Obamacare, the Election and Beyond
During the October 22 presidential debate, moderator Kristin Welker of NBC News raised the issue of Obamacare, and how many people would lose their health care if the law were to be overturned. It seems to have escaped notice that Obamacare also caused many to lose the health plan they liked. Consider the experience of this writer.
At age 61 he was cut loose from a job via conference call, with no warning or severance. The health plan of his former employer lasted only one month, so he had to find something on his own. After a lengthy search, he found a high-deductible plan for less than $400 a month. The so-called Affordable Care Act nearly doubled his premium, imposing a considerable hardship until the writer became eligible for Medicare, and he still needed a supplementary plan. Those who remained on Obamacare faced other difficulties.
As this column noted, under Covered California, the state subsidiary of Obamacare, premiums went up 13.2 percent, compared to a national average of 25 percent. That was in 2016, when eleven California carriers offered “at least two” plans to choose from. Many Californians’ policies were canceled when they reported changes in their income, and those going on Medicare found it impossible to cancel their coverage under Obamacare, which imposed penalties for not having insurance. According to health writer Emily Bazar, Obamacare was responsible for “widespread consumer misery,” and at one point former president Bill Clinton called it “the craziest thing in the world.”
In the recent presidential debate, Biden said “what I’m going to do is pass Obamacare with a public option—becomes Bidencare.” The “public option,” also touted by Hillary Clinton, is code for government monopoly health care. Under this system, which some persist in calling “socialized medicine,” the people get only the health care the government wants them to have. That arrangement can inflict harm far beyond the miseries of Obamacare.
As the New York Times reported last year, Venezuela’s socialist Maduro regime deployed Cuban doctors to give medical treatment to those who promised to vote for Maduro and denied medical treatment to those who did not. Contrary to socialist belief, when politicians gain power they do not shed human vices and prejudices. That’s why it’s dangerous to give politicians unchecked power, and take away the choices of the people.