tv Washington Journal CSPAN November 14, 2014 7:00am-7:31am EST
economy with henry aaron of the brookings institution and university of chicago economics professor casey mulligan. and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. >> well, as regular viewers of this program know, we've been talking about the affordable care act for several years now. it was march 23, 2010, that the president signed the a.c.a. into law, the second en rollment period begins tomorrow, runs from november 15 through february 15 of next year. this morning on the "washington journal," we're going to look at at fordable care act, who signed up, the cost, how it's working, and your input is necessary for our conversation this morning. now, we've divided the phone lines a little bit differently. you can see up there, if you
have enrolled in the affordable care act, if you're one of the seven million to 10 million people who have been included in the new insurance roll, 202-585-3880. we want to hear your opinion of how it went, what you think of it, the coverage, the cost, etc. you get your insurance through your employer, 202-585-3881 is the number for you. if you have another type of insurance, this also includes medicare and senior care, 202-585-3882 is the number for you. and finally, we want to hear from the uninsured. why are you uninsured? what's the reason? and have you thought about signing up for the a.c.a.? 202-585-3883 is the number for you to dial. now, if you can't get through on the phone lines, try us via ocial media. @cspanwj is our twitter hands.
you can find us on facebook. and finally, send us an email at journal @c-span.org. now, let's look at some of the information about the affordable care act before we get to your phone calls. according to h.h.s., 10.3 million people have gained health insurance under the affordable care act. now, this includes estimates for this upcoming year. 32 million still lack coverage. and according to h.h.s., this is from politico, nine million to 9.9 million people are expected to be enrolled in the exchanges by the end of 2015. the white house set out goals for the affordable care act. here are the white house's goals. we'll talk about this later with a couple of economists. but here are their goals -- put more money in families' pockets, help slow the growth of healthcare costs, reduce long-term deficit, improve
health and make workers more productive, reduce job loss and encourage mobility and entrepreneurship, and finally, improve the financial security in the face of illness. those are the white house's goals. a little bit more information before we get to your calls. 85% of those who have signed up through the exchanges qualify for subsidies, and the subsidies have lowered the cost of healthcare plans by 76% on average. finally, the estimated cost of the affordable care act -- this is by the congressional budget office -- $36 billion this year alone, and $1.38 trillion through 2024. that's a little bit of information about the affordable care act. we're going to put the numbers back up on the screen, but we want to hear your opinion of the a.c.a. and how you think it's being implemented.
we're going to begin with margaret in leavenworth, kansas. hi, margaret. caller: hi, peter. i used to live in illinois, and then i got brans and i had to move here. hello? host: yes, we're listening, ma'am. caller: i'm on medicare. disability with a little extra help. but i'm natural state. people here -- and i couldn't -- there's no medicaid expansion, which should have been illegal. you can't put the whole thing in action without that, so i'm scared to death now that the way the election went, that i might lose something. i get $900 a month totally, and they say now i just got taken ver without a choice by humana for the part d medicine, and it said that i'm going to have to pay my medicare premium, which before i was getting help. people are desperate, and people don't get jobs that cover healthcare, and the red
state seems to be -- host: margaret, would you number favor of medicaid expansion in kansas? caller: oh, absolutely. i know so many people, it's almost like dying. we have a class system in this country, and all men are created equal. that's a big laugh. you cannot go to an e.r. you'll get stabilized and get sent out. you can't get an ambulance, because you'll be sent the big bill. people are not getting the healthcare we need, and then people turn against the system. they need vaccinations. we need new antibiotics made. we need to care about our people. host: margaret, thank you for calling in this morning. let's hear from -- is it vivian or vivan in tennessee? caller: vivian. good morning. i was calling to talk about, i'm lucky that die have insurance. thank god in heaven. but i have a relative who's really sick.
