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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: ObamaScare | Commentary by Betty Arenson | 03-24-2017
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The Obama-scared have switched roles.

Before the 2010 Obamacare, “the scared” were the people who were satisfied with their insurance and healthcare. Now they are the ones utilizing certain components of Obamacare, especially if they’re on the side of entitlements and not paying the full costs.

President Obama and surrogates sold gullible Americans a feel-good panacea. Tragically, the gullible made up the numerical minority.

There are many resources to digest for the percentage of Americans who were satisfied with their health polices and care prior to Obamacare. With too much data to detail here, in summary, 2009 polls reported by Quinnipiac University, ABC/Washington Post and Matthew Greenwald and Associates for Employee Benefit Research found that an average of 85.5 percent of Americans were satisfied with the plans.

That vast majority was first ignored with the force-feeding of Obamacare, then they were insulted when told they didn’t make good choices in purchasing their policies; therefore the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act took care of that for them.

The Obamacare website is greatly disingenuous:

* “Obamacare’s goal is to give more Americans access to affordable, quality health insurance and to reduce the growth in U.S. healthcare spending;”

* “The Affordable Care Act expands the affordability, quality and availability of private and public health insurance through consumer protections, regulations, subsides, taxes, insurance exchanges and other reforms.”

Affordability was a reality for those who received coverage and pay little or nothing for it. For the residual people, not protected under various unilateral changes and waivers by President Obama, like unions, it’s neither affordable nor easily accessed.

President Obama criticized the “catastrophe” policies purchased by those who felt they were young enough or healthy enough not to pay the price of a low-deductible policy. Yet, with Obamacare, families are stuck with $13,000 family deductibles. Repeatedly many saym “Great, I have insurance but can’t afford to use it.”

With few exceptions, assertions of “affordability” and consumer protections in private insurance are dishonest, along with the promise of exchanges. The exchanges are in serious deficits and fleeing the market place.

With premiums doubling since 2013, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini calls ACA a “death spiral.”

Unfortunately, the true parts are the burdensome taxes, entitlement-subsidies and regulations.

The Obamacare website declares, “Help Save Obamacare” and claims 20 million newly insured under the ACA and a new uninsured low (29 million remain uninsured). It continues with a frantic plea to save Obamacare by claiming the new American Health Care Act has exclusions for preexisting conditions with “maybe” threats to Medicaid and Medicare.

The AHCA does include retaining pre-existing conditions, no caps on coverage and “children” on parents’ policies to age 26.

It’s troubling that pro-Obamacare people continue the claim 20 million people having health insurance thanks to Obamacare.

National Review, July 2016:

* In July, the Obama administration reported that exchange enrollment had plunged by 1.6 million by the end of March to 11.1 million.

* It could dip below 10 million by December if enrollees don’t pay their premiums or are unable to prove citizenship (as happened in the past);

* Enrollment among 18- to 34-year-olds accounted for just 28 percent of the 2016 total, unchanged from 2010; far below the 40 percent administration officials said was needed to keep the exchanges stable. (Obama’s outreach to younger Americans failed).

* Since Obama signed the law, the administration has made over 40 administrative changes to keep it from collapsing.

Money.CNN, December 2016, offered that the Obama administration expected 13.8 million to enroll by the end of the sign-up term. However, it is common for people to drop their policies for a variety of reasons; therefore the 2017 enrollment projection falls to 11.4 million.

Forbes January 2017:

* (We) pay for Medicaid costs twice: once as taxpayers and a second time as consumers. Medicaid reimburses hospitals and doctors 90 cents on the dollar, thus “the shortfall” falls to private policy holders at an annual cost of $1,800;

* Medicaid recipients are protected under the repeal bill as they are grandfathered in through 2019. Thereafter, the states will still receive an allowance for the program. “Medicaid reform is long overdue, and this repeal bill launches it.”

The L.A. Times said (March 16, 2017) the total enrollment is 12.2 million.

Forbes also evaluated the Congressional Budget Office’s role in the Obamacare chaos.

At the 2010 passage, the CBO projected enrollment at 21 million; after adding Medicaid expansion, the number was 22 million. For the non-expansion states, people would enroll in exchanges; however, exchanges (plans) have proven to be “much less attractive than expected.” Enrollment will be about 10 million people. The CBO’s exchange enrollment projection was off by 120 percent.

