ObamaCare: Now it's personal

Posted: Sep 20, 2013 12:01 AM

You remember the promise; "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you."

He also assured the American people that his healthcare plan – ObamaCare – would "save the average family $2500 on their premiums."

By now you know that Barack Obama wasn't being truthful when he issued these infamous guarantees and much more about the unraveling of ObamaCare. Scores of articles have been written about premiums going up, insurance plans being cancelled, employers dropping coverage for workers and retirees, waivers granted, deadlines missed, delays, etc.

Now it's personal in my house, too.

Our family bison ranching business has relied on a small group insurance plan to cover the three of us – our son, my wife, and myself. Since I was going on Medicare this fall, the group plan was no longer going to be affordable. Our agent suggested that my wife, Claudia, and our son, Jim, get individual policies.

Claudia signed up for her plan in August, just one month ago. However, on September 16, she got a letter from her new provider that said, "Changes from health care reform (also called the Affordable Care Act) continue to take effect in 2014. To meet the requirements of the new laws, your current plan can no longer be continued beyond your 2014 renewal date."

So much for "if you like you plan, you can keep it."

Jim is a single, very healthy 38 year old. He narrowed his choices down and was quoted a premium of $194/month. Jim was busy finishing up haying at the ranch and had a wedding to attend out of state, so he figured he'd sign up when he returned. But, when he got back home, his agent informed him the premium on the plan he had selected had been increased – because of the requirements of ObamaCare – to $252/month. A 30 percent premium increase!

So much for reduced premiums.

The manifestation of the ObamaCare "train wreck" foretold by Sen. Max Baucus (a Democrat sponsor of the legislation) is coming true. This week, Walgreens became the 17th large employer to announce that they will drop health care benefit plans for their workers and dump them into the government exchanges. Those workers won't get to keep their insurance either.

Even, the Democrat loyalist labor unions are up in arms having apparently finally realized what is mandated by ObamaCare. In an ironic twist befitting of the ObamaCare saga, Big Labor is now imploring the White House to be exempted from provisions of a law they helped get passed.

Daily there is more ominous bad news about the impacts of ObamaCare. The Los Angeles Times reported this week about reductions in access to doctors and hospitals because of the new "reforms." Below are the opening lines, click here for the entire article:

The doctor can't see you now.

Consumers may hear that a lot more often after getting health insurance under President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

To hold down premiums, major insurers in California have sharply limited the number of doctors and hospitals available to patients in the state's new health insurance market opening Oct. 1.

The health care nirvana promised by Barack Obama and his surrogates wasn't some futuristic fantasy straight out of John Lennon's "Imagine" lyrics – this was all supposed to happen instantly. "We won't do all this twenty years from now, or ten years from now," he said. "We'll do it by the end of my first term as President of the United States."

The truth is that this was never about health care in the first place; it was about power and government controlling a massive amount of our economy and our personal lives. And, the health care industry is an even bigger part of the total economy than when Obama started making his original pitch for control.

Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center and George Mason University reports that spending on health care now accounts for 17.7% of total GDP in the United States, far surpassing all other OECD nations (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Additionally, de Rugy explains that on a per capita basis when adjusted for purchasing power parity, Americans spend 2.5 times the average citizen in the other OECD nation, and 50 percent more than even the two next closest countries, Norway and Switzerland. Note that this is 2011 OECD data, the most recent available. The disparity can only worsen once the full effect of ObamaCare kicks in.

As de Rugy's charts demonstrate, these escalating trends have been ongoing for decades. That something needed to be done relative to public policy has been apparent for a long time. The perplexing part is that we are now stuck with a "more government" solution from a government that has failed to demonstrate the ability to manage anything efficiently or effectively. This new health care law is going to hurt.

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