The Associated Press' latest poll shows nearly half of all insured Americans reporting that Obamacare has already impacted their 2014 coverage. Within this group, nearly seven in ten point to rising premiums, and nearly eight in ten place blame squarely on the new law. As HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finally admits that Obamacare will increase costs for "some" consumers, middle class families are girding their loins for the year to come. Democrats will eagerly point to a handful of success stories, wherein people managed to enroll in better coverage for less money. But the law was sold as a boon to all Americans -- a coruscating lie that has betrayed millions. A few local examples of what Obamacare has wrought -- so far:
Sue Walker received the bad news in September from the insurer who handled her medical coverage in Jacksonville, Ill. She was told that to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, her premium would go from $513 a month to $890. She also would be required to purchase insurance that included maternity benefits, even though Walker is 64 years old. Walker wonders how Congress could have approved such a boondoggle...The horror stories come from people such as Carla Watkins of Pikeville, Ky., and John Keegan of Hazleton, Pa. Watkins, a 45-year-old nursing assistant, called her three hours on the website a nightmare. “I was ready to scream by the time I was done,” she said. “It’s really going to put me in a financial bind now that I will be paying $92 more a month.” It took Keegan 10 days to finally gain access to the website. “I tried three to six times a day, at all different times,” he said. And what he finally found? “If I bought a plan, it would be approximately the premium I’m paying now. I would have much higher deductibles and co-pays,” Keegan said.
Greg Tammarino of Troy decided to bypass the marketplace and renew his old policy after shopping on the federal exchange. Tammarino tried to get on the federal website several times in October to shop for health plans but said he could never get past the log-on page. “We tried it just recently and got on and looked at pricing, and the pricing was four times what I’m paying now with my insurance,” said the 62-year-old former business executive, referring to his monthly premium payment of $400 for a policy for he and his wife. The least expensive plan he could find on the marketplace, he said, was $1,600. “If you’re not subsidized, it costs you way more to buy coverage,” he said...
The next big challenge for the nation's health care law may be sticker shock, when consumers find they're still paying high medical bills after buying low-cost insurance for the first time...With a Dec. 23 deadline looming for anyone who wants health insurance by Jan. 1, people may hurry to choose plans with cheap monthly payments on a new insurance marketplace. But they may be surprised, especially if they've never had coverage before, to find they're still on the hook for thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket "deductibles," a standard part of most insurance policies. Many will find they must pay costs up to $6,350 -- on top of their monthly premiums -- before their insurance pays anything for actual medical care. If they have a family, they may have to pay nearly $13,000 in an out-of-pocket "deductible" before insurance starts paying.
Politico reports that another Obamacare shoe is dangling above many small businesses, and could drop next year:
Think the canceled health policies hurt the Obamacare cause? There’s another political time bomb lurking that could explode not too long before next year’s elections: rate hikes for small businesses. Like the canceled individual health plans, it’s another example of a tradeoff that health care experts have long known about, as the new rules for health insurance prices create winners and losers. But most Americans won’t become aware of it until some small business employees learn that their premiums are going up because of a law called — oops — the Affordable Care Act...And the timing will be terrible for Democrats: A lot of those small businesses will have to start dealing with their new prices in October — just in time for Republicans to make it an issue in their mid-term election campaigns.
President Obama promised big things for small businesses as a result of his signature law. Instead, many will be slapped unaffordable rates, likely impelling some to drop coverage altogether. In another blow, the law's small business exchange has been delayed again -- this time for a full year. The Washington Post's fact-checking department nominated five political lies to contend for their version of 2013's lie of the year. Three of the five finalists, including the top "prize" came from the same source: