By E. J. Dionne

When Obamacare Was ‘Doomed’

April 3, 2014 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad, Politics 66 Comments A+ / A-
When Obamacare Was ‘Doomed’

WASHINGTON — Is there any accountability in American politics for being completely wrong? Is there any cost to those who say things that turn out not to be true and then, when their fabrications or false predictions are exposed, calmly move on to concocting new claims as if they had never made the old ones?

The fact that the Affordable Care Act hit its original goal this week of signing up more than 7 million people through its insurance exchanges ought to be a moment of truth — literally as well as figuratively. It ought to give everyone, particularly members of the news media, pause over how reckless the opponents of change have been in making instant judgments and outlandish charges.

When the health care website went haywire last fall, conservatives were absolutely certain this technological failure meant that the entire reform effort was doomed. If you doubt this, try a Google search keyed to that period relating the word “doomed” to the health care law.

It should be said that the general public was much wiser. A CNN poll in November that Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent highlighted at the time found a majority (54 percent to 45 percent) saying that the problems facing the law “will eventually be solved.” Political moderates took this view by 55 percent to 43 percent, independents by 50 percent to 48 percent. Only Republicans — by a whopping 72 percent to 27 percent — and conservatives (by 66-33) thought the law could never be fixed.

Their representatives in Washington, moderate conservatives as well as the Tea Party’s loyalists, followed the base’s lead. In mid-November, for example, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) told Fox News flatly that the law is “destined to fail,” “fundamentally flawed” and “not ready for prime time.” House Speaker John Boehner predicted dire outcomes before the website fiasco. He repeatedly insisted, as he did in July, that “even the Obama administration knows the train wreck will only get worse.”

This attitude affected more neutral observers. Forbes magazine posted a piece on Nov. 22, 2013, under the headline: “What to do if and when Obamacare collapses.” The op-ed modestly acknowledged that “it’s too soon to write an epitaph for Obamacare,” but then barged forward, since “its crises are piling up so fast that one has to begin looking ahead.”

At this point, the etiquette of commentary typically requires a “to be sure” paragraph, as in: To be sure, the law could still face other problems, blah, blah, blah. But such paragraphs are timid and often insincere hedges. After all, every successful program, even well-established ones such as Medicare, Social Security and food stamps, confronts ongoing challenges.

Pages →  1 2

When Obamacare Was ‘Doomed’ Reviewed by on . WASHINGTON -- Is there any accountability in American politics for being completely wrong? Is there any cost to those who say things that turn out not to be tru WASHINGTON -- Is there any accountability in American politics for being completely wrong? Is there any cost to those who say things that turn out not to be tru Rating: 0

More by E. J. Dionne

Chuck Schumer: Take Two

Forget Obamacare — the rest of Schumer's infamous National Press Club speech lays out a Democratic plan for victory.

Read more...

Obama’s Boehner Bailout

What Boehner and Obama's temporary alliance tells us about the next two years.

Read more...

Will We Torture Again?

The reaction to the Senate's shocking torture report raises troubling questions about the future.

Read more...

Tags

Comments

  • Dominick Vila

    Our biggest problem is not the fact that deep pockets are filling the GOP coffer, the policies put in place by President Obama, or the record. Our problem is our inability to challenge the outlandish claims made by the GOP time and again with absolute impunity and great effectiveness.
    The truth is that when it comes to electioneering, the Democratic party and affiliates such as MoveOn, are like boy scouts fighting the Third Reich or the organized religious organizations propaganda machines. The Democratic party does not need more money to run campaigns, it needs brains and spine to learn how to do it.
    I just heard a political commercial sponsored by Gov. Rick Scott claiming that 2.5 million jobs have been lost as a result of Obamacare. Similar claims have been made, and continue to be made, nationwide while inept Democratic strategists spend their time sending e-mails asking for money…and a little help by complicit media.
    If the GOP had put in place a tiny fraction of the accomplishments made by the Obama administration, and even a semblance of its record, it would have been highlighting over and over again. What does the Democratic party do? They run for cover because they are as convince as the most rabid Tea Party ignoramus that progress is bad, that economic prosperity means economic chaos, that job creation means job losses, and that policies that help mainstream Americans must be rejected because they are evidence of evil socialism.
    Our challenge in November is not whether or not we are going to keep control of the Senate, but how many seats are we going to lose if a major change in paradigm and strategy does not happen between now and then.

