The third of Barack Obama’s Big Lies, after “you can keep your plan” and “you can keep your doctor,” was his promise that Americans would save quite a bit of money on insurance under ObamaCare. In fact, he spoke of families saving a cool $2500 a year. As with all socialist redistribution schemes, there are some people doing better under the Affordable Care Act… but most of us are not, and quite a few Americans are reeling from incredible premium hikes, followed up by enormous deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs if they actually try to use their benefits.
And it’s going to get worse. A lot worse. You have scarcely begun to pay for Obama’s folly, America.
The horror stories keep piling up, faster than Democrats can scream they’re all a bunch of liars. A Nevada man lamed Larry Basich fought his way into the bug storm on ObamaCare launch day, kept plugging away at the garbage ObamaCare computer systems until November, finally managed to buy a plan and pay his first premium, then suffered a heart attack, requiring triple bypass surgery… at which point he discovered the “confused” state ObamaCare exchange never actually assigned him to an insurance provider.
Four months later, Basich is sitting on $407,000 in unpaid hospital bills. He “blames his back-and-forth with the exchange in December at least in part for the stress that caused his heart attack,” according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. Everyone involved in the system claims they’re working super-hard to get his bills taken care of, but thus far most of that work has involved the exchange contractor and two different insurance providers pointing fingers of blame at each other. The contractor actually took a stab at blaming Mr. Basich for the whole mess because, like many other Americans who made honest and persistent efforts to use the disastrous computer systems ObamaCare foisted on us, he ended up generating multiple online applications.
And of course, Basich’s senator is the sinister Harry Reid, famous for loudly declaring that all ObamaCare horror stories are untrue. Reid hasn’t been much help, although his staff made a big production of calling Basich every day to work on a problem their boss claimed was pure fantasy from the floor of the Senate. Punchline: Basich’s insurance broker estimates at least 20 other customers have problems of similar magnitude, while only about 5 percent of Nevada Health Link enrollments went through problem-free.
That’s going to leave a lot of people saddled with big bills, and the attendant financial problems that come with crushing debts, plus the wasted hours invested in clearing up problems that wouldn’t have existed without ObamaCare. Someday we’ll see a solid estimate of the value of all the hours Americans have burned off dealing with ObamaCare problems. It will probably double the first year cost of the program. Of course, Big Government politicians don’t think the time of private-sector Americans has any real value.
Pastor Tony Angran of Iowa got a bad case of ObamaCare sticker shock to go along with his diagnosis of esophageal cancer, discovering that his “Affordable” Care Act plan would cost him $800 a month, plus $7000 worth of copayments. He finds Obama’s health care plan lacking in compassion. Maybe he’ll feel better if Harry Reid calls him a liar from the floor of the Senate.
It’s too bad we’ve already wasted so much time and effort on Obama’s Big Government boondoggle, because that’s money and energy we could have put toward developing real solutions to the problems with health insurance, circa 2008. Instead, we have a whole new batch of problems, and a large number of people who never did anything wrong – people who “worked hard and played by the rules,” according to one of President Obama’s favorite phrases – have been made to suffer unnecessarily. The money wasted on the federal and state ObamaCare exchanges alone could have done a lot of good, if invested wisely into actual medicine.
The worst is yet to come, as The Hill reported on Wednesday morning:
Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration.
The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP???s prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015.
Insurance officials who listened to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius chirp about premium increases slowing in the coming year are scratching their heads in confusion:
???The increases are far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act,??? the secretary said in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee.
Her comment baffled insurance officials, who said it runs counter to the industry???s consensus about next year.
???It???s pretty shortsighted because I think everybody knows that the way the exchange has rolled out ??? is going to lead to higher costs,??? said one senior insurance executive who requested anonymity.
The insurance official, who hails from a populous swing state, said his company expects to triple its rates next year on the ObamaCare exchange.
Among the factors for these 2015 premium hikes are the nasty “risk pool” equations stemming from the reluctance of young and healthy people to buy ObamaCare policies, uncertainty created by President Obama’s incessant tinkering with the law, new fees and regulatory costs… and the fact that “some insurers initially underpriced their policies to begin with, expecting to raise rates in the second year.”
Once again, the American people are played for suckers by ObamaCare. But that’s been the story all along, hasn’t it? Insurance experts quoted by The Hill think the Administration is currently working to soften voters up for a big “backpedal” on Obama’s false promises of lower insurance premiums. He knew he was lying back then, just as he knew he was lying when he made all those false promises about keeping your old plan and doctor. He knew even Democrat control of Congress wouldn’t be enough to push ObamaCare through, if the American people knew what it really held in store for them. The plan was always to manage political fallout with strategic “backpedaling” later.
Alas, you won’t be able to escape these premium hikes by going outside the ObamaCare exchanges to buy insurance, as President Obama has taken to recommending when he sees Democrat poll numbers droop. A recent survey from eHealthInsurance found people who buy policies outside the exchanges are already paying 39 to 56 percent more than before ObamaCare came along. There are families paying over $2600 a month in California.
Next year’s premium hikes will vary by state, which should make people in certain states very nervous. It doesn’t make much sense to talk about the average national impact of the Affordable Care Act when certain states are teetering on the verge of total collapse. The “fix” will probably involve bailouts, which will oblige the more solvent states to rescue the disaster areas.
And speaking of taxes, since people well into the middle class receive tax subsidies for buying ObamaCare insurance, these skyrocketing premiums should have some interesting effects on the federal deficit in coming years, as will the enormous expansion of Medicaid. Soon you’ll hear Democrats angrily insisting that you must pay higher taxes to cover the unexpectedly high cost of their botched health care scheme. There’s no question about whether we’ve paid the last of ObamaCare’s financial costs. The big question is whether Democrats will be finished paying the political cost after 2014.