If you don't watch all the way through, you'll miss a shell-shocked middle-class mother nearly reduced to tears as she contemplates her new premiums and deductible. Even the few workers who "save" money on premiums are staring at towering new deductible, the out-of-pocket minimum they must pay for care before their coverage kicks in. "There's nothing affordable about it," sighs one such employee. "I can't afford it." These aren't Wall Street fat-cats. These aren't free riders who've cavalierly declined to buy coverage, sticking others with the bill when they visit the emergency room. These aren't greedy insurance executives "discriminating" against sick people. These people don't even come close to resembling Obamacare supporters' designated villains. They're blue collar Pennsylvanians trying to make ends meet, working with their hands at an auto repair shop. Look at their faces as they grapple with their new reality. Will I be able to pay my mortgage? Do we need to re-think that family vacation we've been promising the kids for five years? Please, God, let that lump be nothing.
It's heartbreaking. It's infuriating. The owner of the shop is seeing his premiums increase by nearly $600 per month, causing him to wonder aloud how his enormous new costs are "going to affect everybody." Perhaps these employees will find themselves among the millions whose companies will simply stop offering plans altogether once the employer mandate kicks in next year. Bear in mind that the workers featured in this package aren't in the individual market (at least not yet); they're in the employer-based market, which the White House has insisted "isn't affected" by Obamacare. Tell that to Judy. She and the others were told by politicians that their premiums and costs would drop by an average of $2,500 per family. Now the country's committed well over $1 trillion to finance a plan that is raising costs, throwing people off their existing coverage, limiting their choices, and isn't coming close to drastically reducing the ranks of the uninsured. Speaking of whom, guess who's more disenchanted with the new law than ever before?
Uninsured Americans — the people that the Affordable Care Act was designed to most aid — are increasingly critical of the law as its key provisions kick in, a poll released Thursday finds. This month’s tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 47 percent of the uninsured said they hold unfavorable views of the law while 24 percent said they liked it....The poll did not pinpoint clear reasons for this drop, which comes in the first month that people could start using insurance purchased through the online marketplaces that are at the heart of the law. It did point out that more than half of people without insurance said the law hasn’t made a difference to them or their families.
As we learned earlier this month, the vast majority of "new" Obamacare sign-ups are people who weren't previously uninsured. A national analysis by McKinsey showed that among the uninsured who've decided not to enroll, unaffordable costs was their top reason for taking a pass. The White House can trot out cherry-picked success stories 'til kingdom come (even though some of them will inevitably turn out to be embarrassing mistakes). For most people, this law is a failure. It's actively harming people, despite Democrats' sales pitch that promised no trade-offs, no losers, no down sides. It needs to be repealed and replaced with a better plan. And Republicans -- in both the Senate and now the House -- are on the case:
just in: House is going to vote on alternative to Obamacare, Cantor says at retreat— Paige W Cunningham (@pw_cunningham) January 30, 2014
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography