J. D. Heyes
November 14, 2013
I’ve said before, although it is not much of a consolation, that even those who support Barack Obama and his signature healthcare reform law were going to be hurt by it just like those of us who have never supported either the man or his law.
Millions of American supporters of the president and his law believed all the lies he told about Obamacare. Repeatedly, over the course of years, the president said, “If you like your plan, you can keep you plan” (a lie); “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” (a lie); and that premiums would go down by $2,500 (a lie for most people).
Now, as they either receive cancellation notices from their current insurance providers or try to go sign up for coverage via an Obamacare exchange, they are discovering that even the true believers aren’t exempt from the ravages of the law, as reported by ProPublica:
San Francisco architect Lee Hammack says he and his wife, JoEllen Brothers, are “cradle Democrats.” They have donated to the liberal group Organizing for America and worked the phone banks a year ago for President Obama’s re-election.
Since 1995, Hammack and Brothers have received their health coverage from Kaiser Permanente, where Brothers worked until 2009 as a dietitian and diabetes educator. “We’ve both been in very good health all of our lives – exercise, don’t smoke, drink lightly, healthy weight, no health issues, and so on,” Hammack [said].
Worse plan, worse coverage, higher cost
The couple had been paying $550 a month for their health insurance, and it was a plan they were thoroughly satisfied with. It was a plan that offered solid coverage – not one of the “terrible” plans that Obama has been criticizing.
However, Kaiser recently informed the couple that the plan had to be canceled at year’s end, because it did not meet coverage requirements under Obamacare. Worse, the Hammacks’ replacement plan will be double what they now pay – with worse benefits.
“From all of the sob stories I’ve heard and read, ours is the most extreme,” Lee said in an email to ProPublica‘s writer, Charles Ornstein.
Incredibly, Ornstein went on to write that he was skeptical of all the other media reports that said scores of Americans were being dropped by their insurance companies and that the coverage they would have to buy to replace their lost policies would make them worse off.
He also demonstrates no shortage of arrogance:
In many cases, it turns out, the consumers could have found cheaper coverage through the new health insurance marketplaces, or their plans weren’t very good to begin with [emphasis added].
Plans weren’t very good to begin with? Who is Ornstein – or Obama, or White House spokesman Jay Carney, or anyone in the HHS bureaucracy – to say which Americans’ plans are good or bad?
The fact is, Americans who have been purchasing their own insurance like the plans they had. They got the coverage they wanted at the price they could afford. Now, Obama has messed it all up with his insane law.
But I digress. As for Ornstein, his smugness was quickly dispelled when he found that the couple were simply screwed by Obamacare:
I tried to find flaws in what Hammack told me. I couldn’t find any.
The couple’s existing Kaiser plan was a good one.
Their new options were indeed more expensive, and the benefits didn’t seem any better.
They do not qualify for premium subsidies because they make more than four times the federal poverty level, though Hammack says not by much.
‘Thanks, Mr. President’
(Note that, under Obamacare, even a successful businessman and his wife can nearly qualify as “poor enough” to receive a taxpayer subsidy for buying a product they once were responsible for buying all on their own – a policy they liked.)
So, these lifelong Democrats who worked the phones for Obama’s reelection were admittedly shocked to find out that he lied to them – and millions of other Americans.
“I work downstairs and my wife had a clear look of shock on her face” when she came down with their cancellation notice, Hammack said. “Our first reaction was clearly there’s got to be some mistake. This was before the exchanges opened up. We quickly calmed down. We were confident that this would all be straightened out. But it wasn’t.”
The new plan that their insurer sent them was $1,300 a month – or more than $15,000 a year.
“And for that higher amount, what would they get? A higher deductible ($4,500), a higher out-of-pocket maximum ($6,350), higher hospital costs (40 percent of the cost) and possibly higher costs for doctor visits and drugs,” wrote Ornstein.
How’s that for a “thank you” from the president?
This article was posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 5:08 am