In 2008, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and many other Democrats promised that under their new Affordable Care Act that everyone would have affordable healthcare coverage and that pre-existing conditions would be covered.
The first lie was ‘affordable’. The second lie is that everyone would be covered. The third lie is more of one of omission in that yes, pre-existing medical conditions would be covered, but they said nothing that it would be affordable.
I am obese and have Type 2 diabetes. My wife has a heart valve condition that causes irregular heartbeats, but it’s controlled with medication. Combined, we were uninsurable before Obamacare. After Obamacare, we’re still uninsured since we can’t afford a minimum of $816 a month for a policy that carried a $4,000 deductible and then would only pay 60% of covered expenses. Combined, we barely made too much to get federal subsidy, so there was no way we could afford to pay for healthcare coverage.
Millions of Americans found themselves in the same boat as we are in and consequently, they are also still uninsured.
In the three short years that Obamacare has been in effect, millions of Americans have been able to obtain healthcare coverage and many were able to qualify for federal subsidies to help pay their premiums.
However, millions of them have had problems keeping their Obamacare policies. In 2015, I reported about 367,000 people in Texas losing their healthcare coverage as a direct result of Obamacare. Another 2015 report stated that 10 million Americans were losing their employer provided healthcare due to Obamacare. In 2014, nearly 20 million healthcare plans were scheduled to be cancelled due to changes and costs associated with Obamacare.
One of the intended positive aspects of Obamacare was the establishment of Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program (CO-OP). The Democratic-controlled Congress at the time voted to spend $6 billion of taxpayer money to help establish and fund these CO-OPs. They were designed to help lower the cost of healthcare coverage for millions of Americans. By the middle of 2016, the majority of Obamacare CO-OPs had shut down due to financial issues. The shutting down of these CO-OPs have left a large number of people uninsured.
Numerous insurance companies initially offered a variety of healthcare plans under Obamacare. In just a few short years, many of those policy options were cancelled by the insurance companies. Most of the cancellations had to due to changing regulations and/or finances, as the insurance companies were losing too much money with certain policies.
Pamela Weldin, of Nebraska is one of those affected by the many cancellations. Prior to Obamacare, Weldin was uninsurable due to a pre-existing condition that was related to her job as a dental hygienist. In 2014 Weldin was able to obtain healthcare coverage with the help of a federal subsidy. In the past three years, she has had her Obamacare coverage cancelled four times. She is now on her fifth policy.
“I’m a person who has been denied because of pre-existing conditions. I’m on Obamacare and have lost my insurance four times in three years. I understand the challenges, but it’s not sustainable.”
She is one of millions of Americans who never know from one day to the next if she’ll still have healthcare coverage or not and if so, how much it will cost her.
This has to be an issue addressed by the Republicans in Congress as they work to repeal and replace Obamacare with their own plan. Will they repeat many of the same mistakes made by the Democrats or will they actually find a way to draft a workable and viable healthcare system?