Tony Perkins / November 3, 2015

ObamaScare: More Americans Spooked by Health Costs

The president promised that his health care law would grow on us. Well, something’s growing all right — but it isn’t support. Costs and frustrations are at all-time highs just two days into the new enrollment period that kicked off Sunday. According to insiders, even the cheapest plans on the not-so Affordable Care Act are soaring 13% above last year’s prices. With double-digit premium hikes and fewer policy benefits, the options aren’t exactly wooing new customers.

The president promised that his health care law would grow on us. Well, something’s growing all right — but it isn’t support. Costs and frustrations are at all-time highs just two days into the new enrollment period that kicked off Sunday. According to insiders, even the cheapest plans on the not-so Affordable Care Act are soaring 13% above last year’s prices. With double-digit premium hikes and fewer policy benefits, the options aren’t exactly wooing new customers.

In one Texas town, only 12 of 630 people — barely enough to field a football team — have signed up for ObamaCare coverage. Most locals agree with business owner Barbara Copeland: “Health care is fine, if you can afford it.”

In most cases, they can’t. Americans would rather pay the penalty for not having insurance (which 6.6 million did in 2015) than pour thousands of dollars into subpar government care. And who can blame them? As restaurant mogul Andy Puzder pointed out, “The uninsured know they can receive medical care at the emergency room. And if they fall ill, they can always purchase insurance during the next enrollment period, because ObamaCare eliminated existing conditions as a justification for denying coverage. Our employees are smart enough to figure this out. Of our company’s 5,453 eligible employees, only 420 enrolled.”

Other Americans have watched helplessly as they’ve been squeezed out of reasonable plans and dumped into exchanges where premiums have rocketed up as much as 50%. And just because people don’t have health insurance doesn’t mean they want President Obama’s! After initial projections of as many as 20 million enrollees, the White House now realizes it’ll be lucky to get 10 million in 2016. People “are going to be harder to reach,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell admitted.

And unfortunately, most of those people are the same ones Democrats promised to help. Despite sinking trillions of dollars into the government’s “solution,” the poor and uninsured are staying poor and uninsured. Three years after opening enrollment, most adults are still opposed, confused — or both. Based on the latest numbers, the PR nightmare is only continuing for liberals. An Investor’s Business Daily survey last week found the highest number of Americans ever at odds with ObamaCare at 52% — up seven points from August. What’s worse, it’s polling horribly among the less educated and middle class — the very people the law was supposed to benefit!

But as unpopular as the system is with consumers, it’s even more reviled in the health care industry, where insurers lost a whopping $2.5 billion ($163 per person) in 2014. The outcomes are so bleak that experts predict that 10 of the 23 co-op plans — “established with $2.4 billion in ObamaCare loans — will be out of business by the end of 2015.”

But the question on most people’s minds is: how much longer until the law is out of business too? With a new House Speaker in Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and a dozen GOP presidential hopefuls breathing down the law’s neck, ObamaCare’s days may be numbered. Thanks to Republicans’ push in the budget reconciliation process, the House is at least on its way to getting a partial ObamaCare repeal on its namesake’s desk. Like us, they know it’s time to protect American families from this unworkable, unaffordable, and unconscionable law. And that starts now — with conservatives in Congress standing together to defund this $2 trillion dollar-mistake.

Shirt Makers Teed by Double Standard

Owning a business can be a risky job for Christians these days. Just ask Blaine Adamson. The owner of a screen printing company, Hands On Originals, found out that he could lose a lot more than his shirts for his faith. Back in 2012, the Kentucky shop owner came under fire for turning down a job to print rainbow t-shirts for a local gay pride parade. Like too many businessmen of late, the decision landed him in hot water with local LGBT activists, who hauled him before the city commission and accused him of “discrimination.”

Unfortunately for the Left, the Constitution doesn’t award its rights on the basis of political correctness. And until that changes, Blaine has as much freedom to reject homosexuality as his customers do to endorse it — or so said Judge James Ishmael. Earlier this year, the court beat back this notion that surrendering our First Amendment rights is just the “price of doing business.”

In the meantime, Blaine has had plenty of sympathizers — including two fellow t-shirt shop owners, who, despite being homosexuals themselves, recognize the importance of protecting employers’ conscience rights. “No one should be forced to do something against what they believe in,” said Diane DiGeloromo of BMP T-Shirts. “If we were approached by an organization such as the [controversial] Westboro Baptist Church, I highly doubt we would be doing business with them, and we would be very angry if we were forced to print anti-gay t-shirts. This isn’t a gay or straight issue. This is a human issue.”

Her business partner, Kathy Trautvertter, agreed. “You put your blood and your sweat and your tears into [your business]” and “it’s very personal. When I put myself in [Blaine Adamson’s] shoes, I could see it from his side.” Their reaction is very similar to Courtney Hoffman, who, after the Memories Pizza controversy this spring, donated money to the family’s crowdfunding page in apology for her movement’s “hate and intolerance.” “My girlfriend and I are small business owners,” she explained at the time, “and we think there is a difference between operating in a public market space and then attaching the name of your business to a private event. If we were asked to set up at an anti-gay marriage rally, I mean, we would have to decline.”

Imagine what would happen in this country if everyone put aside their hostility and saw the value in respecting different viewpoints! If instead of suing people like Aaron and Melissa Klein out of business, couples simply found another bakery to take their order. If instead of punishing diversity, liberals embraced it. If instead of preaching tolerance, activists practiced it.

“Americans disagree about sex and religion,” the Becket Fund’s Luke Goodrich told the Christian Post. “That’s nothing new. But this case is about whether the government will allow people who disagree to live side-by-side in peace, or whether the government will instead pick one ‘correct’ moral view and force everyone to conform.”


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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