    • Bill Thompson

      Dominick I’ve been saying the same thing for years the Democratic Party is rudderless it’s leaders are spineless and DNC has no direction whatsoever. I fear the midterm elections will be a shellacking like never seen before because of the Democrats inability to highlight their own successes and combat the falsehoods being spread for years. Not only is there no offensive strategy but there is no defense to the lies that are heard on a daily basis.

      • Paul Bass

        Darn, if we just had someone charismatic like Hitler, Lenin, or Mussolini, then the Democrats would win easily! ;)

        The trouble with the Democrats, is also their strength, most of them like to think before they vote, then sometimes don’t vote at all! That not voting at all is what hurts us in off-year elections….

        • Allan Richardson

          Don’t need Hitler or Stalin. Just need another FDR, Truman, Kennedy, LBJ, or Humphrey. If the liberal commentators were willing to run for office (Schultz, Maddow, Kornacki, etc) they would give us the spine we need.

      • ps0rjl

        I have to agree with a you. The Democrats should now in the midterms be calling out all the Republican naysayers. They should attack their Republican opponents relentlessly. This is and will be a great success just like SS and Medicare.

      • 788eddie

        Well, Bill, if the Republicans take over congress, I guess a lot of newly insured people could lose that health insurance.

        I think we should let them know just how important their vote is this time.

    • latebloomingrandma

      Democrats should be proud that they are on the right side of history, but are acting like cowards when it comes to the ACA. It kind of reminds me of that guy from the 19th century who said that everything that could possibly be invented was already invented.
      Small thinking from the same people who tout “exceptionalism.”

      • whodatbob

        To Dominick and the 5 who have replied to his post. You have stated flaws in our big tent Party, but no solution to the problems. Nobody, absolutely nobody has a solution. We are allowing the Re-pukes control all conversations with their BS, untruths.

        Right or wrong at least the Re-pukes have group think. Like robots they all parrot the same lies never questioning the validity of the propaganda.

        • Dominick Vila

          The solution is to challenge the falsehoods advanced by the GOP, and not be bashful about highlighting our successes. Instead of playing defense against the party that lost in 2012, the party that was in control of the WH and Congress when 9/11 happened, and the party whose policies contributed to the worst recession since the Great Depression, we should be advertising the contrast between their record and ours.
          When people talk about taking America back, remind them that nobody has taken it away from us – in spite of the efforts by a handful of magnates to own our political process and democracy. Remind them of where we were in January 2009 when the DOW was at 6,500 points, bankruptcies and foreclosures were the order of the day, major industrial icons were on the verge of bankruptcy, the real estate market had collapsed, job losses were out of control, we were engaged in two wars that should have never started, and OBL was at large enjoying life in Pakistan while W was kissing Musharraf’s butt. The last thing we should do is to go back to the mess we are finally leaving behind.

          • Independent1

            Dominick, but where do the Democrats do that? Where do the Democrats get their message out about the positives of what they’ve accomplished by ACA and other Obama accomplishments, when the media is hellbent on focusing on the negatives. It’s clear that it’s negatives that our society seems to want our news media to focus on informing them about.

            I’ve read articles which say that during the ACA rollout that there were actually media outlets that turned down news stories that highlighted the positive things that people were experiencing when enrolling for ACA and instead the media was featuring the negatives which were often lies given them by the GOP, often about staged events.

            I’m not trying to suggest that the Democrats don’t need some backbone and more people like Elisabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, but the way the media in America works today its putting the Democrats at a disadvantage from the gitgo. Media outlets will run with any fabricated negative story the handed to them by the GOP or the GOP’s supporters.

