Monday, February 24, 2014

February, 2014 The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care, Part 5: Sebelius and Biden Out Of Touch With Reality, Small Businesses Start Losing Coverage, Ben Carson Says It Like It Is And More

This will be the fifth and last update on the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care this month, not because I have covered all of the disasters but I am getting too depressed reviewing how bad this law really is. For the past three years we have been reviewing how poorly thought out this legislation is, how poorly written it was, how the political class had no clue of the unintended bad consequences of its actions, and how Americans, their families, and the economy is suffering because of it. And the suffering is needless since at the end of the day, this law will not succeed in reducing the nation’s ever escalating health care costs.

1) Nancy Pelosi has always been a favorite politician of mine since her many out-of-this-world quotes and unreal takes on life provide great material for our regular political class insanity posts and almost always perfectly illustrate how out of touch she and most politicians are with the real world. But there is new competition in this area for Ms. Pelosi, namely the secretary of the Health and Human Services department, Kathleen Sebelius.

Ms. Sebelius is the overall leader of the ridiculously botched implementation of Obama Care from the failed website to the failed navigator programs to the inability to hit virtually every mandated date in the law. But the epitome of her failure and state of being out of touch with reality comes from her latest quote regarding Obama Care’s negative impact on the economy. She says there has been absolutely no negative impacts on the economy and jobs creation: “There is absolutely no evidence, and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act. I know that’s a popular myth that continues to be repeated but it just is not accurate.” 

Huh? We reported back in October that were at least 300 companies, schools, and non profit organizations that gone forth and fired people, cut hours, and curtailed hiring as a result of Obama Care’s tenets. The complete list of those 300 plus organizations can be found at the following post:

In addition, the Investor’s Business Daily, which has been tracking Obama Care related job. now lists 401 employers nationwide who have slashed thousands of worker hours and jobs due to Obama Care. 

But in Sebelius’s world, EVERY economist agrees with her that Obama Care has caused no negative impacts on jobs. Unbelievable. What the list of 401 companies does not include are those companies that have decided not to hire because of Obama Care and we know that is a reality since we have reported on business owner polls that showed a high number of businesses have curtailed hiring new employees in addition to the 401 who have cut employee staffs. I doubt every economist in this world would agree with her.

Given how inane this statement is, it makes you wonder:

  • Is she truly that out of touch with reality?
  • Does her staff feed her incorrect information to keep her happy?
  • Is she trying some sort of mass hypnosis along the lines that if you tell a lie often enough it becomes the reality?
I don’t know but this quote is worthy of something Nancy Pelosi would state.

2) The Vice President got into the Obama Care act this week with the follOwing quote: "Initially we talked about by the end of this period having 7 million people lined up. We may not get to 7, but we're gonna get to 5 or 6, and that's a hell of a start."

He may be right but really, what are the chances that the first thing he gets right in his tenure as VP is this estimate. Unless enrollments go through the roof in the next moth or so, the enrollment level is not going to get anywhere close to seven  million…or five million or six million because:

  • The administration only acknowledges that about 3.3 million people have indicated they want an Obama Care policy. There is no information violable or that has been provided that shows how many actually went through with the purchase, a number that could be substantially less than 3.3 million.
  • As we have discussed previously, many consulting firms and subject matter experts have estimated that a large percentage of Obama Care enrollees are not incrementally insured Americans but people who had health insurance but lost it because Obama Care required their policies to be terminated. Thus, within that 3.3 million estimate is a lot of “churn,” and not a lot of new , incremental policy holders.
  • Similarly, news reports are starting to put the estimated number of Americans who lost their insurance as a result of Obama Care is now closer to six million. Thus, even if the VP is right and Obama Care somehow, miraculously gets 6 million enrollees it will be a wash since now almost 6 million people have lost their present insurance.
I am sorry, that is not a “heck of a start.”

3) Dr. Ben Carson is a world renowned doctor and he has been an outspoken critic of Obama Care from within the medical establishment. In a recent speech he compared the establishment of Obama Care to the communist policies of Lenin. The Washington Times captured some of his remarks from his speech:

Dr. Carson further compared the new health care reform to policies envisioned by Vladimir Lenin, one of the fathers of socialism and communism.

“Socialized medicine is the keystone in the establishment of a socialist state,” Dr. Carson told the audience of some 2,000 supporters of traditional values.

Such a comment may seem paranoid to some, he said, “but I would say if you know anything about history, how could you not bring it up?”

When people in the executive and legislative branch don’t have to participate, but everybody else has to, “that’s not America, that’s Russia,” he added

He addition, within the same speech he stated: “It was NEVER about healthcare. It was about control.” 

Why do his words carry weight:

  • He is an experienced health care professional, not a lobbyist or a politician. 
  • He is African American so the he cannot stand accused of being a racists opposed to the policies of an African American President.
  • After speaking out early on against Obama Care, the IRS showed up to audit him so he obviously hit a raw nerve within the Obama administration.
  • And he is right. Control how you get health care insurance, control who provides your health care needs, control you via fines if you do not do what the Federal government tells you to do, control you via increased taxes, control you by restricting job growth, etc.
You can see him deliver his speech at:

4) The National Center For Public Policy recently completed an analysis relative to America’s small businesses and their health employee health insurance situation. They recently issued a press release whose first paragraph summarized their findings:

"Unfortunately, the cancellation of small-group plans may not get the same widespread press coverage that the cancellation of individual policies received late last year," says National Center for Public Policy Research's David Hogberg in a new article in the American Spectator, "ObamaCare's Little Noticed Victims."

