be right or somewhat close! But unfortunately throughout CBO's history they have been way off based every single time. And we are slowly seeing that in this case too.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 7:23 p.m.

mallen, the point here isn't accuracy of CBO predictions, it's deliberating mis-stating what the CBO says, which is what the original poster was doing by blinding repeating the right's talking points.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

Snark12, How often has the CBO been right in their predictions? Matter in fact, when have they ever been close in their predictions?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 10:24 p.m.

Speak of the devil. The CBO just issued two new reports today. The net savings for the PPACA is even higher now, and the cost of REPEAL is over $100 billion.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

You quoted a more-than-two-year-old post on a right wing blog to make your point? Let's go to the source. The actual fact is the CBO says the PPACA will cost about $1 trillion over ten years (less than it previously estimated) BUT numerous other savings due to the bill actually end up with a net deficit reduction of $48 billion. Of course, these are estimates only, so let's call it cost neutral for now.

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

"This is a good thing but why did we have to have a trillion dollar health care plan to make this happen." We didn't have to, but they can't impose socialism without it.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

The really good news is that it's all free. It won't ost anything and won't impact the national debt. Now, would you like to buy some shares of the Brooklyn Bridge I'm selling?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

Wait, I thought the "Affordable Care Act" created a high risk pool for people with pre-existing conditions? The federal government created the subsidized "high risk pool" in 2010, expecting 800,000 people to join. The problem: At the beginning of 2012 there were less than 56,000 people signed up. And then the Congressional Budget Office said that the funds that the government allocated for the High-Risk pools is not sufficient and will run out in 2013. Six states have fewer than 100 people signed up. A report by the Department of Human and Health Services said they would spend about $13,000 per enrollee per year. In August of 2011 their estimates jumped to $28,944 per enrollee per year. It is obvious that the numbers that the government used are way off base now that we have actual numbers. So yet people still want to believe the estimated numbers the government gave when the ACA fully kicks in 2014? People still want to believe that it will lower the deficit? That we won't pay more for our health insurance, but actually pay less? Please show me when the government has ever been correct on their estimates? The Department of Health and Human Services have been wrong. The Congressional Budget Office has been wrong.

Kevin McNulty

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

It is good that people with pre-existing conditions cannot be turned away by insurance companies, but the elephant in the room is still the cost. I also wonder if people with pre-existing conditions will be able to buy insurance, get an expensive operation or treatment and then drop the insurance paying only a few payments? Is there protection for the insurance companies to prevent this? The other day a woman posted on a blog that her insurance costs $900/month with a $5000 deductible which she has never met so she basically pays out of pocket and gets no benefits from her huge payments. No more details than that were given so I do not know the particulars. But her payments are paying for other people's care, not hers. Where I find the PPACA seriously lacking is that it puts no emphasis on individuals to get fit. We are a very unfit nation. If you look at the US CDC website, you will see that for years, they have been warning about how unfit the nation is and the resulting illnesses. In single payer countries you will see a much higher emphasis on fitness because it lowers the cost of HC spending. Also they will deny you for unfit behavior: NYC Mayor Bloomberg seems to be the leader in promoting healthy living but he seems to be facing an uphill battle fought by folks who want to keep their rights to drive up the cost of health care.

Ron Granger

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

"The other day a woman posted on a blog that her insurance costs $900/month with a $5000 deductible which she has never met so she basically pays out of pocket and gets no benefits from her huge payments." Two things. First, she gets a benefit because her insurance company negotiates discounts for services. Ironically, people paying cash often pay much more than people with insurance even when the insurance does not cover treatment. Second, ACA helps her because her insurance company can no longer cancel her policy if she gets ill. That is the other thing we've been trying to live with - buying a policy and then having it cancelled when we most need it.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

You're right that the PPACA doesn't really compel individuals to get fit and take care of their own health, but it (as well as the ARRA stimulus package) does include provisions that hopefully will lead to that. For instance, doctors are required to weigh every patient, check blood pressure, discuss fear of diabetes with overweight patients, etc. Doctors who don't do that will not get ARRA funds for using EMR or receive the same level of Medicare reimbursement. My dentist, for instance, is now taking my blood pressure. This should put these types of issues more front and center for the general populace. Also, preventive care visits (mammograms, prostate exams, etc.) will be co-pay free so hopefully that will catch serious illnesses sooner when they can be treated more successfully and for less money.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

This is great if you have a job or are penniless but those out of work will have to spend $3,000.00 a year to get health insurance or pay a fine of about the same amount! I thought Obamacare was suppose to cost less and save us money but instead it is just another burden we must carry in a Really Bad Economy! Thanks President Obama for lying to us!