            The only answer I can see is that the Dems have to couch their stories in the light of the negatives that the GOP is creating for America. For example, instead of focusing on “look at all the good things that ACA has done for people”, they have to bring out more examples like “Look at all the bad things that the GOP’s opposition to ACA has created”.
            For example: they need to harp about the estimated 27,000 who have been projected to lose their lives prematurely because the GOP has refused to expand Mediacid.

            Or, harp about the fact that hospitals have even been forced to close in a number of GOP run states because of the GOP’s opposition to ACA which has actually resulted in people dying because a hospital was no longer close by when an accident occurred.

            Or, they need to harp about the fact that because the GOP has steadfastly refused to extend unemployment benefits it has resulted in slowing down the economy with resulting job loses at a time when the country needs to create jobs not kill them.

            And there are similar negative news stories they could harp about.

            Maybe the solution is establishing a petition to the White House signed by hundreds of thousands of progressives, suggesting that the White House enourage more Democrats to actively take part in calling out the GOP for the damage they’re creating for the country.

            I’m sure the White House could do a little research and come out with a lot of stories about the damage the GOP has inflicted on the country. And put those stories in as negative a lighgt as possible which would encourage the media to run the the stories.

          • FredAppell

            True,and much of that media is so-called liberal. Unfortunately for us, that gives strength to the GOP. I think part of the problem is that the DNC is still shell shocked from the beating they took 2 years ago. Redistricting also factors into it but the apologist Democratic party doesn’t seem to be up to the task
            of aggressively and proudly defending their accomplishments. What the Dems need to do is find some young candidates with a fire in their belly and ice in their veins to reinvigorate the party, maybe then they’ll stop acting like they’re ashamed.

          • omgamike

            The challenge, and the solution is, in November, to get the democratic vote, like never before.

        • 788eddie

          The Nazis had “group think,” too, but they were defeated.

          • ralphkr

            But not in the ballot box, eddie, not in elections but at the barrel of many, many guns.

          • 788eddie

            I count the power of their money the same.

    • Jim Myers

      As someone who lives in North Carolina, I am happy to report that there is some retaliation to the “Rabid Right” and their fact twisting ads.

      Thom Tillis has been targeted as a hand picked candidate by the Koch brothers, along with a few other characters being targeted for their support of lax environmental regulations, particularly fracking.

      With the tide shifting a little in North Carolina, it might be possible for Kay Hagan to retain her seat in the Senate.

  • JohnnyH

    “Is there any accountability in American politics for being completely
    wrong? Is there any cost to those who say things that turn out not to be
    true and then, when their fabrications or false predictions are
    exposed, calmly move on to concocting new claims as if they had never
    made the old ones?”

    Apparently not. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” And, the sayer got reelected!

    • roguerunners

      Please tell us how many people lost their Doctor. Inquiring minds want to know. And while you’re at it, please attach some proof along with your numbers.

      • TZToronto

        Good post. Let’s call out these people. I’d like to know how many doctors don’t want to get paid for their services because the patient now has insurance that he wasn’t able to get before the ACA. As far as I can see, the ACA is a boon to doctors. Now they’ll have a larger patient pool than ever. Insurers will be receiving more in premiums than ever before. And patients will have better health care than ever before. . . . If the GOP wins control of Congress, they’ll pass a bill to repeal the ACA. It will go to President Obama for signature, and he’ll veto it, of course. On the other hand, he could sign it and put health care into an unrecoverable tailspin and blame it on the GOP. “If you had health care under the ACA but don’t since the GOP Congress has repealed it, who are you gonna blame? Me or yourselves? Folks, these are your representatives. You elected them, and this is what they did to you.”

