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ObamaCare Striking Out In Alaska

- October 11, 2013

ALASKA'S OBAMACARE NAVIGATORS HAVE YET TO SIGN UP A SINGLE PERSON

Faced With Persistent Website Glitches, ObamaCare Navigators In Alaska Report That They Have Yet To Sign Up A Single Person For ObamaCare. "The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's online Health Insurance Marketplace, where folks can shop for personal health care plans, came online on Oct. 1 -- at least in theory. In practice, though, the website has been fraught with problems. Ten days after Healthcare.gov was unveiled, Alaskans report little progress in signing up for health care coverage. But is a swamped system a good sign for Obamacare? Or a death knell? 'We haven't enrolled one person yet,' Joan Fisher said from her office at Providence Hospital in Anchorage on Tuesday." (Laurel Andrews, "Alaskans Struggle To Sign Up For Affordable Care Act Health Care Coverage," Alaska Dispatch, 10/10/13)

  • ObamaCare Navigator Joan Fisher: "We Haven't Enrolled One Person Yet." (Laurel Andrews, "Alaskans Struggle To Sign Up For Affordable Care Act Health Care Coverage," Alaska Dispatch, 10/10/13)

"In Fairbanks, Shannon Skaug, Director Of Clinical Operations At The Interior Community Health Center, Said Her Clinic Has Also Not Been Able To Sign Anyone Up Yet. "The Website Isn't Allowing It," She Said." (Laurel Andrews, "Alaskans Struggle To Sign Up For Affordable Care Act Health Care Coverage," Alaska Dispatch, 10/10/13)

"Cherise Fowler, Outreach And Enrollment Coordinator At The Alaska Primary Care Association In Anchorage, Said That She Is Busy With Inquiries, Phone Calls And Emails. But The Two Attempts She Has Made To Sign People Up Have Failed." (Laurel Andrews, "Alaskans Struggle To Sign Up For Affordable Care Act Health Care Coverage," Alaska Dispatch, 10/10/13)

Taxpayers Are Spending $300,000 For Alaska's ObamaCare Navigators, But There Is Little They Can Do When The System Doesn't Work. "Fisher has been trained as a 'navigator' for United Way, undergoing 20 hours of rigorous training to help Alaskans figure out their options and obligations under the new health-care law. Her training exists thanks to a roughly $300,000 federal grant to the non-profit organization. United Way hopes to use its trained health-care workers to sign up 10,000 uninsured residents in the Anchorage bowl -- about a fifth of an estimated 49,000 uninsured people in Alaska's largest city. That figure includes Alaska Natives, who have access to health care coverage through tribal clinics, Fisher said. But with the website down, there's little navigators can do. Fisher has been fielding phone calls and making appointments, but overall she says 'it's been pretty boring.'" (Laurel Andrews, "Alaskans Struggle To Sign Up For Affordable Care Act Health Care Coverage," Alaska Dispatch, 10/10/13)

MARK BEGICH ASSURED ALASKANS THAT "THERE'S A LOT OF GOOD THAT PEOPLE WILL REALIZE AS THIS ALL COMES ONLINE"

Begich Voted For ObamaCare. (H.R. 3590, Roll Call Vote #396, Adopted 60-39: R 0-39; D 60-0, 12/24/09, Begich Voted Yea)

Begich Continues To Proudly Defend His Vote For ObamaCare. "Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina will face voters in 2014 for the first time since voting for the Affordable Care Act - also known as 'Obamacare' - three years ago. They aren't apologizing for their vote, and several are pursuing an aggressive strategy: Embrace the law, help voters use it and fix what doesn't work. 'I don't run from my votes,' Begich told The Associated Press. 'Politicians who sit around and say, 'That's controversial so I better run from it,' just ask for trouble. Voters may not always agree with you, but they respect people who think about these issues and talk about them.'" ("Senate Democrats Running In 2014 In GOP-Leaning States Firm Up Support Of Health Care Law," The Associated Press , 6/15/13)

  • Begich: "There's A Lot Of Good That People Will Realize As This All Comes Online." ("Senate Democrats Running In 2014 In GOP-Leaning States Firm Up Support Of Health Care Law," The Associated Press , 6/15/13)

BUT ONCE ALASKANS FIGHT THEIR WAY PAST OBAMACARE'S GLITCHES, THEY MAY FIND THAT THEIR INSURANCE COSTS HAVE SKYROCKETED

According To HHS's Report On Premiums In The ObamaCare Exchanges, A 27 Year Old In Alaska Will Pay An Average Of $254 A Month For The Lowest Bronze Plan - An Increase Of 128.98 Percent Over Average Premiums Currently Available. (Office Of The Assistant Secretary For Planning And Evaluation, "Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums For 2014," HHS, 9/13; John E. Dickson, Director Of Health Care For The Government Accountability Office, Letter To Honorable Orrin G. Hatch, 7/23/13)

Blue Cross Has Predicted That An Alaska Family Of Four That Does Not Qualify For Federal Insurance Subsidies Could See Their Out-Of-Pocket Health Care Costs Increase By As Much As 158 Percent. "Jeff Davis, who heads Premera's Alaska unit, said a younger Alaskan couple aged 30 to 34 with two small children and who are moderate-income and earning $115,000 a year or less will qualify for the planned new federal subsidies. They could see up to a 42 percent decrease in out-of-pocket health care expenses, according to Premera's estimates. However, if the couple exceeds the $115,000 income limit by even a small margin, the subsidy goes away and they could see an increase as high as 158 percent in out-of-pocket costs." (Tim Bradner, "Alaska Health Insurance Rates To Go Up In 2014 As ACA Kicks In," Anchorage Daily News, 1/15/13)


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