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October 25, 2013

Over Promised and Under Delivered

Joe Charlebois

Callous, cold and calculating politicians are doing nothing to help hundreds of thousands of Americans who will go without healthcare insurance. In fact they are doing everything in their power to assure that these people aren't covered come January 1, 2014.


Thousands of these same Americans have conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and may be currently treated for cancer. It wasn’t President Barack Obama or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., NV) who fought for these people. It was the conservatives in Congress who did.


The conservatives in Congress were well aware that the innumerable promises that the president made about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) where not only misleading, but would likely create the opposite effect that the president said would happen.


“First of all, if you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctor, you like your plan – you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you.” (July 16, 2009)


In February of this year, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its estimate that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would “push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage.” This begs the question: How many political supporters of the ACA were not aware that this would happen or didn’t care as long as the president’s signature accomplishment wasn’t changed in any way?


Last year, a full three years later, the president kept up the myth that you could keep your plan.


“If you’re one of the 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.” (June 28, 2012.)


Even the CBO’s previous estimates that were available to the president in 2012 predicted that two to three million policyholders would lose their coverage.


Additional sources back up what the CBO estimates. According to Kaiser Health News staff writers, Anna Gorman and Julie Appleby, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, will lose their individual coverage through various providers due to the plans not providing 10 essential points of coverage.


Florida Blue has sent out cancellations for 300,000 policyholders which amount to approximately 80% of all its individual policies. Kaiser Permanente sent out cancellations to 160,000 policyholders in California. Two Pennsylvania Insurers, Highmark based in Pittsburgh and Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia, are being forced to cancel 20% and 45% of their current policyholders due to the ACA requirements.


“Under my plan, a typical family will save $2,500.” (Washington Post interview, 2008)


For those forced to rewrite their policies, a majority are looking at increased out-of-pocket costs and monthly premium hikes. This isn’t due to greedy insurance companies; rather it is due to the mandates that each company is required to offer with each policy. These include prescription drug benefit, mental health coverage and maternity.


In March 2012, the CBO released its updated report that as of 2022, 18 years after original implementation, will result in only 93% of non-elderly adults. So the ACA won’t insure the 30 million Americans reported to be without coverage.


If you are wondering why Democrats in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are now clamoring over the top of each other to get to the microphone and denounce the implementation of Obamacare, it is because the law hurts too many of their constituents. It fails to provide the relief that many sought; and it is a political nightmare coming.


The conservatives in the Republican majority of the House of Representatives and senators like Ted Cruz (R., TX) and Mike Lee (R., UT) had been pushing for the Senate to take up appropriations bills since last summer. Each time they saw the bill languish on the majority leader’s desk while they attempted to reign in the ACA.


The majority leader and the president realized – that without holding the country “hostage” through a forced shutdown – they would be required to negotiate with the Republicans on defunding or altering the ACA.


While the progressive left and main stream media are congratulating themselves for attempting to destroy Ted Cruz, the implosion begins on the ACA. The short term political success of Democrats – if there was one – will be short lived as the under delivered and over promised hype that is Obamacare destroys people’s lives and our stumbling economy.


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