Forbes added: “CBO has not yet explained if or how it has corrected its models for these past mistakes.”

Although a CBO spokesman admitted its large error in scoring Obamacare’s costs and enrollee projections, he did not mention any plan to correct their methods.

Obamacare strangles growth for jobs and companies. A repeal and replacement would eliminate the 29/49 rule. Employees struggle with 29-hour work weeks, and companies limit themselves to 49 employees to avoid the expensive ACA mandates.

Healthcare expert Betsy McCaughey, PhD., has heartily studied both the PPACA and the AHCA. She vehemently refutes the claptrap intended to frighten people with stories of adding millions to the uninsured rolls.

McCaughey concludes the AHCA will yield a $600 billion tax cut with such things as eliminating costs to insurers for prosthetics, presently an ACA tax.

A December 2016 Forbes article identifies the “tax cuts for the rich.”

Obamacare imposed a 0.9 percent Medicare tax on annual income of $250,000 (married) and $200,000 (single). It also brought a 3.8-percent surcharge on Net Investment Income Tax – rents, interest, dividends, royalties “and passive business income” on the same set of people.

Many across the country would disagree that a $250,000 income for a couple or business is “rich.”

The ACA punishes success and growth.

The ACA woes are long-standing and obvious, and addressing them is long overdue. Both political parties need to face reality and unite for corrections. Democrats offer nothing but criticism and fright, while some recalcitrant Republicans obsess with killing the ACA immediately. Both are foolish.

Misinformation, grandstanding and untruths are rampant.

One Democratic scare tactic is that the AHCA cuts Medicare money. Deceitful.

Forbes (August 2012) and The New York Times (April 2015), both report the 2010 ACA called for $716 billion cuts in Medicare over 10 years.

The AHCA is a start. It needs to pass the House, get to the Senate, and let the mark-ups begin.

Action would be swift if the Washington “electeds” and their staff were mandated to use Obamacare.

 

Betty Arenson is a Valencia resident who believes in the Constitution in its entirety and that laws should be upheld and apply to everyone equally.

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4 Comments

  1. mellie says:

    I am a TRUE Republican who believes the ACA should be killed “in its entirety”, and it’s NOT foolish. The government bureaucrats have NO business in our health/medical decisions/care. It’s a communist idea and it should be scrapped. Before all this idiocy happened, fifty years ago, a doctor could come to my house for only $2.00, plus $1.75 for medicine. Then EVERYONE got involved, and prices shot up because of the bureaucracy and stupid regulations. Let the market take care of it, and give us back our personal freedoms!

  2. SCgal says:

    Betty, your lies are catching up to you. As with Trump, your rhetoric about healthcare simply crashed with reality. He promised to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a “beautiful” plan that would cost less, and provide coverage for EVERYONE. He bragged there would be no cuts to Medicare or Medicaid during his presidency. But those LIES were exposed and his lack of vision and ease at which he was willing to betray those whom bought his BS were so obvious. Trump’s plan would strip 14 million people from their existing coverage by 2018 and 24 million by 2024. It would strip $880 Billion in funding from Medicaid and eliminate $673 Billion in tax credits that help low income people afford health insurance. Let’s not forget the proposed “AgeTax”on anyone over the age of 50 which conceivably could cause costs to skyrocket, and exceed a person’s annual income. Plus so much more I can go on for days.

    The only people who would have benefited from the GOP bill would be the wealthy to the tune of $600 Billion tax cuts. In fact, the 400 richest Americans would get $7Million each. Trump said he would be president for all Americans, that is a LIE. He is concerned about one thing only his “brand” and how reap the benefits of his clearly divisive, racist, egotistical, misogynistic, and cruel rhetoric.

    The GOP had 7 long years to come up with a fair and thoughtful plan that would be inclusive of all Americans, they failed. To paraphrase the fool you are so enamored with: SAD.

  3. Victory Denied says:

    Liar, liar, pants on fire. Betty, time to admit your emperor has no clothes, unless of course, they were provided to him by PUTIN. The TrumpRyan health care bill can be summed up in 2 words: EPIC FAILURE.

  4. Denny NNWofLA says:

    In light of Friday’s spectacular failure by the Republicans to even bring “Trumpcare” (oxymoron)
    to a vote, I have two words for your article, Betty. Nice timing!

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