The face of Obamacare's uselessness

Thomas Lifson
The television ads are writing themselves for use against Democrats who voted for Obamacare.  The notorious and very effective “Mitt Romney gave my husband cancer” ad used to demonize the GOP presidential nominee in 2012 and re-elect and incompetent president provides the model and the justification. For example, Dr. Marc Siegel writes about the uselessness of Obamacare for one of his patients he calls “Melody,” who was perfectly happy with her employer-provided “substandard” insurance that Obamacare concealed.

Like many healthy young people, she chose a “bronze” plan, with an annual $5,800 deductible and a monthly premium of $357. She figured a more expensive “silver” or “gold” plan wasn’t worth it, since she’d never need to rely on the lower deductible of those plans.

Last month, she came to see me for a routine follow-up visit and discovered that though her insurance plan was active, I wasn’t covered by it, because her Blue Cross HMO hadn’t chosen to include me or my hospital in its network. I charged her just $100 to see me, but this amount wasn’t covered by her plan and didn’t even count toward her whopping deductible because I was out-of-network.

During that visit, I discovered that she had mild hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). The most likely cause of this in a young woman is an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

This is a relatively benign disease that didn’t require immediate treatment, but to confirm this diagnosis, I needed to do a blood test for thyroid antibodies, which she said she couldn’t afford right away. I also needed to order a thyroid ultrasound to check for thyroid nodules, which she also said was too much to pay for.

These tests would count toward her deductible, but she was forced to shoulder 100 percent of the cost until she’d spent the whole $5,800 of the deductible out of her own pocket.

We both came to the realization that her ObamaCare insurance was useless — that it was actually hurting her by providing the illusion of coverage.

Four months ago I posited that “the Pottery Barn Rule ("You break it, you own it") is being applied to America's health insurance system,” and Obamacare now has the responsibility for all the frustrations inherent in health care insurance.

The Democrats have made a historical blunder with Obamacare that will haunt them in 2014 and 2016. If Social Security is the third rail of American politics, then ObamaCare is the quicksand.

Hat tip: Karin McQuillan

The television ads are writing themselves for use against Democrats who voted for Obamacare.  The notorious and very effective “Mitt Romney gave my husband cancer” ad used to demonize the GOP presidential nominee in 2012 and re-elect and incompetent president provides the model and the justification. For example, Dr. Marc Siegel writes about the uselessness of Obamacare for one of his patients he calls “Melody,” who was perfectly happy with her employer-provided “substandard” insurance that Obamacare concealed.

Like many healthy young people, she chose a “bronze” plan, with an annual $5,800 deductible and a monthly premium of $357. She figured a more expensive “silver” or “gold” plan wasn’t worth it, since she’d never need to rely on the lower deductible of those plans.

Last month, she came to see me for a routine follow-up visit and discovered that though her insurance plan was active, I wasn’t covered by it, because her Blue Cross HMO hadn’t chosen to include me or my hospital in its network. I charged her just $100 to see me, but this amount wasn’t covered by her plan and didn’t even count toward her whopping deductible because I was out-of-network.

During that visit, I discovered that she had mild hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). The most likely cause of this in a young woman is an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

This is a relatively benign disease that didn’t require immediate treatment, but to confirm this diagnosis, I needed to do a blood test for thyroid antibodies, which she said she couldn’t afford right away. I also needed to order a thyroid ultrasound to check for thyroid nodules, which she also said was too much to pay for.

These tests would count toward her deductible, but she was forced to shoulder 100 percent of the cost until she’d spent the whole $5,800 of the deductible out of her own pocket.

We both came to the realization that her ObamaCare insurance was useless — that it was actually hurting her by providing the illusion of coverage.

Four months ago I posited that “the Pottery Barn Rule ("You break it, you own it") is being applied to America's health insurance system,” and Obamacare now has the responsibility for all the frustrations inherent in health care insurance.

The Democrats have made a historical blunder with Obamacare that will haunt them in 2014 and 2016. If Social Security is the third rail of American politics, then ObamaCare is the quicksand.

Hat tip: Karin McQuillan