The United States media, following a carefully prepared script from the White House, have declared that Obamacare is now a total success because 8 million people have signed up for health insurance through government-run exchanges.
The tone of the partisan victory cries is unmistakable.
“The total exceeded the initial forecast by 1 million people and capped a notable comeback after a disastrous debut last fall gave rise to predictions the law would collapse in its maiden year,” the Los Angeles Times gleefully reported on April 18. “The health law, often called Obamacare, instead has brought about the largest increase in insurance coverage in the United Sates in half a century since Medicare and Medicaid were created.”
The equally jubilant New York Times, however, did concede that the White House and its media allies weren’t being totally forthcoming about their statistics, although the concession came eight paragraphs into its lead story. “The administration did not release two other crucial statistics that would help determine the success of the law: the number of people among the eight million who bought insurance for the first time and the number who paid for their premiums.”
Well, that’s an understatement if ever there were one!
Polling data has revealed that a substantial portion of the 8 million signups have come from two sources: previously insured people who had their “substandard” private policies cancelled by government edicts and were forced to buy Obamacare policies to replace them… and people signing up for free coverage through Medicaid.
Last December, the Associated Press estimated that 4.7 million Americans lost their coverage due to Obamacare rules.
In other words: Obama rigged the system so millions of people would have their insurance policies cancelled… and now is bragging that those same millions have purchased the only alternative now on offer, his government-run plans.
It would be like a stickup man robbing you of your wallet and then bragging that he’s a humanitarian because he’s willing to loan you some money… at 25% interest.
The truth that the U.S. media are carefully covering up is that Obamacare is horrendously expensive for what you get.
A young acquaintance of mine just moved to New York to begin his first job with a wife and new baby. For a first job right out of college, he’s lucky: He is earning $60,000 a year. After taxes, he takes home $3,900 a month… and, of course, in New York City his rent is sky-high.
My young friend was shocked to discover, however, that his share of his employer-provided health insurance would be $800 per month – with his employer paying two-thirds of the premium. And that’s the lowest tier offered.
Shopping for alternatives in the marketplace, he found that the cheapest alternative to his employer’s Obamacare policy is… $1,100 per month.
This is the reality of what Obamacare really means to ordinary, working Americans not eligible for government “subsidies”: a massive new expense they can’t afford.
But that only tells half the story. Many Obamacare plans are just as much “catastrophe” plans as the ones they are replacing: Bronze and Silver policies have high deductibles of $6,500 or more… and family caps as high as $12,500. In other words, families will still pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for many health services.
When the reality of that finally sinks in, many consumers will stop paying their premiums… especially when, as many experts predict, they increase substantially after this November’s elections.
In 2010, my family’s policy through Blue Cross cost us $350 per month with, admittedly, a high deductible of $5,000 per person and $10,000 per family.
Thanks to the government’s collusion with the insurance companies, which have raised premiums by about 25% a year ever since Obamacare passed, the same policy now costs $850 per month. We are “lucky” in that our policy is “grandfathered” and we don’t have to buy Obamacare – yet. But the identical coverage, bought through Obamacare, would cost us $1,580 per month.
In British Columbia, Canada, the same type of coverage costs $133 per month for a family of three or more.
People outside of the US are often baffled by the opposition of ordinary Americans towards Obama and his signature legislative accomplishment.
They don’t realize that the law was forced through Congress through legislative subterfuges… that not a single Republican voted for it… that even Democrats admitted they didn’t know what was in the law (“we have to pass it to find out what’s in it,” as Nancy Pelosi famously put it)… that the law has been overwhelmingly unpopular from the beginning… and that it’s been, in essence, one lie and broken promise after another.
When Obama told the American people 29 separate times that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” and “if you like your doctor and hospital, you can keep them,” we now know he was flat-out lying.
Obama and his insurance company co-conspirators knew that most people would have their insurance policies cancelled, whether they liked them or not, and would be forced to buy overpriced Obamacare policies.
That’s why the White House refuses to release the statistics that really tell the truth about Obamacare: how many people signing up previously had insurance but lost it.
In the end, the media can only spin this story for so long. Reality is going to bite, big time.
Obamacare premiums are going to skyrocket, and soon, and people like my friend, struggling to make ends meet, will find that their Obamacare policies are their single biggest expense outside of housing.
That is why the Democrats are about to face electoral defeat in November, when the Republicans regain control of both houses of Congress.
Then the long, hard work of repairing the damage Obamacare has done to the US healthcare system will begin. The media’s victory cries are premature.
Robert Hutchinson is a veteran travel writer, author and columnist. He blogs regularly at RobertHutchinson.com.