ObamaCare on Schedule to Ruin Thanksgiving
With Thanksgiving approaching, Americans reflect on what they can be thankful for. Looking at the ObamaCare fiasco, it's evident that Americans can be thankful that one senator in particular, Mike Lee (R-Utah), has continued to propose plans to stop this train wreck. ObamaCare was supposed to insure everyone in this country but instead has caused five million Americans to lose their insurance so far. American Thinker interviewed Senator Lee and other Americans who have little to be thankful for since receiving a drastic wake-up call regarding their health insurance.
Senator Lee was one of the first to warn that ObamaCare had to be repealed, not reformed, because of its complexity and the way the bill was written. He points to the number of people who have lost their jobs, had their hours slashed, and lost access to health care because of this flawed law. He is not in favor of suspending or delaying the individual mandate because "that would result in higher premiums and mask other severe problems. I do think that the law will prove to be unworkable, harmful, and unsustainable.
"This disaster has hurt a lot of people. It is very difficult for me to just sit back and do nothing. We can do a lot better than ObamaCare, including providing tax credits that can be used to purchase private health plans. Those who still support ObamaCare have never acknowledged that the individual mandate is a tax, as ruled by the Supreme Court. I proposed a Senate bill to call them out on it, and then we would be able to have a new constitutional challenge."
American Thinker interviewed a cross-section of Americans who agree with Senator Lee that this law should never have been passed and consider as an untruth President Obama's famous statement: "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan." They are angry, worried, and frustrated over their health care insurance and unequivocally blame the president and those who voted for this bill.
Everyone interviewed felt that this administration is condescending, by telling them that their plans, which they liked, were inadequate. As they and many other Americans are finding out, the "Affordable" Care Act is not true to its name.
Dale Griffin, a Delaware resident who lost his health insurance, feels that "this administration counts on people being stupid -- that they can parse it, and if they phrase it just so, the American people will believe anything. The claim that these insurance policies were sub-par is ridiculous. Most state insurance commissioners endorsed and certified these plans, and they were bought by people with a reasonable IQ."
Those interviewed feel that since federal tax dollars funds ObamaCare, both Houses of Congress, their staffs, some unions, and all federal employees should also be required to be enrolled in ObamaCare. As Betsy, an Illinois resident who also lost her insurance, said, "they are not above the law. I cannot afford to buy something that they are telling me I must have. There is something wrong with them telling me they know what is best, yet they won't accept it themselves. I am tired of Democrats being so entrenched with this law without caring what it is doing, and tired of the Republicans not pushing for some health care reform. They should scrap the whole thing and work in a bipartisan manner to reform health care, including allowing for pre-existing conditions, allowing for purchasing across state lines, allowing a child to be on a parent's policy until the age of twenty-six, and not putting a maximum on the amount of benefits received. However, I do not like being told what I can and cannot do, and that my policy was sub-par. It's not the American way."
This comes on the heels of the Democrats trying to backtrack and deflect blame. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who voted for ObamaCare, has introduced a bill that allows people to keep their insurance if they like it. A staff member in Senator Feinstein's office (D-CA) explained that this bill would take away the requirement that insurance policies include new benefits, allowing insurance companies not to comply with the ACA if they so choose. These bills are in addition to the president's executive actions, which would allow the State Insurance Commissioners to reverse, for one year, the cancelations.
Allyson, who lives in Alabama and lost her insurance, is not optimistic. "I don't think it changed anything, and I am not celebrating. It should have been done months before the October 1st rollout. Maybe this will give us breathing room and a reprieve, but then it will hit all over again next year."
This looks a lot like displaced blame. Those who came up with ObamaCare, voted for it, supported it, and signed it into law want to blame the insurance companies who might not logistically or practically be able to reinstate any canceled plan. In addition, the Democrats must also think the American people are stupid, since President Obama's plan is effective through December 31, 2014 -- after the 2014 congressional elections.
Cade, who lives in Georgia, regards the president and the Democrats as "not caring about people's life and livelihood. They need to show me they can make it right, not just tell me. This was only done for political reasons, so they can have the insurance companies as a political scapegoat. Well, I don't blame my insurance company, and feel the damage has already been done. Unless it is repealed or greatly reformed, I do not see any substantive action."
For those interested in knowing the specific circumstances of each person interviewed, please see below:
Betsy, in her early fifties, felt that the president has deceived the American people. Her plan was canceled because it did not include maternity and pediatrics, something she obviously does not need at this stage of her life. After going on the government website, she found that there were no affordable plans for her family.
She told American Thinker, "We make too much money to qualify for any subsidy but not enough to afford a full-price plan. I was promised that I could keep what I had, which, by the way, fit into my budget. Luckily, my insurance agent directed me to a website where my husband and I found a plan we could afford. This plan is not compliant with ObamaCare. Regardless, we now have insurance through 2014."
Dean and his wife are in their mid-fifties and had a plan tailored to what they needed. Dean blames President Obama and himself: "After listening to the president's statements, we got lulled into trusting and believing what he said. Looking back on it, I do not think the president ever meant what he said and did it for political reasons. That is not the American way. I blame myself for not paying attention to what Congress was doing." Dean went on to say that because the deductible will be $12,000 and his insurance premiums went up by about $500 per month, he and his wife have decided to self-insure by putting money away each month.
Cade is a single male in his thirties and a small business owner. He is strongly leaning toward paying a fine and going without any insurance since his policy was canceled. He cannot afford the increase in deductibles and monthly premiums and is angered by the government's regulations. He thinks this is a "disaster that will continue to spiral out of control. I don't think President Obama is doing anything about it because it is a vanity issue. He will continue to force it on the American people because he does not want to admit it was a mistake."
Allyson also had her insurance policy canceled. She refuses to even look at ObamaCare even though her family of six would qualify for some subsidies. Currently she is looking into finding some catastrophic insurance because she does not "have a lot of confidence in the government. What happens when the money runs out, like with Social Security? We want to make our own choices. I blame those in Congress who voted for ObamaCare. They should never get re-elected, even if some are now backtracking. I learned from this fiasco to stay alert, not to listen only to mainstream media, and to vote for those with the same values as myself, like my congresswoman, Roby (R-Ala.), who has gone to bat for us."
A cancer victim who lives in California also lost his health insurance. He noted that it is overwhelming and stressful, and says Obama's apology was absurd and condescending. "The biggest loser is trust and respect in our government."
Thomas, who lives in South Carolina, thought he was one of the lucky ones, since his policy was not canceled. After going on the ObamaCare website, he found that the premiums would be 50% more and that his deductible would increase by $5,000, so he decided to keep his current plan. The problem for him was that all his personal information was compromised. "A gentleman from my state logged into the system under his own name and password. He found that after downloading his documents, they were not his, but mine. I only got satisfaction after notifying the media and my congressional delegation became involved. I warn my fellow Americans not to sign up, because I have no faith that the system is secure."
What Americans like those interviewed are hoping for is that their countrymen will get behind people like Senator Lee, who is trying to repeal ObamaCare, and to vote out those who supported it. They also want to warn Americans that the Democrats and the Obama administration were deceitful, and within that deceit was a miscalculation. Democrats thought that by implementing the new measure, which forced a lot of insurance policies to be canceled, many of those uninsured would go on the website, sign up, and be the ones to pay for ObamaCare. Well, they were wrong, because those interviewed and others like them will never choose ObamaCare, since it is becoming more apparent that it is actually hurting more people than it was ever designed to help.
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews and author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.