ObamaCare’s four biggest lies
By Michael Gartland
January 5, 2014 | 7:47am
President Obama’s famous vow — “If you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan. Period.” — isn’t the only broken promise of ObamaCare.
Now that the Affordable Care Act has actually been in effect for a week, Americans are discovering more pitfalls associated with the massive overhaul.
Lie #1: “Affordable” Care. Even the president’s ideological allies — like Michael Moore — acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act is far from inexpensive for most Americans and that it “risks being a cruel joke.”
For average Americans, the results are prohibitively expensive. “The cheapest plan available to a 60-year-old couple making $65,000 a year in Hartford, Conn., will cost $11,800 in annual premiums,” according to Moore’s math, as published in a New York Times editorial. “If both become seriously ill, they might have to pay almost $25,000 in a single year.”
The National Federation of Independent Businesses, an organization that represents nearly 11,000 entrepreneurs in New York state alone, said it has yet to find a single member whose health-care costs are going down under ObamaCare. Instead, an “overwhelming majority” of businesses have reported increases in their insurance premiums, said Mike Durant, the NFIB’s New York director.
Lie #2: It will prevent people from going into debt.
Patients with cancer and conditions such as multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease can now get insurance and financial but if annual out-of-pocket costs run much higher than expected, they might have to go into debt.
“There are certainly challenges for cancer patients,” said Brian Rosen, a senior vice president of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. These gaps “need to be addressed in order to fulfill the intention of the Affordable Care Act.”
Caroline Pearson, who tracks the health-care overhaul for the consulting firm Avalere Health, put it in even starker terms.
“Chronically ill people are likely to be underinsured and face extremely high out-of-pocket costs,” she said. “While the subsidies help, there still may be access problems for some populations.”
Lie #3: ObamaCare will lower costs overall.
The idea that people with medical insurance go to the emergency room less, and thus, help to reduce the overall cost of health care, isn’t necessarily true, as a study of Oregon Medicaid recipients has shown.
Researchers compared Medicaid recipients with those with no health insurance and found the following: Pthat people with access to Medicaid went to the ER 40 percent more than those without insurance.
Lie #4: More Americans will be insured.
Approximately 2.8 million Americans have signed up for new health-care plans since the Affordable Care Act went into effect on Jan. 1. That’s less than the 3.3 million the federal government predicted would sign up, and is also dwarfed by the 4.7 million whose insurance policies have been cancelled as a result of the overhaul.