        • roguerunners

          Thank you! I just get so sick of hearing this garbage. I have a friend who listens to EVERYTHING her church pastor says without question. So, the week before the ACA started enrollment, she was down at the office to sign up for “Obama care” because she was not going to jail for not signing up. No kidding! She thought “they” were going to round up all of those “insurance dodgers” and throw them in jail! So, to make a long story short, in trying to sabotage the ACA this pastor actually helped it by putting the fear of jail time into the minds of the followers. In the meantime, my middle aged friend found that she has to pay nothing and got covered for the first time in many, many years. ;)

          • TZToronto

            There are probably plenty of people who have never had health insurance because (1) they simply couldn’t afford it or (2) no one would insure them for any of probably hundreds of reasons (most relating to pre-existing conditions). Suddenly, they can actually afford health insurance and, more importantly, they aren’t being turned down and can’t be canceled! The small proportion who find that their insurance rates have gone up were most likely paying for garbage policies with high deductibles, high co-pays, and low limits. And, on top of everything, the government will pick up some or all of the tab for many of these people. This is a big win for most of the people who have signed up for coverage under the ACA. Right now the penalty for not having health insurance is small, in a couple of years it’s going to be painful.

          • Allan Richardson

            How about those babies who were born sick enough to use up their LIFETIME allotment under their parents’ policy before they ever got out of the NICU, and had to grow up with Mom and Dad paying 100% of their future medical bills out of pocket? Then as adults, they could not even be covered by GROUP insurance from their first benefit-worthy job (if they could FIND one), because the COBRA guarantee only applies to group insurance on SUBSEQUENT jobs!

            Of course, that latter sentence would be moot in many of these cases, because doctors and hospitals would REFUSE TO TREAT their subsequent diseases due to lack of insurance (except, thank God, for charities such as St. Jude’s and Shriners), so these kids would not LIVE LONG ENOUGH to look for a job … thanks to a BUSINESS decision made by insurance companies. And they have the chutzpah to say that OBAMACARE has “death panels?”

          • TZToronto

            Right. All along, ever since the idea of “death panels” was floated, I’ve been saying that the only death panels are in the insurance companies. But even if the ACA had government death panels, I’d prefer to have my fate decided by a government bureaucrat whose job and advancement possibilities are not dependent upon how many claims he/she rejects.

          • Allan Richardson

            Actually, with a Republican Congress and/or administration, a government “death panel” (if it existed) would be no WORSE than the private ones. With the Democrats in charge and voters more concerned with compassion and justice than with deficits (or higher taxes on the rich to close them), it would be MUCH better.

            But of course, unlike private rationing of health care, a government panel would not evaluate individual patients (it would not have the authority to do so, just as that authority has been taken away from the private companies by the ACA); it would make general recommendations for the most cost-effective ways to treat various diseases. HOWEVER, those general recommendations could be overridden by individual physicians, who know their patients, and who are the ultimate authorities on their care.

            So the ACA is actually ELIMINATING death panels (the private ones), not creating them.

          • mjw1952

            The question now is she still believing her pastor and voting republican.

          • roguerunners

            Unfortunately she still blindly votes Republican. :/

    • elw

      When in the last several decades has anyone been able to keep their doctor if their insurance carrier dropped the doctor from their panel of approved doctors? How many people lost their doctors, in the last several decade, if their employer changed? How many people in the last several decades were refused coverage or dropped by a insurer because they actually needed to use the product the insurer was selling. You cannot blame Obamacare for the system it needs to work within.

      • Allan Richardson

        I had to change doctors several times due to changes in insurance on the SAME policy (most recently, the insurance company had a spat with the hospital/doctors corporate entity and forced us to change … then said we could switch BACK if we wanted a few months later, since they made up and signed a new contract).

        • elw

          I think most people have experience exactly the same thing, but you will never hear that kind of honestly from the opponents of the ACA who blog on this site.

      • Meg

        You misunderstood the comment. The comment was towards the lying democrats who made promises they knew were untrue at the time. You are trying to rationalize it.

        • Independent1

          Sorry Meg, but Obama and the Democrats DID NOT LIE!! ACA grandfathered in all those policies. IT WAS THE INSURANCE COMPANIES THAT LIED!!
          When ACA was being developed by Congress, the insurance companies agreed to honor the ACA legislaltion, but THEY LIED!! Not only did they FALESLY cancell hundreds of thousands of policies that had been GRANDFATHERED IN!! THE DID IT DELIBERATELY!! KNOW IT WAS A LIE!!!

