Reminder: Obamacare is Hurting Real People

Guy Benson
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Posted: Dec 11, 2015 10:25 AM
Reminder: Obamacare is Hurting Real People

Amid all the data and developments that illustrate the comprehensive failure of Obamacare -- often based on its supporters' own metrics -- it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that these failures aren't just theoretical. They're actively hurting real people.  Working and middle-class families have to grapple with the fears and financial instability associated with increasing, unaffordable costs. "Access shock" prevents individuals from securing the care they need. Rising cost curves impact the government's budget, which affects taxpayers. Millions of people have been stripped of their existing healthcare arrangements, including hundreds of thousands as a result of the law's collapsing co-ops, in violation of a solemn presidential promise. Healthcare policy is by its very nature deeply personal, which is why Republicans are right to continue their fight against this damaging law. Obamacare supporters dishonestly presented their legislation as a no-lose proposition, a delusion that is being painfully pierced by reality every single day. In California, the strain imposed by Obamacare's supposedly "compassionate" Medicaid expansion is constricting resources for other people in need -- via Kristina Ribali:

Before joining the work activity center, Palone mostly stayed at home, in his room, playing computer games all day. He couldn’t complete simple tasks like doing his laundry without his mother’s help. But since he joined The Arc two years ago, his mother, Rosemary, said that the change in his behavior has been remarkable. “When I first found out how good the program was for him, it made me cry,” she said. Now Michael voluntarily joins her on trips to the grocery store, sits with the family in the living room and even washes his own clothes without needing a reminder. Plus, his work is paid. He earns about $300 per month, which he uses to buy magic cards or to treat his niece to lunch. “We talk more now than we ever did throughout his entire childhood,” Rosemary Palone says...“Due to a lack of funding and the increasing cost of living in the San Francisco Bay area, the Arc can no longer shoulder the costs of running the program and plans to close the work center in a few months.” The work center is funded, in part, by state money – money that is drying up...The work activity center at The Arc of Alameda in Union City is just one of the programs in the Bay Area that will be shutting down over the next few months because of funding issues. Luter also plans to close a child care program in Hayward, where he said deficits have run from $40,000 to $100,000 per year since 2010. The center serves children ages 2 to 5 with mild to moderate disabilities or developmental delays.

California's high taxes and deep blue politics have created a fiscal wasteland; a state with one of the worst credit ratings in the country is once again discovering that money doesn't magically appear, that resources are discrete and limited, and that soaking the rich isn't a long-term solution" to anything.  When huge new expenditures are undertaken, other priorities get crowded out.  Tough luck, developmentally disabled kids, your government chose to expand an already-overextended system to cover many more able-bodied childless adults.  While this California example is more of a cautionary tale in unintended consequences, here's a case of human suffering in Texas that's a direct result of Obamacare:

Last summer, the state's largest insurance carrier dropped all preferred provider organization plans from both the Affordable Care Act's federal exchange in Houston and the private individual market. Now, with only weeks to go before existing plans expire, patients, doctors and hospitals are scrambling to find what care is available under the insurer's replacement health maintenance organization plans. "Jody would be dead if she didn't have her oncologist," said Steve Schoger of his wife, his voice catching. The Woodlands couple had their plans canceled. Both have cancer; both are in experimental clinical trials at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center they fear cannot be replicated elsewhere. They are at turns furious and terrified...Dr. Robert Morrow, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas' Houston and Southeast Texas Region, said in a recent interview that the decision to drop 367,000 PPO plans across Texas, even though customers were paying more for them, was driven by economics. He called the plans "unsustainable" after his company lost $400 million by paying out more in claims than it collected in premiums...Dan Fontaine, executive vice president of administration at M.D. Anderson, has similar concerns about the disappearance of exchange coverage for Houston's prestige medical institutions: "The management of risk used to be handled through denials of pre-existing conditions," he said of pre-ACA days. "It is now being handled through the narrowing of the marketplace."

Earlier in the week, Cortney highlighted the impending closure of a beloved Nashville small business because the owners could not contend with the costs and mandates imposed by the new law:


This law is harming the US economy on both a grand scale, and in countless localized cases, like the fate of the Noshville deli.  Sen. Marco Rubio is under fire from the Left for leading the successful effort to prevent federal 'bailout'-style payments to insurance companies that sustained heavy Obamacare-caused losses in 2015.  The New York Times notes that critics the canceling of these funds have contributed to rising rates that have slammed consumers across the country.  But what Rubio and other Republicans did was save taxpayers billions in bailout payments that simply would have papered over the inevitable effects of the law for another year, after which these provisions are set to expire.  The premium spikes were coming no matter what; the GOP simply hastened the reckoning.  That's fiscally responsible, it's transparent, and it's politically savvy.  They should replicate this success for 2016 as well.  Obamacare remains unpopular because it's failing to live up to the "Affordable" Care Act misnomer.  It's least popular among the still-uninsured Americans who can't afford it.  And it's hurting more people than it helps, including the victims of big government mentioned above.  The presumptive Democratic nominee looks at these painful realities and declares victory, because she can't disclaim her own program:


Callous and out-of-touch.