February 4, 2014

Unaffordable and Uncaring

Website hangups pale in comparison to the sticker shock of ObamaCare.

We all knew there would be incredible transition pains from ObamaCare, and thus far the Affordable Care Act has predictably turned out to be anything but what its name implies. The latest is news that those who made mistakes in signing up via Healthcare.gov and later found out they’re paying too much for coverage are trapped in a situation where there is no hope for change. In the case of one 27-year-old West Virginian, a botched calculation in her subsidy is costing her $100 more a month for her policy and an extra $4,000 on her deductible – bad news for her given that she needed gall bladder surgery in January. Unfortunately, even after she learned of the mistake, her appeal is stuck in a bureaucratic loop because the appeals system for the online signup is non-functional.

Others are finding out the hard way that premiums are going to be taking a much larger slice of their paycheck than falsely advertised. A Pennsylvania television station was on location when workers at a small business learned of the cost of their new group plan. To put it mildly, few of them considered it “affordable.” Others are seeing more modest premium increases, or even small decreases, but will have to bear steep out-of-pocket costs on deductibles or co-pays to keep their premiums in check.

As this sort of news trickles out through the gatekeeping Leftmedia, support for the ACA among the uninsured is dropping – a nearly 2-to-1 margin now view ObamaCare unfavorably. However, the same Kaiser poll showed respondents would rather fix the bill than kill it, and Republicans seem more willing to oblige. Since dozens of repeal votes went nowhere with the Senate or the president, GOP efforts are beginning to focus on realistic repairs to the system such as tax credits, allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, necessary tort reform, and a revived emphasis on health savings accounts.

While any and all aspects of ObamaCare are subject to change at the whim of namesake Barack Obama, the general feeling among those who were told that we had to “pass it to find out what was in it” is that we got a raw deal. Even though recent focus has been on the disaster of rolling out the online portion of ObamaCare, the balky website is the least of its problems.

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