she called in four days ago trying to get the insurance. and first the lady told her it would be $179, and she's not working. she's on disability. then the woman went back and found her a plan which would be $29.98 a month. that is very helpful, and we thank god in heaven, like she said, for that plan. so i don't see why they want to reappeal if they want to do anything. this must be big insurance companies that charging people, like they did with me. when i gained weight, they doubled my premium. my premium was $12. i gained weight to 198, my remium went up to $35. so thank god in heaven for this , preexisting conditions that can help people. the republicans need to wake up. host: collierville, tennessee. again, we've divided our phone calls just a little bit differently. you can see them on the screen. i'm going read them one more
time. 202 is the area code. if you are an enrollee in the affordable care act, we want to hear from you, 585-3880 is the number for you to dial. if you have employer insurance, 585-3881. other types of insurance, including medicare, 585-3882. and finally, the uninsured, definitely want to hear from thuse morning as well, 202-585-3883. from "the washington post," strategy adjusted on healthcare enrollments. the first year of enrollment, the goal was simply to get people to sign up for coverage, amy goldstein writes. this time the administration has a dual mission, urging people to renew their insurance while trying to attract uninsured people who ignored he marketplace last year --
host: patricia from camden, new jersey. hi, patricia. caller: good morning, c-span viewers. good morning, peter. just give me a second. i do want to give out a shout out to our governor in new jersey, because he did expand medicaid, and i always vote democratic, but he's republican. and as a result -- not 12 months on c-span before, i think this place from corporate america, my background is healthcare. right now i'm signing people up for affordable care act. had it not been for medicaid expansion in new jersey, i'm 58, i wouldn't have healthcare. host: so you have medicaid? caller: yes. i am on medicaid because i'm in
and out of employment. i can only find, you know, temp agency employment. host: now does, it cost you anything a month? caller: it didn't cost me time. i got my teeth cleaned. i got my eyeglasses. i did have to pay $70 for the frames. host: ok. caller: and i can be more mobile to find employment and not worry that i have to work for a company that i probably might not succeed in today because of technology. young people know more than me. they do, with technology. host: what was the sign-up period like for you? what was the sign-up like? caller: because i'm in healthcare, you know, i'm used to going through -- everybody should be. i mean, really, i think that the system -- let me just not answer your question for a second. the system will probably still need improving, but i worked years in healthcare, and i remember when there was no h.m.o., and then that came on board.
it's a process. host: one of the concerns of the state governors who haven't expanded medicaid is that they're afraid that the cost is going to become their responsibility. caller: uh-huh. i hear on you that, yes, probably will. my experience, is you know, for a while the government can help out, but then now i'm learning. thank god for c-span. all politics are local. host: that's patricia in new jersey. this is shawn in florida. hi, shawn. caller: hello. yeah, the healthcare situation is -- you just take tax out of our government, a federal tax, just like every other country. it's insurance companies that are living such a good life of the average worker.
i think everybody should have insurance. i think it should be taken out of your taxes. if it was 5%, it would be easy. we can control healthcare costs. it's just that nobody wants to do it. nobody wants to come up with a plan to help the people. both branches were going to do that, they could control it. host: you have your combar -- caller: part tv is awful. host: shawn, you get your insurance through your employer, correct? caller: yes. it's not bad. but the deductibles, everything else, you know, it's what it is, but still it can be better. if they want to do it, better obamacare doesn't work, it's a joke, because it's not helping a lot of people, you know? you don't have a fine. you can take it out of your federal tax. come up with a way for every other country does it. that's i'm i got. thank you. host: mark is in virginia. hi, mark. how do you get your insurance? caller: i got -- i'm on medicaid, and my wife is trying
to -- she has applied twice for disability and been denied. she's got two hernias, one hiatal hernia with a cent meter tear in her diagram. host: so, mark, do you have medicaid through the affordable care act, or do you have medicaid because you're disabled? caller: problem with, with the a.c.a., we investigate it, there is no affordable healthcare. meaning free healthcare. we are both living on my disability, which is $933 a month. they will not allow her -- she is physically unable to work, and they're denying her healthcare. affordable healthcare denotes free healthcare. nobody should have to pay for healthcare in the united states, just like in all the other five industrialized countries of the planet. they have free healthcare. there's no justification for the united states of america,
the richest planet, most powerful planet on the earth, not to have free healthcare. host: mark, you live in virginia. they have not expanded medicaid. caller: nope. host: have you been following the arguments in richmond? caller: not closely, because those people who -- i use the phrase "on that side of the table," they're not reasonable to talk to. affordable healthcare means free healthcare. host: all right. caller: there's no reason -- host: this is going to be stephanie in north carolina. an affordable care act enrollee. hi, stephanie. caller: hi. i am just so thrilled to have health insurance for the first time i guess in almost 15 years. i lost my job in the airline industry after 9/11, and it was never able to find another job hat provided healthcare. so mine is, i think, $150 a
month. i'm 55 years old and a widow. i always figured i was one car accident away from losing everything i had. so i am just tickled to death. i think we could do a lot better than what it is right now. i think if we kept the insurance companies out, a.k.a. the middle men, we could be doing it a lot cheaper. that's pretty much all i have to say. host: when did you sign up? how was your experience? do you get a subsidy? caller: i do get a subsidy. i wish i had my bill with me. it's paying at least half of it. host: ok. caller: like i said, i have the bronze plan with the big deductible, but i will tell you that when i researched getting insurance before this, it was ike $750 a month for something that's even -- for something that covers less than what mine