          • Meg

            Funny, but I heard Obama, Pelosi, and others repeat the mantra over and over. Don’t remember hearing anyone from the insurance co. They cancelled the policies because they were told to do so by the this adm. Had to make the policies fair to both women and men. That is why the policies were called inferior by Obama. The men were not paying for pregnacy like the women were. Everyone has to pay for mental health and drug and alcohol treatment whether they need it or not. Most people did not have that coverage. Why should a 60 year old pay to have a baby? The policies were only grandfathered in if no changes were made in the last year. Every year when you re-enroll in insurance, there is usually a change. So that was the “gottcha” of that promise. Sorry, but you need to look some of this stuff up. It is there for all to see. And, no, I am not a republican.

          • Allan Richardson

            Why should a family that lives in a brick house pay the same amount of taxes to support the fire department as a family that lives in a wooden house? Because the principle of risk sharing implies that all of us pay for what any one of us MAY need. Remember, the young couple with children is also paying for your arthritis medicine, your statins, your blood thinners (mine too), your ED medicine, and possibly your wife’s lubrication therapy. Like the Three Musketeers, we should be thinking “All for one, and one for all,” not the cowardly “every man for himself.”

            And no, the insurance companies are the ones who decided to do the cancellations, because even though they pledged to keep the grandfathered policies the same, they changed them JUST ENOUGH to have a legal excuse to cancel them and blame it on the new law.

          • Meg

            You pay taxes on the value of your home. If my home is worth more, I will pay more taxes and vice versa. Completely different circumstances. I pay for my own medication, which I do not take any, but if I did, I would not expect you to pay for it. Insurance changes almost every year. So your explanation makes no sense. Likewise, to ruin healthcare for the majority to cover a few, makes no sense. They could have just expanded Medicaid to completely cover those who could not afford insurance. Did you know that in Massachusetts there is a 50 day waiting period to see a doctor? Ask them how they like that. Get over your brainwashing and learn some real facts.

          • Independent1

            Sorry Meg, but you’re all wet. Fact is, when Congress had put together an outline for ACA, CEOs from the major health insurance companies met with Obama at the White House and “pledged to everything they could to make ACA work”. What a laugh. These clowns have done everything they could to make it fail.

            See these articles:

            The revenge of the insurance industry

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/10/1253969/-The-revenge-of-the-insurance-industry?detail=email

            Another Health Insurer Caught Falsely Cancelling Thousands of Health Plans

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/10/1254596/-Another-Health-Insurer-Caught-Falsely-Cancelling-Thousands-of-Health-Plans?detail=email
            Special Investigation: How Insurers Are Hiding Obamacare Benefits From Customers

            http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/insurance-companies-misleading-letters-obamacare

            Six million lost coverage on first day of Bush Medicare drug program

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/04/1267237/-Six-million-lost-coverage-on-Day-One-of-Bush-Medicare-drug-program?detail=email

          • Sand_Cat

            She’s more than all wet!

          • Sand_Cat

            Go ahead and broadcast your ignorance to all.

          • Meg

            Yes, we have experienced your ignorance for sometime now.

          • JPHALL

            The Dems continue to make the same mistake. They believe they are dealing with people who do things logically and reasonably. They do not know how to handle intellectual cripples who say and do things emotionally.

        • elw

          No I did not misunderstand anything. Meg you choose to ignore what I said. Nothing that happened this year is out of the norm. Each year, for decades now, people get annual notices that their current policy is no longer available. To blame that on the President or the ACA is just plain nonsense, but we have come to expect nothing rational or based on facts from the opponents the ACA.

          • Meg

            Wait until it affects you in a negative way and then sing the same tune. Give it a year or less!!

          • Sand_Cat

            Once again, you clearly have no clue what you’re talking (writing) about. But if you want to keep embarrassing yourself further, go ahead.

          • Independent1

            If Romney care is any indication, it will be a success. Here’s an excerpt from a large study on Romeycare in Mass:

            Most people in Massachusetts are in favor of what they get from Romneycare. Surveys over the past five years show an approval rating by state residents of around 60 percent, while 30 percent oppose it.

