Can Politically-Correct Names Save Obamacare?

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Saving Electronic Health Record Interoperability?

1-darrellpruittBy D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

If HHS successfully persuades Americans to use happy names for its bad ideas, will the cheap trick save electronic health record interoperability which is critical to the success of Obamacare?

Healthcare Lexicon 

According to the government’s modernized healthcare lexicon, doctors have been demoted to “providers,” insurance companies, including Medicare/Medicaid, have been promoted to “payers,” and patients’ position in the hierarchy has diminished from “principals” to “stakeholders” – a rank on par with 3rd parties such as insurers, HHS and other unaccountable parasites.

Wall of Shame

Ominously, HHS recently changed the contentious name “Wall of Shame” to a more innocuous“ breach reporting tool,” to describe the public list of data breaches involving the medical records of more than 500 patients. It turns out that the growing list of major data breaches is unexpectedly shaming  far too many providers and payers – including Medicare/Medicaid. Imagine that!

In fact, since Americans’ growing disgust with privacy breaches threatens the very success of Obamacare, there is evidence that HHS has turned to betraying its lawful obligation to the nation by hiding breaches from those who are most vulnerable – Americans.

HIPAA Failure

The half-baked plan to shame providers who experience data breaches – perhaps through no fault of their own – is not working out like HHS had hoped. Due to HIPAA’s abysmal failure to halt data breaches, the Wall of Shame has become a national embarrassment and an obstacle to EHR adoption. I expect the public listing of major breaches to be quietly scrapped soon in favor of keeping patients in the dark concerning their risks of identity theft.


In dentistry, on the other hand, common sense as well as market resistance evidently caused HHS and other stakeholders to give up trying to prohibit use of the 8 syllable “electronic dental records” in favor of the 14 syllable “electronic health records for dental practices.”

Nevertheless, holdouts (including Dissent Doe) still occasionally feel it is important to correct this dentists when I use “EDR” instead of “EHR.” You got to love ‘em.

Obama Care 


Transparent silliness suggests that HHS is failing in its duties. Due to lack of accountability, we can expect EHRs and EDRs to become even more expensive and more dangerous, possibly bringing an end to Obamacare.


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23 Responses

  1. Health law concerns for cancer centers

    Darrell – Cancer patients relieved that they can get insurance coverage because of the new health care law may be disappointed to learn that some of the nation’s best cancer hospitals are off-limits.



  2. Republicans Considering Proposing High-Risk Pools
    [Health Insurance Ghettos?]

    According to Robert Laszewski, politicos are hearing that Republicans are considering proposing high-risk pools as part of an alternative health insurance reform proposal to Obamacare.

    But, will they work?



  3. As Deadline Nears, Obamacare Enrollees Can Get More Time

    Was this another “line in the sand”?



  4. Can Politically-Correct Names Save Obamacare

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” was signed into law in 2010. At its signing, President Obama said “this Act affirms the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.”

    According to Paul Krugman, a Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, the essence of the PPACA is a three-legged stool of regulation and subsidies; (1) community rating requiring insurers to make the same policies available to everyone regardless of health status; (2) an individual mandate, requiring everyone to purchase insurance so that healthy people don’t opt out; and (3) subsidies to keep insurance affordable for those with lower incomes.

    The PPACA is another part of health care reform and, like most changes in our society, it has unintended consequences. Whether we agree or disagree with the core principle as stated by President Obama and the essence of PPACA as stated by Dr. Krugman, I think it is important that consider the basis of our convictions.

    We often interpret meaning through the filters of our values, feelings, past experiences and the impact on our pocketbook. Therefore, I submit, most of the comments we make in writing and speaking are assertions of fact, opinion, or belief. However, the usefulness and acceptability of an assertion can be improved or diminished by the nature of the assertion.

    When we hear what someone asserts while speaking or writing, perhaps we should seek the rest of the story.

    Leroy Howard MA CMP™ candidate


  5. Affordable Care Act Enrollment Numbers

    • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in their first year of health reform.
    • 3 million young adults gained coverage by being able to stay on their parents plan.
    • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened.
    • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to a CBO estimate.
    • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 States have not expanded Medicaid.

    Source: The White House


  6. OBAMACARE “inconsistencies”

    Federal officials can’t resolve 85 percent of 2.9 million “inconsistencies” on applications for ObamaCare even after nine months of trying, according to new data provided by the administration.

    Most of the problems involve certifying citizenship and income, key components of the national health plan.

    But; some of the problems are downright nutty.



  7. More Than 100,000 Enrollees Are Likely to Lose Obamacare Coverage

    According to the National Journal, more than 100,000 Obamacare enrollees are set to lose their new insurance coverage at the end of the month because they have not verified their legal status in the United States.



  8. Changing ACA Numbers

    The Obama administration has had to revise and refine some initial enrollment numbers for health insurance sign-ups after they turned out to be too optimistic.

    At other times, metrics less favorable to the president’s overhaul leaked out after officials claimed not to have such data.



  9. ObamaCare and Ebola

    What does the Ebola situation say about ObamaCare, and national healthcare, in general?