covers now. i say it's win-win for me. host: did you through a private insurer? caller: yes. i signed up -- like i said, i'm in north carolina, so they don't have their own little sign-up thing. i went through it, and i am very concerned about the supreme court and if they take away that, then i won't be able to afford insurance again, so i'll get -- i'll get the excitement of crossing my fingers every time i get in the car. host: that's stephanie in north carolina. jayne o'donnell of "usa today" will be out here in a little while, and we'll talk about some of the politics on capitol hill and the supreme court with her as well. starr sun insured and living in palm bay, florida. starr, you're on the "washington journal." caller: hi, my husband and i, we can't afford insurance through his work. we tried for the affordable care act, but that was still insanely expensive for us, and
the deductibles were ridiculous. but over a year ago, before my son was born, we tried to get just insurance for him, and they told me that because of the affordable care act, they no longer offer child-only policies. so now -- now my son is uninsured, and that's just nothing we can do. host: i'm sorry. how old is he? caller: he is 16 months. host: ok, all right. have you looked at healthcare .gov at all? caller: we did. they said we qualified for a subsidy, but it was still expensive. we don't go to the doctor's that often, so the deductibles, and it just wasn't worth it for us. we struggle paycheck to paycheck just to make it. it's just not something we can put in our budget. so we will remain uninsured,
that's it. host: starr, is there a solution, in your view? caller: repeal the affordable care act and maybe let people go across state lines and make it more competitive. host: thank you, ma'am. shirley right here in washington, d.c., employer insurance. shirley, you're on the "washington journal." caller: yes, good morning. thank you for taking my call, and good morning to everyone, all your listeners. i live in the washington, d.c. area. die have insurance through my employer. -- i do have insurance through my employer. i want to say the affordable healthcare act is a joke. the democrats are always saying how the republicans are waging a war against the middle class. well, i think it's the democrats who are waging a war against the middle class. since the affordable healthcare act has come into existence, i pay more for insurance. every time i go to a doctor, take my daughter to a doctor, i get a bill in the mail for a test and all that stuff that they have to run and everything.
that is passed off to the consumer. prior to the affordable healthcare act, i never received a bill in the mail, or if i did, it was very minimal. now when i get a normal checkup, you know, a healthcare check, i'm getting the bill in the mail for like $70, $80, and this is in addition to paying $460 per month for my health insurance. it just seems like -- the middle class are being made to take care of people who don't have health insurance, and i am sympathetic to those who don't have health insurance, but why kill those who are paying taxes , putting it into the economy, why burden us with that extra, you know, cost of taking care of everyone else? now the president is getting ready to sign this executive order, and that's a different story or whatever. but again, that's going to be more people going into the system, and who's going to take care of them, the middle class?
i'm tired, and i'm sick of it, and i cannot wait until the democrats are out of office. thank you. host: shirley right near washington, d.c., listening on c-span radio. "the new york times" over the last couple of months has put a series called "athe affordable care act working?" wish we had time to go through this whole thing. i think you'd find it very interesting. if you're interested in this topic, it goes through the different areas of the affordable care act. has the number of uninsured dropped? what's the cost of it? has it improved outcomes? are the exchanges working? the effect on the healthcare industry is another area. medicare expansion, is that working? and finally, healthcare spending overall. those are some of the areas that the "new york times" has looked at with a series of reports over the last couple of months. you can see it there on your screen. sharon has enrolled in the affordable care sandact lives here in the suburbs in silver
spring, maryland. hi, sharon. caller: hi. for the insurance, it has helped me. host: sharon, i apologize, we're going to put you on hold for a second. we got really kind of icky coverage there. somebody is going to get on the line and talk to you and see if we can get you a better signal. bonnie in martinsburg, west virginia. caller: good morning. host: hi, bonnie. caller: i would like to say that you had a girl on there just a minute ago talking about how it is for her with her insurance, and that she also has employer insurance. my husband has insurance. and we're on that plan. i don't understand why people don't say that the subsidies are coming out of the pocket of the middle class. without us, there would be none
of this. you can't continue to take money from working people to pay for people who don't work. just like she said, he's getting ready to sign this business into law about immigrants. i don't have a problem with immigrants, but, you know, we cannot afford to take the responsibility and burden of all these people on to the middle class. host: have your insurance rates gone up since the enforcement of the affordable care snact caller: a little bit. we're a high deductible anyway because we don't go to the doctor much. but i think if they're going to force us to pay healthcare for other people, they ought to let us. that's mostly what i have to say. say what it is that it is. my paycheck that's paying for your insurance, don't keep saying subsidy. people don't understand. once they figure out what a subsidy means, somebody else's money, maybe they'll get by it and stop crying and say, oh, i
thank god -- well, what am i going to thank god for when you've taken all my money? host: this is dawn in port charlotte, florida, uninsured line. hi, dawn. caller: hi, good morning. i live in florida. i'm 56. i work two jobs. i can't afford healthcare because we don't have the affordable care act in florida. when i go on the site, i qualify. but if i try to find insurance in florida that's affordable for me, even working two jobs, i can't get it. i can't afford it. host: now, dawn, you say you don't have the affordable care act. you mean the state is not running its own exchange? caller: correct. host: ok, but you can go to healthcare.gov, the federal government? caller: yeah, i do. when i do, because florida is not part of the exchange or the subsidies, it's almost $600 a month, which is half of my income.
