The Year of ObamaCare

article-2190294-0AD5782F000005DC-689_634x512As of today, ObamaCare is the law of the land. Or more accurately, those parts of ObamaCare that weren’t unilaterally changed or delayed to serve the interests of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party heading in the 2014 election. Despite those efforts, it would appear that 2014 will bring no respite from the criticism associated with what might be best described as the biggest government boondoggle of all time. As the nation straddles the passage from the old year into the new, the hits just keep on coming.

The first hit concerns the exchanges themselves. As Forbes Magazine contributor Michael Cannon explains, ObamaCare enrollments remain a whopping 60 percent below the targets set by the Obama administration. Only 2.2 million Americans out of the 3.3 million envisioned by the administration have signed up, not paid up. That means the 2.2 million figure will eventually be lower, since no program has a 100 percent success rate in that regard. Thus the administration’s notion that they can meet their target of 7 million paying customers by March 31 (of which 2.7 million must be “young invincibles” to offset the costlier coverage for older, sicker Americans) looks like a pipe dream. Furthermore, since the 60 percent number is a national average, states with low enrollment totals will undoubtedly see a surge in premium costs by 2015.

Two other hits come courtesy of Democrats. On Monday, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) managed a “two-fer” in that regard, unscoring the low enrollment numbers, and insulting her constituency in the process. “There are millions of people out there who think [ObamaCare] was repealed, so there was no way to break through that very easily,” she told MSNBC, adding that the “debacle of a website…seemed to confirm that it must have been repealed, or should have been repealed.” Norton was positive that once the fines for not obtaining insurance kick in, “you’re going to see people trotting to sign on like you’ve never seen it before,” she predicted.

Perhaps. Or perhaps those same currently under-informed Americans will learn that the president unilaterally (and illegally) suspended those fines. Those who were unable to access a policy on the “debacle of a website,” or found policies that were unaffordable, were granted a “hardship exemption” for some part of 2014. In keeping with the orchestrated chaos, the Obama administration did not say how long this particular improvisation will remain in effect, or how they will distinguish between those Americans who are legitimately burdened or simply gaming the system. No doubt the intrepid Ms. Norton will double-down on her efforts to keep the voters in her district informed as the year wears on.

Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Howard Dean one-upped Norton, insisting the entire law wasn’t necessary, “and it’s probably a big political thing, and that is going to hurt the Democrats because people don’t like to be told what to do by the government no matter what party they’re in,” he contended. Americans were relatively blasé about that prospect until they began to experience what it truly meant. A combination of cancelled policies, sticker shock and the realization that the selling of ObamaCare was based on a series of coordinated lies and broken promises has already taken it toll. And while the president and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have made every effort to postpone the next eruption of chaos until after the 2014 election, they are unlikely to succeed.

In a piece entitled “Here Comes the ObamaCare Tax Avalanche,” columnist John Hayward details the series of levies that are now in effect. These include a 2 percent tax on every healthcare plan, and $2.00 fee per policy to support the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a new medical-research trust fund. Individual Americans who earn $200,000 and families with an income of $250,000 or above will be subjected to a 0.9 percent Medicare surtax in addition to the existing 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax, along with a 3.8 percent tax on all unearned income, such as capital gains or other investment income. “Hidden” taxes include raising the threshold of income tax deductions for those with high out-of-pocket medical expenses from 7.5 percent to 10 percent.

One insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, is refusing to play along. They’re adding a separate line item on their bills entitled, “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.” In an example provided by the company, the hit on one insurance bill came to $23.14 a month, or $277.68 annually. It boosted the cost of that policy from $322.26 to $345.40 per month. If other companies follow suit, it will undoubtedly blow a giant hole in the administration’s efforts to re-focus the blame for escalating insurance costs from the Obama administration and Democrats onto the insurance companies.

Those escalating costs will further anger Americans as they begin to realize insurance companies will be mitigating them by limiting which doctors and other providers will be included in the new plans. Nothing illustrated the magnitude of this reality better than a Wall Street Journal column by a cancer patent who has “fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer,” only to discover “her affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.”

Her narrative runs completely counter to the one promulgated by Democrats and their media enablers. “Since March 2007 United Healthcare has paid $1.2 million to help keep me alive, and it has never once questioned any treatment or procedure recommended by my medical team,” wrote Edie Sundby in November. “The company pays a fair price to the doctors and hospitals, on time, and is responsive to the emergency treatment requirements of late-stage cancer. Its caring people in the claims office have been readily available to talk to me and my providers.”

The Obama administration’s response? Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer tweeted that the “real reason” Sundby was losing her insurance was due to the greed of her insurance company. Apparently leftist “sympathy” for individual victims–who are regularly trotted out to promote their agenda du jour–is reserved only for those victims who promote that leftist ideology.