            Also, your comment about the wait times being 55 days is nonsense – the statewide average to see a new doctor is 39 days, with it being only 16 days in the Boston area.

            However, trying to compare the new doctor wait times in a state like Mass which has the highest health insurance enrollment in the nation, to the idiot Red States which have the lowest health insurance enrollment in the nation – is pure stupidity; which only reflects your juvenile level of thinking. But despite that, you may want to try and compare your idiot comment of 55 days in Mass to the fact that in Texas – the state with the lowest percent of insureds in America where the wait time to see a new doctor is 72 days.

          • elw

            Well, again silly predictions based only on the fact that you do not like the idea of the ACA. I do not mind waiting because I know that providing people with health care coverage has got to have many more positive results than negative. Medicare and Romneycare have proved that, the ACA will as well.

    • Allan Richardson

      How many people are too foolish to understand the implied qualification “if you like your doctor and insurance, AND THE COMPANY DOES NOT DECIDE TO CUT YOU OFF OR FORCE YOU TO CHANGE DOCTORS, WHICH THIS LAW HAS NO AUTHORITY TO PREVENT THEM FROM DECIDING?”

      The insurance policies that were lost were those that had no reasonable chance of paying for care, the so-called “junk” policies which their carriers CHOSE to discontinue rather than fix them to conform to the new law, AND in some cases, offered a “fix” that was far out of line with what the exchanges COULD have found, without TELLING their polcyholders that they had the CHOICE to look on the exchanges. And of course, many of their customers had (and may still have) an ideological bias against even LOOKING on the exchange, so they have no IDEA what kind of deal they could have gotten (in several cases cited in the right wing media, someone looked on the ACA exchange for them and found something better than they had before).

      And the cost to America of repealing the ACA in order to “restore” the junk policies of a few people (where are the FACTS to show that the number is anywhere near 8 million?) that cost more out of pocket than their new policies (or the ones they could have had if they had looked) would be to DENY ANY INSURANCE AT ALL to those who had been denied before. Many of these people would be condemned to DEATH without insurance. Is saving a few fictional bucks for you, or saving face and not having to admit you were lied to and repeated the lie to others, WORTH KILLING SOME STRANGER you never met? I get the impression that for many of us the answer is HELL YES, I DON’T CARE about anyone outside my immediate family and social circle.

      • elw

        “(where are the FACTS to show that the number is anywhere near 8 million?)”
        There are none to show that 8 million people permanently lost coverage or how much the annual non-renewal notices were any different than in years past. Most of the people who received notices also received offers for other policies from their insurer. Many qualified for better coverage for less through the exchanges – In the end there were just a few left (in the thousands) who remained uncovered, but it was their choice and almost all of them had incomes that were large enough that they did not qualify for subsidies and choose not to replace their policies for one reason or the other. What is clear is recent numbers released by Kaiser Foundation, showed that there less people today without coverage than before the ACA exchanges opened.

    • Sand_Cat

      Obama referred to the fact that ACA’s requirements would not force you to give up existing policies and your doctor selected under them, as you and all the other trolls well know. Had he arranged to prevent the ruthless insurance companies from trying to make him a liar, you’d be here screaming about how he was a dictator and violating the sacred rights of our noble corporations and “job creators.” As it stands, he made the mistake – which is not only policy, but an article of religious faith in the GOP – of relying on private corporations to do the right thing, and we can see what the result was. Of course, this won’t even slightly slow you and the other zealots from repeating over and over how private business should be allowed to do whatever it wants and any regulation whatsoever is outrageous and unacceptable.

    • JPHALL

      After all this time, is this the best jab you have? You lost! Just like in November 2012. Move on to the next Republican / TP lie. Let’s see, Benghazi? No nothing there. Syria? No not there either. Nothing else being done? Oh, that’s the Repugants in the House.

    • almxx

      You forgot to mention “the Iraq war will be over in 3 months and Iraq oil will pay for it”.”There is no danger to anyone’s health in cleaning up the world trade center destruction”. Then the announcement by Bush, un-highlighted by the Media…”Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack”.