host: you don't even get a subsidy? caller: no. host: ok. what do you think the solution is? host: i think florida should join up for the affordable care act. i think we need subsidies in florida. there's a lot of people walking around uninsured. the doctors down here won't see you if you don't have insurance. i work two jobs. i'm not trying to be on the dole, but i need something i can afford. host: let's go back to sharon near silver spring, maryland, affordable care act enrollee. hi, sharon. caller: hi. host: much better. caller: ok, good. gosh, the first time i get on, and my call is icky. but anyway, thank god i'm on again. host: the connection was icky. no calls are icky. caller: ok, well, for me it's been a blessing, and i'm going thank god, thank obama, thank god for blessing us with obama. yes,i am. and are his family. because for the first time in
45 years, i've had insurance. it will take care of my situation, as well as my husband. i worked all my life, all my life i've worked, and never have been able to afford insurance. it was more than what my check, what i was bringing home. so i'm just they're say that i'm blessed, and there were two -- from what i heard, two successful young ladies that called in. they know who they are. one was from tennessee, and another one who said that she worked in the healthcare insurance industry all this time, and it is a process that you got to go through. i mean, it was a process for me. but i know that i needed it. i knew that, you know, free health insurance was being offered. and i say it's going to be less up to me to take advantage of that, as well as my husband. i'm not in the middle class. i'm in the poor class. it's just so much negativity that's going on. i'm a little nervous, but it's so much negativity that's going
on with people saying that they don't want to pay for nobody else. that's the problem now, how people think. they don't believe in looking out for somebody else, it's so much selfishness. i can say this sentence, a lot of selfishness here, a lot of things near america. look at my situation now. i'm able to have insurance, as well as my husband having insurance. it's a good thing. host: what kind of insurance do you have? are you part of the medicaid expansion in maryland? caller: well, yeah, i worked for a long time, and i got laid off. before when i was working, i did call, because i was trying to rush and call before the deadline, and it just so happened that i had got laid off. they helped me out. you know, there's a
1-800-number. i called and explained my case, and i mean, it was time that i had to call, you know, probably more than once. it was a process. host: we're going to leave it there and move on to michael in dixon, illinois. michael, you're on the "washington journal." talk to us about the affordable care act. caller: thank you for having the show. i enjoy watching it every morning. my situation is i'm on medicaid, medicare, and i also have a secondary, a drug program. i have two sons, and one works through a restaurant service, which does not give insurance. so i have been trying to talk to her forever about this, and thank god obama had this idea about getting insurance for people. every day i would worry about something happening to him, and, you know, i explained to him, you know, one day to the emergency room, it costs you -- it could cost you $8,000 for a
broken finger. that's the number one bankruptcy problem. thank god for him to pull this out through whoever he has to do it, and thank god that was one of the things that i decided to do. host: did your other son, the one who works in the restaurant industry, did he sign up for the affordable care act? caller: did he right away. host: do you know what it costs him a month? does he get a subsidy? caller: he gets a small subsidy, but not a big subsidy. i think he's not -- i don't know -- i know there's a bronze, silver, whatever, but i a w that he will have to pay majority of it, but at least he has something. now that i've talked to him, you know, he's understanding that, because he works his brains out. it's good that, you know, he don't have to worry about
someone taking every bit of his money through the hospital. host: all right. ryan in michigan, affordable care act enrollee. what's your experience been? caller: i joust love it. i saved so much money being on it. host: do you have a private plan, or are you part of the medicaid expansion? caller: i got the plan. host: can you tell us how much you pay a month, what kind of subsidy you get? caller: i am -- i pay $137.50 a month. and i was paying almost $600 a month. and then i went to -- and i had a $7,000 deductible. and now i have a $350 deductible. and i was going to drop this plan that i was on because i ouldn't afford it no more. and you don't -- host: brian, this is through a private insurance company?
caller: yeah. yeah. i industrial my same doctor, same hospital -- i still have my same doctor, same hospital. i've been using it, and it works great. i have to say that the republicans, they sit and whine and complain about, you know, i'm talking they never get one thing to help make it better. they sit there and cry the whole time, but people need this. and i don't see how they can sit back and just cry and complain about it. or they don't worry about themselves because they already have their own health care. and i'm sure we'll pay for it. >> brian are you aware, or tell us, do you need to resign up by the end of the year? do you need to reenroll in the same plan? >> yeah, i have to reenroll. >> have you gotten a letter or anything from your insurance company saying hey, got to