  10. Radius GMR: 66% covered by ACA say they will change health plans in 2015

    According to a recent survey conducted by Radius Global Market Research:

    • 20% of respondents said they are not satisfied with their current health plan coverage.
    • >50% expect their healthcare premiums to increase in the next six months.
    • 33% switched doctors after joining ACA plans. (original doctor not part of ACA plan)
    • 25% of households visit their doctor less frequently and/or with longer office wait times.
    • 44% of Americans feel they are well informed in regards to the explanation of ACA coverage.

    Source: Radius Global Market Research

    And, John Boehner wants to “repeal and replace” the ACA.

    Hope R. Hetico RN MHA


  11. Republicans Eye Reconciliation Route in Bid to Repeal ACA

    With Senate Democrats losing their majority but still able to muster enough troops to mount successful filibusters, Republicans are eyeing another tactic in their uphill fight to dismantle Obamacare. It’s known as reconciliation, part of the budget process. It’s a powerful but unwieldy tool that the majority can use to push its issues through Congress with only majority votes in either chamber, thus evading the roadblock of a filibuster in the Senate.

    GOP leaders are expected to hold votes on full repeal of Obamacare, giving new lawmakers a chance to go on record for the policy even though it’s certain to fail to clear a Senate filibuster. They’ll also hold votes to scrap Obamacare’s excise tax on medical device sales and change the law’s definition of full-time work week from 30 hours to 40 — both moves that might attract Democratic votes and would put Mr. Obama in a jam.

    Source: Tom Howell Jr., The Washington Times [1/1/15]


  12. Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidies in All States

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) avoided a potential death blow today when the Supreme Court ruled (6-3) that citizens in 34 states that did not establish their own insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, are eligible for premium subsidies under the 2010 law. The decision offers relief to 6.4 million Americans in those 34 states who have purchased private coverage with the help of subsidies.

    For the second time now, the ACA has survived Supreme Court scrutiny. In 2012, the high court upheld the law’s individual mandate to purchase coverage, but made Medicaid expansion optional for states. The challenge to the subsidies centered on a section of the law saying that this assistance was intended for individuals buying a health plan through an exchange “established by the state.” Only 16 states opted for their own exchange. The remaining 34 states — mostly Republican — defaulted to a federally established exchange that uses the enrollment website called

    Robert Lowes, Medscape News [6/25/15]


  13. No, Giving More People Health Insurance Doesn’t Save Money

    The argument for the cost savings from universal health coverage makes some intuitive sense, but it’s not backed up by research, according to this reporter.



  14. ACA penalty

    The minimum penalty for failing to have some form of health coverage will rise considerably in 2016, and could motivate some bystanders to sign up with the ACA.

    That penalty, which this year is the higher of 2 percent of adjustable gross household income or $325 per adult, rises next year to the higher of 2.5 percent of household income or $695 per adult.



  15. Court Strikes Down Obama Healthcare Rule on Insurance Standards

    A federal appeals court has ruled that consumers must be allowed to buy certain types of health insurance that do not meet the stringent standards of the Affordable Care Act, deciding that the administration had gone beyond the terms of federal law. The court struck down a rule issued by the Obama administration that barred the sale of such insurance as a separate stand-alone product.

    “Disagreeing with Congress’s expressly codified policy choices isn’t a luxury administrative agencies enjoy,” the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said on Friday in a decision that criticized “administrative overreach” by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    At issue is a type of insurance that pays consumers a fixed dollar amount, such as $500 a day for hospital care or $50 for a doctor’s visit, regardless of how much is actually owed to the provider. Such “fixed indemnity” insurance is normally less comprehensive and less expensive than the “minimum essential coverage” required by the Affordable Care Act. Under the rule, issued by the Obama administration in 2014, fixed indemnity policies could be sold only to people who already have the more comprehensive coverage that meets detailed federal standards.

    Source: Robert Pear, New York Times [7/5/16]


  16. Obamacare RIP?

    UHC and Aetna are now out of the HIEs. And, Anthem is next; sooner than later.



  17. Ailing Obama Healthcare Act May Have to Change to Survive

    The fierce struggle to enact and carry out the Affordable Care Act was supposed to put an end to 75 years of fighting for a healthcare system to insure all Americans. Instead, the law’s troubles could make it just a way station on the road to another, more stable healthcare system, the shape of which could be determined on Election Day.

    Seeing a lack of competition in many of the health law’s online insurance marketplaces, Hillary Clinton, President Obama, and much of the Democratic Party are calling for more government, not less. Mr. Obama’s signature domestic achievement will almost certainly have to change to survive. The two parties agree that for too many people, health plans in the individual insurance market are still too expensive and inaccessible.

    Source: Robert Pear, The New York Times [10/2/16]


  18. ACA Dead 8 Years Post Arrival,

    With the GOP tax bill steaming toward President Donald Trump’s desk, Republican lawmakers are on the verge of eliminating the part Obamacare they hate most: the individual mandate.




    Judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional, endangering coverage for 20 million.

    Any thoughts?

    Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA


  20. PP-ACA Crashing?

    Obamacare sign-ups on the federal health insurance marketplace fell 20% in the first two weeks of the 2020 enrollment season compared with last year, according to new federal data



  21. Supreme Court will take up challenge to Obamacare

    The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could result in all of Obamacare being thrown out, bringing the future of the law to the forefront as a central campaign issue.

    Dr. Andy


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