  • elw

    I think the Republican base will continue to make false claims about the ACA and jump on every glitch as if it is the end of the world for a great many years ahead. After all, they do the very same thing to Medicare even after more than a half century of it being successful and overcoming every glitch it faced. I also think like it did with Medicare, the rhetoric will begin to fall on deaf ears because most people will experience the benefits of the program much as they did with Medicare. Progressives, even those in public offices, should stop making excuses for the program and start standing up for much the way they do for Medicare. No more comments like “it is not a perfect program.” More comments about how many people it is helping. We won and we should act like it.

  • Christina

    It’s impossible to know, E.J. Dionne, whether you are an incredible optimist and just terribly naive, or whether you are a puppet being paid to spout propaganda, but depending on the answer, this editorial is either sad, or sickening.

    Never before today, in your piece, have I heard the figure of 10 million people covered. Everyone else has reported a figure of 7 million. Then in your piece you write that these are people “getting health insurance . . . who didn’t have it before.” Not so. The 7 million figure includes the 6 million who LOST coverage because of the ACA, and were forced to buy more expensive plans that covered less. The 7 million figure also represents those who signed up, but have not yet paid, meaning they don’t yet have insurance. As for the “horror stories that the fact checkers find mostly to be false,” let them fact check me: I am a 63-year-old woman who has been without insurance since I lost my job. Under the threat of a penalty, I signed up for the least expensive plan I could find, which is costing me $150 a month and has a $4,000 deductible. Since I have been to a doctor only three times in the past ten years, and have never spent $4,000 in one year on health care, please tell me what my $1,800 a year is going to get me? Am I just supposed to feel good that someone, somewhere is benefitting from my money? Let me tell you what I don’t feel good about: I don’t like the fact that the government is taking $150 a month from my very limited income to pay for a health insurance plan that will in no way help me–unless I have a catastrophic event–which is, in the end, why I bought into this plan. Let me tell you another thing I don’t feel good about: $150 a month does not cover the cost of my health care plan, so other taxpayers out there are supporting me, most likely against their will. And guess what? I don’t like being the recipient of this forced welfare anymore than I like paying into the system, but under the socialistic system we now find ourselves in, we have no choice.

    • Allan Richardson

      So you would have preferred to have NO coverage until you turn 65, which would cost you a much greater “penalty” if you did have such a catastrophic diagnosis, or an accident? The fact that you have been to a doctor only three times in ten years (when you DID have a “good” group policy from your employer) makes such a suddenly revealed illness more likely.

      But cheer up. In two years, you will qualify for a MORE socialistic plan that I like to call Lyndoncare, after the President who signed it. I had to wait for Lyndoncare while retired and on my wife’s employer’s policy, because Obamacare would not be available until after I was 65. By the way, here’s some more good news: you can apply for Medicare to take effect the FIRST of the month in which you turn 65, so if your birthday is at the end of the month, you get an extra month of eligibility!

      But I suspect that you may not have gotten the best possible policy under the new ACA. Most people get a much better deal than yours unless they are in a higher income bracket. And if we had NO sharing of costs as a society, we would be a group of selfish reptiles rather than humans who care about one another. Life and death should not be dependent upon who can afford to pay a ransom to a health care provider and who cannot.

      • Christina

        No, Allan, my three trips to the doctor were paid for out of pocket; I did NOT have any insurance at the time. Yes, I have “preferred” to go without insurance for the past ten years because I could not afford it. And now that I have it, it is costly, but worthless. “Sharing of costs as a society” is actually a Christian ideal, but one that is voluntary, not mandatory, but I like your heart.

        • ThomasBonsell

          But in Matthew 25 Jesus Christ told the nations of the world that their responsibilities were to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and cure the sick, among other things. He never said those were voluntary, they were obligations of each and every nation.

