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Book Review: Beating Obamacare 2014

Beating Obamacare 2014
Betsy McCaughey- Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 231pp

Thousands of new regulations have already been written to control what you, your doctor, and employer can do under “The Affordable Care Act.”  In order to keep the public informed on how this new law affects everyone, Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D. and Constitutional Scholar wrote a book called Beating Obamacare 2014.beating obamacare 2014

The Affordable Care Act is a very complicated 2,572 page document which the author explains succinctly in 231 pages.  McCaughey shares a wealth of information in 13 chapters.  Since I could not cover all the chapters in this review, I tried to zero in on the issues I felt affect the most people.  There is so much helpful information in this valuable resource book that will answer your many questions.

For each chapter, I draw upon some of the highlights of the helpful information she provides in this valuable resource guide that should answer your many questions about the Affordable Care Act.

Chapter One: Obamacare  Exchange Plans

On October 1, 2013, the new website Healthcare.gov opened for business,  and “We the People” were introduced to the Obamacare Exchange Plans:  Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, all of which contain the “essential benefit” package but have different co-pays and deductibles.

McCaughey gives a rundown of the basics of each of these plans, from who is eligible for these plans on the exchange to who isn’t.

She starts by explaining that everyone who does not get their health insurance through Medicare, Medicaid, or an employer is eligible to shop on an exchange.

Legal immigrants, on the other hand, are not eligible for Medicaid during their first five years in the United States, but they can shop on the exchanges and receive subsidies.  Illegal immigrants are barred from the exchanges and free of the mandate, but they are expected to get their care at federally-funded community health centers.

If you are under thirty, the government allows you to meet the individual mandate requirement by purchasing a catastrophic plan.  Children can be insured on their parents’ plan until age 26.

Chapter Six:  Medicaid Nation

Obamacare covers the previously uninsured by expanding Medicaid, which raises premiums for people with private insurance.  In June 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to give states the option of not expanding Medicaid.

All states have Medicaid, but Obamacare urges states to open up Medicaid to many more people and pledges to cover 90 to 100 percent for those newly eligible.

However, several governors, including Texas governor Rick Perry, announced that their states will not go along with Medicaid expansion.  Can the federal government be counted on to keep their word concerning financial promises?  Any future Congress can undo that commitment and the state taxpayers would then have to be responsible for the costs.  That means you and me.

McCaughey does an excellent job explaining how the new law transforms Medicaid  from a temporary safety net to a permanent  entitlement.  Unfortunately, her research found Medicaid offers inferior care.  Most doctors will not accept Medicaid patients or they limit how many they will see.

Further research shows that Medicaid patients get worse care, but not cheaper care. The higher Medicaid enrollment goes, the higher private premiums will go.  Through the Affordable Care Act, McCaughey explains that the federal government is pushing us closer to being a Medicaid nation.

Chapter Seven:  Obamacare Raids Medicare and Hurts Seniors

For nearly half a century, Medicare has enabled seniors to get the medical care they need to continue to live meaningful lives and remain active members of their communities.  However, McCaughey points out that is about to change.

She says Obamacare removes over half a trillion dollars in future funding from Medicare over the next decade.  The new health law will award bonus points to hospitals that spend the least on seniors, which will certainly affect the quality of care they receive.

These changes are going to affect everyone 65 or older and the disabled of all ages.  McCaughey also notes that 30 percent more people will be entering Medicare as baby boomers turn 65.

Doctors can expect lower pay, more paperwork, and more government interference in how they treat their patients.  With McCaughey bringing this research to light, this is bad news for both seniors and doctors.

What fascinated me most about McCaughey’s analysis was that she highlighted a section of the healthcare law that many patients, doctors and lawmakers tend to overlook.

According to McCaughey, Section 3405 of the Obama health law creates a fifteen-member board of un-elected cost-cutters called The Independent Payment Advisory Board.  

The IPAB’s job is to identify further cuts in what doctors, hospitals, hospice care, and other providers are paid to care for seniors.

They will be able to cut payments so low for some procedures such as hip and knee replacements that doctors can no longer afford to provide that treatment.  In creating IPAB, Congress cedes nearly all control over Medicare spending to un-elected bureaucrats. The IPAB is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2018.

The reality is that our healthcare is going to change drastically and we need to be informed patients to navigate the complicated healthcare system. Betsy McCaughey is “the expert” in helping us decode and explain this new complex healthcare law.

As a Patient Rights Advocate, I highly recommend this book to you.  I would give Betsy McCaughey’s  book a 10+ rating on a scale of 1-10.

Joan M. Bishop

Joan M. Bishop is a patient’s rights advocate based in Fredericksburg, VA and writes about healthcare issues at http://yourpatientsrights.com/ Twitter: @PatientRightsAd

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Categories: Book Review, Healthcare, Must Read, Opinion
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