ObamaCare Revisited

Last week the House voted to repeal ObamaCare. Yet, it appears that it is no longer first and foremost a part of the American psyche and consciousness. Although the bill is still extremely unpopular the longer it continues the more it will become engrained as part of the healthcare system. 

Someone who has been on the front lines to repeal this inadequate bill is Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah). He confirms that the longer ObamaCare remains a law the harder it will be to abolish it. He told American Thinker, “That is not to say it is a lost cause since millions of Americans have lost and continue to lose their employer sponsored health insurance. Our endgame should be to repeal it in its entirety and replace it with something that puts doctors and patients in charge of their own healthcare decisions. There is a possibility we could do it through budget reconciliation to avoid the sixty votes threshold.  But whatever we do regarding the bill, we will most likely have to override the president’s veto. By putting a repeal bill on the president’s desk this will force him to tell the American people that even though it has not helped most Americans and most do not like it, nevertheless, he will make us live with it.  He does not understand that this law is not gaining in popularity, and is its own worst enemy.”

The senator further noted that it is the Republican majority’s responsibility to repeal it and further down the line unite behind a Republican replacement plan after “competing in the market place of ideas.” However, he does not want to wait for repeal because so many Americans are being adversely affected.  He gave numerous examples of its ill affects, including a possible increase in taxes, a high deductible, and larger premiums. Senator Lee warns Americans, “Some might have to prove they purchased qualified health insurance while waiting for their tax refunds with the possibility they will have to pay a penalty of up to 1% of their income. For those receiving Obamacare subsidies, they will have to reconcile what they received with the amount they were eligible. If they did the wrong calculations or received a larger salary through maybe a raise, someone could owe the IRS thousands of dollars.”

Justin is very concerned for his wife, who is a medical student graduating in May. “I have warned her that eventually doctors that won’t take Medicaid/Medicare patients will be accused of discriminating against the poor and elderly. I am sure it will come down to forcing doctors to take these patients even if they are losing money.”  He also wanted to point out that many college students had their insurance cancelled, which was the subject of his article in the New York Post. Because the college coverage is subject to the same requirements as the general pool, it became a lot more costly.  His school determined it would be too expensive for the general population in the new ObamaCare world so they cancelled the plan.  He wishes that the clock could be turned back regarding health insurance.

Justin is not the only one who feels let down by the system. Last year in November, American Thinker interviewed some who felt betrayed by the president, his administration, and the Democrats in Congress. American Thinker revisited with those who were interviewed.

In the article last year Allyson confirmed that her insurance policy was cancelled and decided to look into catastrophic insurance. She blamed herself for not being more aware and is thankful that many of those who voted for ObamaCare were not re-elected. She is now enrolled in Meta-Share because this is the only insurance her family could afford. Yet, even these premiums are double what she was paying, and every time her family goes to a doctor they pay a negotiated fee that includes a co-pay. Allyson estimates that she pays approximately $150 more for a pediatric visit, and admits, “we don’t go as often as before because it costs a lot more money.” 

Betsy, who is in her fifties, was very upset that her plan was cancelled because it did not include maternity and pediatrics. Considering she and her husband obviously no longer need that benefit she is extremely frustrated. Last year, she found an affordable plan that was not compliant with ObamaCare. However, this past December that insurance is no longer available.  She did find insurance, but it is double the cost, and has a huge deductible of $12,000. In addition, she and her husband had to take her son off of the insurance since they could not afford the premiums for three people. Betsy is angry because she was one of those who liked her doctor and insurance and was unable to keep it. She recently stated, “I feel forgotten. I cannot believe the president does not believe in compromise and that he has tunnel vision regarding health insurance. He is not listening to the American people, has no intention of re-visiting this plan, and is more in love with being President than doing the actual job. Last year I wrote a whole number of letters, received a canned response on how wonderful ObamaCare is, and that I should be thankful it is available. Basically this administration’s attitude is too bad, so sad.”

In 2013, Dean and his wife could not afford insurance so he decided to self-insure. Since he just turned sixty-five he is eligible for the Medicare Advantage Plan through Blue Cross.  His wife is not of eligible age so they found a policy that costs $1000/month, with a $5000 deductible. Compare that to what they had before ObamaCare, for two people they paid $770/month with a $2500 deductible. He is extremely frustrated because he says Obamacare has a “decapitation program. I can see the doctor at a facility a few blocks from my house, but cannot use their lab. This is all about money and is not about healthcare anymore.”

Cade, a small business owner in his thirties, was thinking of not getting insured. However, he has recently married so he is covered on his wife’s policy. Cade is very concerned for his twelve employees, because he was unable to provide insurance for them. Although he is one of the lucky ones since his wife works for a large corporation he also remembers how he felt last year, “the government is trying to harm me because ObamaCare is awful.”

Sharyl Attkisson also wants to raise awareness regarding the magnitude of the healthcare problem. She has asked Americans to comment on the failure of ObamaCare and how it affected them personally.  The horror stories she has collected can be found here.

All interviewed by American Thinker are hoping that Republicans will actually listen to their stories and allow them to weigh in on what a new insurance plan should include. Doctors should look at their hard expenses, decide on a fair price for services, and allow competition to cut health care costs. Senator Lee insists that Republicans need a plan that is a viable alternative, and must be driven by free market forces across state lines. 

The others interviewed basically were in agreement on wanting ObamaCare repealed and not reformed. They want the government to get out of healthcare all together, want to be in personally in charge of the policy chosen, and want to be able to choose the coverage. However, they want any new bill to include coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowing children to be on their parents plan until age twenty-six.  They also want the Republican Congress to actually listen to what they and their fellow Americans are saying. Hopefully, a Republican plan will emphasize the care while bringing down the cost.

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.