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

I have to wonder, if you had your facts straight, would you still believe what you believe?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

Thank you, Ron Granger! I agree.

Ron Granger

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

You already pay for these people when the visit the emergency room for basic treatment. Getting them preventative treatment will save money.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

Maallen, how do you propose "streamlining" those state/federal programs you mentioned the other day to make health insurance affordable for everyone, especially those who may be a bit over the poverty line and don't qualify for Medicaid?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

Kevin McNulty, Exactly. Medicaid will drive up the already bloated government budgets. Michigan has yet to decide whether to participate or not, but the case is budgets all across the U.S. and the federal government's budget will explode.

Kevin McNulty

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Actually Maallen, Medicaid was going to be expanded under the law, but that was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in its recent ruling. The court ruled the federal govt could not mandate states to do so. Medicaid is a very expensive program for states. Last I read about 14 states were going ahead with the plan, which can be done if a state wishes to do so. And that will increase Medicaid to more people but the tax burden will mostly stay in that state.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

So, medicaid is going to be expanded. Who pays for medicaid? We do. You could qualify for up to 85% of your premiums to be subsidized through the health care exchange by the federal government. Where does the federal government get their money? Us This is going to cost us a lot of money.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

The lies seem to come from you. The amount you pay is determined by your income level. If you're out of work and don't have any income, then you qualify for Medicaid, and pay nothing. If you're out of work and do have income, then there's a sliding scale for how much you pay, depending on family size and amount of income compared to the poverty level.

Kevin McNulty

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

I forgot to post a source:

Kevin McNulty

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

XMO, the fine for not having insurance in 2014, the first year is $95, $248 max for a family, or one percent of your income.So if your fine is $3000, your income is $300,000 per year and paying for insurance is no issue for you. In 2015 the penalty is $695 or 2%. I highly doubt anyone will be able to buy insurance for less than that. Another problem with PPACA, why buy insurance if the penalty is so much lower? Pay the penalty and buy insurance when you get sick of injured since you can't be denied anymore. After you are well, cancel your insurance and resume the tax payments. In order to get people to buy insurance, the tax is going to have to be the same as premiums and that is not going to go over very well. People out of work may qualify for Medicaid.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

Wrong again. Since the private, for profit insurance exchanges have yet to be set up, the $3000 you "cite" is just made up number with no basis in fact. Try again when you have the facts.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

This is the statistic that 'turns' the nature of the discussion about "Obamacare". It seems that if the Administration and its partners could simply make the 2.4M Michiganders aware of the benefit, and then get them all to vote, the President would be re-elected easily. Unfortunately, as is often the case, both proponents and detractors fail to make a clear case for the costs and benefits of the law, and so people will vote (or not bother) on the basis of vast misinformation and misunderstanding.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 9:14 p.m.

Yes Harry, Obama created 4.3 Million new jobs in 27 straight months. Bush lost 9 million jobs in 2008, so it's quite a hole to climb out - don't you agree? It's difficult to keep promises when Republicans created a bargain the day of his Inauguration to keep him a one-term President. They have filibustered more bills in the Senate than any session in US History, during his Administration. He has still had historic accomplishments beyond health care reform: patent reform, don't ask-dont tell repeal, start treaty, lily ledbetter act, trade treaties, veterans jobs bill, 18 tax cuts - just to name a few.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

I am one who benefits from this law but I would never vote for Obama. He has been a miserable failure. Jobs ? Economy? promises kept? Transparency? Dont give me that non sense about he inherited it. He TOOK the job. He SAID he would fix it . He DIDN"T.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

This is Obama's fault too, I guess.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Although this is a good thing..I'm sure the teaRepublicans will find it wrong