A few weeks into October when the ObamaCare roll-out disaster was unfolding
before this nation's eyes, a liberal friend commented to us that the abysmal
state of the front end of the ObamaCare online exchanges was akin to
breaking a few eggs.
As we lumber on into February, the focus has gone
from the website glitches to just how many people have "enrolled". Yes, we
are using air quotes as this term is rather nebulous and the term that
should really be applicable here is "who the hell has actually been able to
pay their first premium?" That's the only thing that counts. No one
rides for free or words to that effect.
As it stands, however, from the figures that have been released to media
outlets, it appears that the majority of enrollees that the administration
is claiming have signed up for ObamaCare were previously insured, i.e., the
reason they have signed up for ObamaCare is that their previous insurance
plan was cancelled. In fact, one report finds that only 11% of enrollees
were previously uninsured. This flies directly in the face of two of the
central justifications for ObamaCare: insuring the uninsured and, of
course, if you liked your current health insurance plan, you could keep
Oh, but back to those broken eggs which as you read above are piling up at
an alarming rate. Let's put a human face on this disaster of a law and
take a look at what ObamaCare means to everyday people like these at this
automotive repair shop in Pittsburgh.
We'll just call this sort of thing Omelets Across America:
Ugh. Cannot embed video but it can be seen here. We've added the transcript below:
Outside Simonetta’s Collision and Car Care in McKeesport, it's a frigid 2 degrees.
Inside, Gary Simonetta's employees are getting ready for a meeting he’s been dreading for months.
“What I have here is the benefits sheet from last year. What you were on in 2013," said Charles Moore, co-owner of Triangle Benefits Service and the broker who has handled the company's group health insurance for 19 years. "Here is the new plan we had to switch to that takes into account the Obamacare regulations.”
For the first time, employees were finding out how the Affordable Care Act will affect their medical coverage and how much they'll pay for it.
Last year’s 6 percent premium increase has now exploded to an average 32 percent jump.
"That 32 percent increase includes increasing the deductible, as well to try and get something modestly priced,” Moore explained.
Jeff and Dave used to have a $1,250 deductible. Since Obamacare went into effect, it's now jumped 60 percent to $2,000.
That's nothing compared with Brian, Christy and Judy who have kids. They'll pay twice that at $4,000.
"This was the best option we could find," Moore said.
Co-pays are up too.
Pediatric dental and vision exams are covered -- a bonus for some employees, but not for others. Generic drugs are also significantly cheaper.
Employees took time weighing in on what they thought of their new deal.
"The deductible is terrible," said Dave, a 47-year-old with no kids. "I mean, how many people can come up with that deductible money if they go into the emergency room?"
His monthly premium goes up modestly by $50.
Christy's not so lucky. The monthly premium for the mother of two jumps $260, or 30 percent.
"Eight-hundred and $95 a month for health insurance, that's coming out of my pocket," she said. "That's a house payment for most people."
Brian actually saves $77 a month, but the 39-year-old with one child said he can't afford his new $4,000 family deductible.
"It's going to be a pretty big hit in the pocket," he said.
And 42-year-old Jeff's in the same boat.
“They call it the affordable health plan," he said. "There's nothing affordable about it. I can't afford it."
Jeff's new premium is only $28 more a month.
But he said he'll have to suck it up if he ever gets hurt because his new deductible is too much.
"Wake up, America. This isn't acceptable. It's not acceptable," he said.
But it's Judy, the 53-year-old mother of one, who gets hit the worst.
Her premium goes up from $929 a month to $1,316 – 42-percent increase added to her new $4,000 deductible.
"How do you add all that together?" she asked.
"What are you going to do?” questioned Channel 4 Action News anchor Wendy Bell.
“I don't know,” she replied with tears in her eyes.
With tears in her eyes, Judy responds slowly... "I don't know."
Back in the shop, Simonetta has his own worries. His monthly premium just jumped $584.
"The small business is the heart of America. How's that going to affect everybody? It's not good," Simonetta said.
And Moore, the broker, agrees.
"One size does not fit all in medical insurance. And unfortunately, that's one of the big down sides to the Affordable Care Act," he said.
Downsides that leave Judy wondering if she can afford to ever get sick.
"I don't know how President Obama thinks he's helping us," she said. "Because we can't afford this. We can't afford to pay these co-pays, to pay these deductibles, on what we're making."
That all kind of sucks, huh?
And all this time we thought the Affordable Care Act was just cover for the ability to soak the rich. Boy, were we wrong. Turns out it was also a clever ruse to soak the working class like these folks. Well, to borrow a well-worn progressive phrase, "Equality for All?"
To ease your conscience, don't think of them as people, rather eggs.