Reality Check: Obamacare Supporters Shocked by Own Premium Increases

Posted: Oct 08, 2013 10:34 AM

There remains a sizable (albeit shrinking) portion of the populace that still strongly approves of the job President Obama is doing, and that wishes Nancy Pelosi were still Speaker of the House. These people trust Obama and Pelosi -- which presumably explains why they uncritically swallowed promises like these:

As empirical reality sets in, the rude awakening is on:

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama. Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law. Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.

Next comes the string of absolutely priceless quotes from these San Francisco-area liberals:

"I was laughing at Boehner -- until the mail came today," Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare. "I really don't like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family's pocket each year, that's otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy." Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level -- the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn't realize they would rise so much. "Of course, I want people to have health care," Vinson said. "I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally."

Upon opening a simple envelope (side note: the mail is still arriving!), these people went from laughing at that idiot Boehner and his band of crazy teabaggers to wondering why on earth they personally are being forced to pay so much more in order to subsidize others' care. Can these families afford the new reality they voted for so enthusiastically? And are they aware that millions of low wage workers, spouses and families are poised to be slapped with exorbitant premium increases, or dropped from coverage altogether? Accounts of premium shock and dropped coverage are proliferating across the country; see these stories from North Carolina and Iowa for the latest instances of Obamacare betrayals. Meanwhile, a full week after the legally-mandated implementation deadline, millions of eligible (or not) Americans still cannot enroll in the program due to its technical failures. Reuters reports that the administration's favorite excuse -- heavy interest is overwhelming servers -- isn't really an accurate assessment:

Government officials blame the persistent glitches on an overwhelming crush of users - 8.6 million unique visitors by Friday - trying to visit the website this week. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversaw development of the site, declined to make any of its IT experts available for interviews. CGI Group Inc, the Canadian contractor that built, is "declining to comment at this time," said spokeswoman Linda Odorisio. Five outside technology experts interviewed by Reuters, however, say they believe flaws in system architecture, not traffic alone, contributed to the problems..."Adding capacity sounds great until you realize that if you didn't design it right that won't help," said Bill Curtis, chief scientist at CAST, a software quality analysis firm, and director of the Consortium for IT Software Quality. "The architecture of the software may limit how much you can add on to it. I suspect they'll have to reconfigure a lot of it."

A double-whammy: Three-and-a-half years in, the government could neither build non-broken websites nor properly anticipate levels of demand. So...who's excited for these same incompetents to micromanage their healthcare? If and when people can actually enroll, that is. Speaking of which, when might that be, and when will those statistics be available? The White House will get back to you in a month or so. Maybe:

Hence Obamacare's virtual "waiting rooms" (Carney's own phrase), where people will languish until the government finally gets its act together. Think of it as a preview of coming rationing attractions. And the glitches may not improve any time soon. Despite pulling many of the sites offline over the weekend and promising improvements (which haven't arrived), the government still has a huge, complicated coding mess on its hands. The system is still hopelessly non-functional, and could remain so for some time, according to tech experts. For the second week in a row, even MSNBC has been unable to apply lipstick to the bloated, perspiring, unhealthy, $2 trillion Obamacare sow. Brutal:

I'll leave you with a bonus Obamacare feature: Disgusting, successful scams ripping people off.

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