The press release goes on to estimate that 20 million Americans working in small businesses will lose their current health insurance coverage during 2014 since the Department of Labor has estimated that up to two thirds of small business group health insurance policies currently violate Obama Care's grandfather regulations and will be terminated. Since there are about 31 million Americans covered by small group health insurance policies, that translates into 20 million cancellation notices being sent out.

In a tragic piece of irony, employees who work at the National Center For Public Policy recently found out that their current and preferred employee health insurance policy would be terminated effective April 1 since it did not conform to Obama Care requirements. The Center had had the same policy and carrier since 1996 but that history and preferred situation is now less than sixty days from being blown up.

With the termination of their health coverage, the employees are now about to enter the stress induced problems that those people who had their personal health insurance policy cancelled because of Obama Care: are their preferred doctors going to be included in any new coverage, are their preferred hospitals going to be included in any new coverage, where their premiums and deductibles go up (likely yes), will covered medicines still be covered (possibly no), how to they transition current medical problems to the new policies, etc. 

If true, and 20 million people working for small businesses do lose their insurance coverage, than even if Biden is right and six million enrollees do sign up for Obama Care, that level would still be about 14 million short. Disgraceful.

5) We will close this post with a personalized story of one American. Emilee Lamb wrote about her trials and tribulations as a result of Obama Care n the February 3, 2014 edition of the New York Post. When we talk about six million people or 2-0 million people losing their preferred health insurance coverage and losing access to their preferred doctors and hospitals, it can be a little cold and distant, just numbers on a page.

But Ms. Lamb’s story is a real live, personal and sad case of what Obama Care is really doing to many individual Americans:

ObamaCare was supposed to help me.

That’s all I could think as I sat in the House of Representatives last Tuesday night as the guest of my congresswoman, only a few hundred feet away from President Obama as he gave his State of the Union address. Four years ago, I’d have been there cheering for ObamaCare’s passage. But the real ObamaCare has made my life a nightmare.

I suffer from a difficult chronic illness called lupus, an autoimmune disease with devastating symptoms that strike when you least expect them. At age 40, my life is filled with visits to doctors, specialists and the emergency room. While paying for this care is expensive, I have no other choice.

Prior to ObamaCare, I bought my health insurance through CoverTN, a program run by the state of Tennessee. The coverage was perfectly suited to my unique medical condition. It offered me low premiums, a low deductible and low co-pays for my regular trips to doctors and specialists. This plan was perfect for someone with my unique medical condition and limited financial means.

My plan was canceled last fall. According to the regulators behind ObamaCare, it was a subpar plan that should no longer be sold to consumers. Another 16,000 Tennesseans on the same plan were similarly dumped. Many, like me, liked their plans and wanted to keep them.

This wasn’t my insurer’s fault at all. CoverTN actually fought for me to keep my health care. After I received my cancellation notice, the folks at CoverTN requested that the federal government give them a waiver, which would let them grandfather my plan into ObamaCare. Their request was rejected.

This left me with no health plan and only one choice: Buy a plan through the ObamaCare exchanges.

After weighing my options, I settled on a “platinum” plan. This was the best plan that I could choose. A “bronze,” “silver” or “gold” plan all would leave me paying exorbitant amounts of money on my frequent, and expensive, trips to doctors and specialists.

But the platinum plan was the lesser of two expensive evils. My new plan costs me $373 a month, even after a small subsidy.

By comparison, my old plan only cost me $57 a month. And I now pay 25 percent co-insurance on all doctor visits until I reach my out-of-pocket maximum of $1,500. This is much higher than under CoverTN.

All told, I’m likely going to pay more than $6,000 more each year for my medical care.

I’ve had to take a second job in order to pay for my ObamaCare plan. Given my health problems, the physical and emotional drain that this puts on me is difficult to bear. It’s also made it much more difficult for me to care for my ailing mother, who depends on me for help.

For me, the impact of ObamaCare is a health plan that is both unaffordable and uncaring. For a law named “The Affordable Care Act,” this is both backward and perverse.

It’s also not what you promised me when I voted for you, Mr. President. When you were on the campaign trail, you promised that ObamaCare would help me with my medical problems. You promised that people like me with pre-existing conditions would be better off. And you promised that if I liked my health-care plan, I could keep it.

Mr. President, you’ve now broken all of these promises — and not just to me.

Emilie Lamb

That is the reality of Obama Care. Not the perverse out of touch world of Sebelius who denies the reality of massive job losses due to Obama Care. Not the reality of Joe Biden who thinks this thing is off to a heck of a start, a sentiment probably not shared by people like Ms. Lamb. It is the worst piece of Federal legislation that was passed by the worst set of politicians in the history of the country.

And next month, we will have to go through all of this again as I am sure the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care will continue to fold disasters.

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