How I pray we don't get so numb to the endless nightmarish stories of Obamacare that we become fatalistic and resigned to its continued existence. As an antidote to that, I submit another update.
First, Unite Here -- a major union for the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry and airport industries -- has issued a report concluding that Obamacare will result in wages being reduced by up to $5 an hour, reduce worker hours and exacerbate income inequality. The report, titled "The Irony of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse," states: "Ironically, the Administration's own signature healthcare victory poses one of the most immediate challenges to redressing inequality. ... We take seriously the promise that 'if you like your health plan, you can keep it. Period.' UNITE HERE members like their health plans."
Next, let's look at some very interesting -- and compelling -- "hard data" from Forbes on the difficulties people will have finding doctors under this exasperating law. Forbes obtained its data from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield "because it is regarded to offer higher quality plans in both the commercial market and on the exchanges."
The report looks at nine states and compares the number of specialists in the various fields of practice -- cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, dermatology, gastroenterology, obstetrics and gynecology -- who are available in private health plans with those in the Obamacare plans in the same markets. The numbers are astounding and cannot be dismissed by cynics as anecdotal.
Let's look at the cardiologists. In Connecticut, there are 400 practitioners in private plans and 177 fewer (223) in the Obamacare plans. In Kentucky, 376 are in private plans, and there are 182 fewer in Obama plans. In New Hampshire, it's 84 and 13 fewer. Colorado, 71 and 34 fewer. Indiana, 1,055 and 981 fewer. Maine, 71 and 23 fewer. Nevada, 324 and 225 fewer. Ohio, 511 and 244 fewer. Wisconsin, 286 and 187 fewer. Just running through these quickly, it looks as though the available choices under the Obamacare plans in many of these specialties are less than half or worse.
The comparative numbers for the remainder of the specialties look to be about as dismal for the Obamacare plans. How could anyone argue that this is not a significant blow to access and quality of care?
The Washington Examiner reports that health insurers participating in Obamacare are "very worried" about the announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services that plans that were supposed to be canceled this year can now be renewed for another two years. Health insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski said, "The fundamental problem here is that the administration is just not signing up enough people to make anyone confident this program is sustainable." Indeed, though HHS reports that some 4 million have signed up for plans under the new exchanges, the real number is closer to 3 million when you factor in people who haven't paid their premiums on time or at all. As a result, they haven't developed a "sustainable risk pool" in which young and healthy enrollees will offset the cost of covering sick and older people who are guaranteed coverage through Obama's personal beneficence.
Next, Reason reports that the federal government spent more on broken state-run exchanges than it did on its own miserable system. Seven of the 14 state-run exchanges "remain dysfunctional, disabled, or severely underperforming." These failed exchanges were "funded heavily by the federal government" via grants that totaled more than $1.2 billion -- almost twice the $677 million spent to develop the federal exchange. But hey, what's a wasted couple of billion here and there? Based on Obama's reaction to similar failures in his green energy debacles, this is just another day at the office for them. Besides, surely most of that money came from rich taxpayers -- who are little better than serial felons, in the left's estimation. So no harm (to anyone who matters), no foul.
Next, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she opposes a proposal by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., to create a special inspector general to oversee Obamacare. Roskam said it's needed because "the public has been kept in the dark about a law that puts the federal government in charge of one-sixth of the economy and is wreaking havoc on America's personal health care decisions." Even though Democrats and the administration have stonewalled congressional oversight of Obamacare, Pelosi insists no additional oversight is needed, because each of the government agencies that are implementing the law has its own inspector general. That is not quite the position Pelosi took in the past concerning special inspectors general -- for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina, and intelligence.
On top of all this, columnist John Hayward informs us that Obamacare's ultimate failure is that the uninsured aren't buying. New studies show that these uninsured are just uninterested.
It's the socialist way. Don't you see? Cite a horrendous alleged inequity and a desperate need in order to commandeer control over business and industry even though there was little evidence of such a demand in the first place.
All I'm asking is that we don't ever allow this unconscionable law to slip to the back burner of American politics. Repeal now and repeal always.