    • latebloomingrandma

      Congratulations in being fortunate enough to have such good health. Caution—it won’t last forever. You have insurance in case of that catastrophic event, which is a prime reason for any insurance.
      Do you have homeowners insurance? Are you ticked off that you pay for it every year but never had a fire? Do you resent paying for other peoples’ home fires? If you just go without health insurance until you have that heart attack or stroke or car accident, then someone else will be paying for it.

      • Christina

        Yes, you are right. And, as I stated in my comment, this IS the reason why I decided to comply with the law. It would have been much less expensive to pay the fine. But I have been gambling for ten years without insurance, and decided it was time to stop.

    • Sand_Cat

      Obviously you and your friends could never possibly feel good that someone else benefited from something you did, and we wouldn’t think of imposing such a heavy burden on you.
      So go ahead and feel rotten about it: I know you will, anyway.

      • Christina

        “We wouldn’t think of imposing such a heavy burden on you”? Honey, you just did.

        • Sand_Cat

          I guess you must be a bit slow. It’s not particularly surprising.
          Clearly, we didn’t, and never could, make you feel good about helping someone else. So wallow in your misery; it’s what you really wanted, anyway.

    • judi

      Oh stop with the garbage here.

    • Sand_Cat

      It seems impossible for you to know much of anything, Meg.

    • Independent1

      You’re pretty niave aren’t you?? Do you have any idea what it would cost you if you happened to trip on a curb, fall and break a leg? And subsequently have to go to the ER to have it fixed??

      By the time you had the leg set and utilized the hospital’s ER for maybe a couple hours – you could well receive a bill for from the hospital for $15,000 or more, not including the doctor’s fee. That $1,800 could well save you at least $11,000 for the hospital costs and then whatever the doctor charged should even such a minor accident occur (which could do so in the blink of an eye).

      What’s unfortunate, is that your cluelessness is typical of Americans today. Most American’s, especially the younger set, have absolutely no clue as to the extent of liability they’re leaving themselves open to by not having health insurance. All it takes is one minor accident or brief illness, and they could find themselves in debt for tens of thousands of dollars or maybe more. You have been extremely fortunate not to be in that situation by having gone without health insurance for so many years. Consider yourself very fortunate. You obviously have no idea about the millions of Americans that have been forced into loosing their houses and even into bankruptcy all because of a not too catastrophic illness or accident.

  • howa4x

    It isn’t as much about the law as is the hared of Obama. When He was elected Dr no McConnell vowed nothing he proposed would be passed. Even though we had the largest financial meltdown in history and 1/2 the wealth of the country was wiped out, the republicans opposed Dodd/Frank, and didn’t want any restrictions on Wall st. The ACA was a republican plan implemented by Romney and thought up by the Heritage foundation. So it wasn’t the plan they hated it was the planner instead. They went so far out of their way just to make Obama fail. Even though Obama is ending the costliest wars in American history the republicans call him soft and other names.
    The reality is that all these people lacked insurance coverage when Bush 2 was president and he had a majority of both houses in republican control. The actual fact is they did nothing except expand a Medicare drug program on borrowed money from China. The fact that people were ding at the rate of 50 k per year didn’t even phase them.
    The reality is that republicans have no plan to solve anything, and that I why they want the president o l so badly

  • ThomasBonsell

    Can’t find my first post, so I’ll try again.

    Figures from Bloomberg (August of 2013) say the Swiss pay more for health care than the United States – $9,121 to $8,608 – but since average income in Switzerland is so much higher, the nation spends 11.5% of its GDP on health, compared to the US at 17.2%. The next most-expensive nations, as percentages of GDP, are Greece and the Netherlands at 13%.

    Bloomberg also rates Switzerland the 9th most efficient system in the world (Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan are 1,2,3); the United States 46th, meaning the Swiss get more for their buck than we do.

  • almxx

    It is obvious that what is needed are laws preventing lies being spread on outlets like Radio, TV and billboards. In other words mass media lying and “opinions” expressed as facts. The only trouble is that laws have to be passed by a corrupt Congress .

  • rhallnj

    If the right were capable of shame, they would be ashamed of their behavior here. Unhinged derangement, intellectual dishonesty on a disgraceful scale. But they are incapable of shame.

scroll to top