Sue Klinkhamer has a problem. It’s called Obamacare.
And the irony of her situation is not lost on her. In a recent email addressed to her former boss, Illinois Congressman Bill Foster, and other Democratic colleagues, she wrote:
“I spent two years defending Obamacare. I had constituents scream at me, spit at me and call me names that I can’t put in print. The congressman was not re-elected in 2010 mainly because of the anti-Obamacare anger. When the congressman was not re-elected, I also (along with the rest of our staff) lost my job. I was upset that because of the health care issue, I didn’t have a job anymore but still defended Obamacare because it would make health care available to everyone at, what I assumed, would be an affordable price. I have now learned that I was wrong. Very wrong.”
For Klinkhamer, 60, President Obama’s oft-repeated words ring in her ears: “If you like your health plan, you will keep it.”
Well, possibly not.
When Klinkhamer lost her congressional job, she had to buy an individual policy on the open market. Three years ago, it was $225 a month with a $2,500 deductible. Each year it went up a little to, as of Sept. 1, $291 with a $3,500 deductible. Then, a few weeks ago, she got a letter.
“Blue Cross,” she said, “stated my current coverage would expire on Dec. 31, and here are my options: I can have a plan with similar benefits for $647.12 [or] I can have a plan with similar [but higher] pricing for $322.32 but with a $6,500 deductible.”
She went on, “Blue Cross also tells me that if I don’t pick one of the options, they will just assume I want the one for $647. … Someone please tell me why my premium in January will be $356 more than in December?”
Because you’re carrying Obama’s base. Obviously. Like all wealth redistribution schemes, this is really a tax. Now you’ve been taxed.
“I am a Democrat and I believe in health care for all,” she said. “And I was excited that previously uninsured people could now get insurance on the open market. But this is not affordable to me.”
Congressman Foster, Klinkhamer’s former boss who has since been returned to Congress, told me by phone Friday, “A very large number of people are very grateful” for Obamacare.