There are undoubtedly many other Americans experiencing a similar dilemma, but the public would only learn about them if the media were willing to report their stories. As Americans are only recently discovering, much of that media, long aware that ObamaCare was built on a tissue of lies, were more than willing to kick journalistic integrity to the curb. “Three years ago and longer these journalists knew there were a growing number of doctors warning about government intervention, rationing, price increases, Americans being kicked off their plans, the forced replacement of primary-care doctors and mass confusion,” writes Doug MacKinnon, who further contends the media “desperately wanted to see Obama re-elected in 2012 and knew it would be much harder to obtain that outcome if his signature program were exposed as the fraud it was.”

Sarcastically, but accurately, he insists “that the most newsworthy story of 2013 was the mainstream media burying the most newsworthy story of 2013.”

Now that they have achieved their primary objective, the media have “suddenly” discovered many Americans will be forced to endure the chaotic realities of ObamaCare. NBC found a car dealership in Michigan whose 41 employees are getting their policies cancelled after 35 years. CBS reveals that today will be a “day of reckoning” as consumers “will begin finding out if they’re actually enrolled in the plans they signed up for.” They’ve even acknowledged that the employer mandate, delayed until 2015 is “looming,” while they fail to mention that between 50-100 million employees may experience the same policy cancellations that Americans who purchased individual insurance policies dealt with this year.

The Gannet News Group is ruminating about the shortage of 45,000 primary care doctors that will occur between now and 2020, and that long waits and greater traveling distances will become the new normal. CNN Money warns that Americans who begin using ObamaCare without their “spanking new ID card,” had better bring their wallet with them due to the reality that “some applicants’ enrollments may be incomplete in insurers’ systems on Jan. 1.” And Politico has now discovered that the president they have long shilled for has feet of clay. “There was apparently no single person, fully empowered by the president, lying awake at night knowing he or she would be blamed for anything that went wrong,” writes Elizabeth Titus.

That is somewhat inaccurate. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Chief Operating Officer Michelle Snyder, who has spent 41 years working for the federal government, is retiring. “She had to go. She was responsible for the implementation of Obamacare. She controlled all the resources to get it done. She was in charge of information technology. She controlled personnel and budget,” said a former unnamed agency official.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius disagreed with that assessment during a Congressional oversight hearing on Oct. 30. After naming Snyder as the person responsible for the disastrous rollout, she fell on her proverbial sword. “Michelle Snyder is not responsible for those debacles. Hold me accountable for the debacle. I’m responsible.”

Millions of Americans would love to do just that. But much like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “taking responsibility” for Benghazi, those same Americans are well aware that there are no repercussions whatsoever for such “nobility.”

Yet there are glimmers of hope on the horizon. Americans can opt out of ObamaCare and still get insurance coverage, according to Jim Lakely. They would still have to pay the fine associated with the mandate, but they can purchase “non-qualified coverage, subject to state insurance department approval,” from companies like Assurant and United Healthcare. They have apparently developed limited-benefits plans subject to approval by individual states.

Speaking of states themselves, three of them, Georgia, South Carolina, and Missouri, are in various stages of crafting bills that would nullify the implementation of the healthcare bill in those states. “If enough states do this, it will gut Obamacare because the federal government doesn’t have the resources … to go into each of the states if they start refusing,” contends Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano.

The idea is based on reasoning supported by the Supreme Court in four cases from 1842 to 2012. They noted that the federal government cannot “commandeer” states to participate in federal law or regulatory programs that require the use of state resources to do so. “Our sources tell us to expect at least ten states moving in this direction in the coming months,” said Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey. “But that will only come true if people start calling their state representatives and senators right now.”

Right now, most Americans are enjoying their New Year’s holiday, relaxing and/or nursing a hangover. After that, they may very well undertake whatever work is necessary to extract themselves from the hangover known as ObamaCare. Perhaps 2014 is the year most Americans decide that, “if you like your freedom, you can keep your freedom. Period.”

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  • wildjew

    A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media [Bargain Price] [Audio CD]
    Bernard Goldberg http://www.amazon.com/Slobbering-Love-Affair-Pathetic-Mainstream/dp/B006TQZZ40

  • carpe diem 36

    by promising people financial assistance in paying for their health insurance gov’t made every applicant supply personal info that should never be , and never was, part of obtaining insurance. so now the IRS, which was never involved in that, is part and parcel of getting your health insurance. this is another way of gov’t getting into things that are none of their business. and unless people realize that they are in grave danger by signing up for insurance our gov;t will be just like the gov’t of No. Korea. if that is what progressives wish they got it.

  • Fred

    This article was written by a health insurance company lobbyist. They are determined to continue gouging customers while reducing benefits and increasing premiums like they have done for decades–CEO’s walking away with hundreds of millions in annual income, while the sick are denied benefits, and allowed to die. The ACA has put limits on their profits, and afforded some rights to customers, limiting their profits even more. While this is good for most of America, the Insurance Company shills are still at it!!

    • Chris Behme

      What a pant load.
      Obamacare can’t fix stupidity.
      Bad for you.

      • Hass

        LoL…

    • Notalibfool

      “This article was written by a health insurance company lobbyist.”

      Your post sounds like it was written by an Obama administration flunky. Nice attempt at promoting class warfare by blaming CEOs; Master Obama would be proud of you.

