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Cardin Touts Obamacare Benefits to Maryland Healthcare Providers

Far from the 2010 anti-Obamacare town halls, Dems using recess forums to prop up controversial healthcare law.

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

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August 20, 2013 - 12:11 am
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CHEVERLY, MD. – As parts of Obamacare have been delayed and questions swirl about the implementation of key provisions, some lawmakers are sitting down for recess outreach efforts in their districts to promote the Affordable Health Care Act and health insurance exchange.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a strong supporter of President Obama’s healthcare law, discussed the new insurance exchange last Tuesday at a roundtable with healthcare providers in Prince George’s County. He participated in another roundtable last Monday at a community health center in Baltimore.

Insurance exchanges, a key component of the Affordable Healthcare Act, are online marketplaces that will allow individuals and small businesses to shop for health coverage starting Oct. 1.

States have the option of running their own exchanges or using one developed by the federal government. Maryland is one of more than a dozen states that have chosen to run their own exchanges. The state received more than $170 million in federal funds to build the Maryland Health Connection, the state’s health insurance exchange.

Implementation of Maryland’s new health insurance exchange will cost nearly $200 million.

Within the next couple of months, the Maryland Health Connection is expected to enroll about 200,000 of the more than 800,000 uninsured people in the state of Maryland, according to Cardin. The senator noted that three out of four people in Maryland purchasing coverage through the state’s insurance exchange would be eligible for tax credits to reduce the costs of coverage.

Over the next six months, millions of consumers from all 50 states will be able to shop for insurance options through the insurance exchanges, the administration is stressing in promotional efforts.

The Maryland Democrat alluded to opposition to the healthcare law’s implementation, particularly in states led by Republican governors and legislatures.

“Enrolling these Americans in health coverage won’t happen overnight. Unfortunately, not all states are as proactive as Maryland. Some states have been fighting the exchanges, but the federal government will step in and set them up,” Cardin said.

The federal government has to set up exchanges for individuals in the 34 states that have refused to create the exchanges.

In the last couple of months, the Obama administration has increased its efforts to advertise the insurance exchanges. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited Texas recently to enlist local leaders to promote the exchanges because state officials have refused to cooperate.

Cardin predicted that more states will choose to run their own exchanges as they realize they are not able to regulate the federal insurance exchange.

He said 150,000 people have already received hundreds of dollars in rebates from their insurance companies thanks to the state’s early implementation of Obamacare. Under the healthcare law, insurance companies that fail to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on care-related costs must refund the difference to consumers.

“This new law is here to stay and we should be working together to build on the progress we’ve made through the law,” Cardin said.

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All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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Question to Rep. Cardin here in the back!!!! If Obamacare is so great, we can only assume that you will be at the top of the list to sign up for it. Right?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
My son is a doctor, and the doctors call Obamacare a 'soup sandwiche' that will not work. Like all of his docotr buddies he is going to go to contract labor for different hospitals. Thats right, the doctors or going to 'bail out', and tell Obama he casn shove it where the sun doesn't shine. he refuses to take another pay cut, and why should he? Would you accept a person that hasn't bathed in a month to come into your office and demand service? Hell no! They are taking the high road, and giving Obama 'the finger', and I'm glad they are.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hospitals all over the country are 'hiring' their own Drs. and refusing private practitioners 'privileges' to see their patients in the facilities. If you end up in the local hospital, a "Hospitalist' sees you (on the hospitals payroll). He most likely knows nothing about you, has never seen you and frankly is not likely to spend nights pouring through your medical records to find out about your health, but he's in charge of your care in the hospital. How's that for wonderful patient care and the connection between your Dr. and you?

This obviously has nothing to do with the patient's care, but the cash diverted to the hospital.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Note: Rec'd $170 Million to Build (not to actually operate/staff/run) and implementation will cost $200 Million.... Do the math. This sounds like Common Core curriculum to me.
Second: 3 out of 4 people will be eligible for tax credits to SUBSIDIZE (not reduce as stated) the cost (nothing in this law does anything to reduce the actual cost of care. In addition, if these people are eligible for subsidized coverage, then what is the likelihood that they will be in a tax bracket that actually pay taxes? (Tax Credits are hard to get when you don't pay taxes in the first place)
Lastly, I am all for Term Limits, but given Senator Cardin, I think we should start by giving IQ tests; we should be successful in weeding out the morons like Cardin fairly quickly!
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
reported that almost half of needed benchmarks have not been met.

Ever try to open a business when half of the benchmarks for the business aren't functioning.

Reminds me of a new deli, that has no meat slicers, no scales, no cash registers and no oven or dishes or glasses. Makes for an interesting way to run a deli and serve those sandwiches.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
These exchanges sound like a racket to me. Who are these companies they are going to offer? If a big company like Aetna pulled out, who took their place? Some fly by night company or a company which is based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
In CA, 10 of the 13 exchanges are HMOs. It is just luck if one of your doctors is enrolled as a provider. So yes the big insurers are pulling out in some cases because they can't make a go of it. But other companies taking their place appear to think they can make a business out of it, but what kind of coverage and doctors will the supply. There is nothing in the law that says a doctor or hospitals have to be part of the exchange. Plenty of hospitals are not joining the programs. So cost is only 1 factor. Quality of providers is another. I find it interesting that the mere passage of Obamacare, can according to this Congressman reduce healthcare costs even before the exchanges are up and running. Of course the economy is the most likely reason for the reduction.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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