    • defcon 4

      Yeah, now it won’t be CEO’s that walk away w/millions in annual income, but obamacare apparatchiks in the private sector.

    • NJK

      I’ve never been denied benefits by my insurance. They gave me everything I paid for. Yes, paid for. That might be a unique concept to you. See, some people actually work and pay for things, while some people like yourself, beg, and mooch.
      The biggest denier of health care in this country is not private insurance, but Medicare. I hope when you need it, you don’t get it. It serves you right for trying to steal from those who work hard.

  • keyster

    Prediction: By March 2014 there will be a few hundred thousand REAL enrollees nationally, many of whom are older and/or have pre-existing conditions – - and something less than 50,000 will be younger “invincibles”. There will be several million NEW Medicaid enrollees. The numbers will force the insurance companies to collapse the law in 2015, AFTER their bail-out of course.

  • William James Ward

    Obama after sending the economy down the drain is now flushing our
    healthcare along with it and accelerating the demise of our wealth and
    our health. He increases debt in all he does and insures that the
    future will be met with American people, poor, unhealthy and weakened
    in body, mind and spirit. Who is this Obama, is he really God’s curse
    on a Nation that has turned it’s back on Him. My take is that the greater
    the distance a Nation has between it and God, the greater the chaos,
    yes that is a true chaos theory. Go to Church, vote and kick the evil
    out of our lives…….get rid of Obama, Obamasnare and the unhealthy
    state of our lives and for the virus of Democrats in Washington and
    the cursed RHINO’S voter surgery is the cure, cut them out and off.
    William

    • Erudite Mavin

      Every Republican voted against Obama Care,
      The sit at home pures who sat at home or voted third party gave us Obama and his disasters.

      • NJK

        The GOP funded Obamacare. Just recently with the Ryan/Murray budget. They have their hands in it now. They constitutionally hold the power of the purse, and they decided to help Barack Obama kill people.

        • Erudite Mavin

          You are really desperate.
          It is already the law thank to the Democrats and the All or nothings who sat at home or voted third party and gave us Obama in the first place.

  • Ellman48

    “There was apparently no single person, fully empowered by the
    president, lying awake at night knowing he or she would be blamed for
    anything that went wrong,” writes Elizabeth Titus.”

    Obama never had a job in which he managed or supervised people so he is incapable of holding subordinates accountable. Instead, when incompetence is exposed in public, he resorts to making speeches to the American people in which he expresses his outrage at a problem, states that he will not tolerate malfeasance, but never does anything to rectify the problem or discipline his subordinates. Look, you can’t get blood from a stone! Obama’s magnificent rhetoric created exorbitant expectations that even better men could not attain, let alone a community organizer. America suffered temporary insanity in 2008 and 2012 when it elected this man. Obamacare may force them to shake off their delusions about who Obama is and the promises he made.

  • Richard

    Oh, come now. Methink you protesteth much too much! Obamacare not only will wok well, but it will also enroll many moe people than expected, and it will help sweep Democrats into office in November. Ever hear of “betting on the wrong horse?”

    • Dylan Felts

      You must be one of those rolling in it. (money) Most can not afford the premiums with the high deducts that essentially gives them no insurance to speak of. Having a plastic insurance card does NOT mean actual health CARE is is available. Two different breeds of cat. One can wave the card to prove insurance but getting actual hands on care is another thing entirely.

      • Richard

        When will Americans be able to comprehend that Obamacare regulates insuance: eligibility, availability, cost; it does not affect medical care at all. Deat squads, indeed!

        • Dylan Felts

          It doesn’t ‘work well’ in dozens of countries. I lived for 8 years that had socialized med and it, by no means, worked well at all.

          • Richard

            Well, I hate to contradict you, but I will. I have lived in four countries and have travelled to more than forty. It has worked very well in every country that I’ve been in. No exceptions. In Baseball, that’s “batting a thousand.” By the way: here is the exact number of countries that have had national healthcare systems that have abandoned them. Ready? It’s a “very round number.” The number is ZERO.

          • Notalibfool

            You’ve lived in four countries and have traveled to more than forty? Must be nice being wealthy and privileged.

          • Richard

            No, the wealthy and privileged are called Republicans. I am privileged not to be one of those!

          • Notalibfool

            I am a Republican. Tell me where my privilege is? Where is all of my money?

            Some of us are not fooled by the “Democrats are for the workers” lie.

          • Richard

            Republicans and the uneducated. I think I figured it out. Good luck. You’ll need it!

          • Notalibfool

            Richard, think before you speak (or type). I graduated with honors from a university with a degree in mathematics. Just how uneducated am I, oh wise one?

      • Notalibfool

        Don’t waste your time with Richie. He buys Obama’s lies. Can’t think on his own.

        • Dylan Felts

          All bots are like that! Poor Richie. Didn’t realize he is sorry.

  • ignaciopxm321

    My Uncle Levi recently
    got a stunning blue Toyota Matrix only from working off a macbook… try this
    B­i­g­2­9­.­ℂ­o­m