“If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it” is becoming the most notorious political lie since “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Millions of Americans nationwide – and about 250,000 in Colorado alone – are losing their health coverage as a result of Obamacare. In some cases, this has extended to the very people who championed the program hardest.
One of these people is Kathy Wagner. A now-retired nurse of 35 years, Wagner and her husband are fairly healthy, and strongly supported Obamacare when it was being passed. When it was implemented, however, their insurance company dropped their coverage. To buy a similar plan, the Wagners must now pay over $1000/month – 35% more – and their deductible is still higher.
Saying her “hopes were dashed,” Wagner sent a letter to President Obama. She spent five years arguing against people who told her costs weren’t actually going to go down, and that people would actually lose their coverage, and that Obamacare was “moving us back instead of moving us forward,” in her own words. Now she finds herself in the position of those whose concerns she was trivializing just two months ago, and for the first time in her life, is considering just going without health insurance.
Her Representative, Diana DeGette, who sits on the committee which oversees Obamacare, simply responded to her concerns by saying that “a year from now people overall are going to be very, very happy with the way the Affordable Care Act is working.”
Wagner is far from unique, even among people who supported the ACA. Jared Polis, who represents Colorado’s Second Congressional District, recently tried to lower the healthcare exchange rates for one of the most affluent and liberal counties in his district because people there were simply walking out the door after looking at the coverage rates, which significantly exceeded $500/month per person. Polis helped write Obamacare.
Harry Reid has said Obamacare would and should lead to a single payer system, similar to those found in France and the UK. The left has begun to say that Obamacare was a right-wing idea, and that Democrats only pursued it as an attempt to compromise, though their plan would have been cheaper and more effective. Through these statements, it’s clear that the problems of Obamacare will only be used as a justification for increased government intervention, when it has been government intervention which caused problems with healthcare every step of the way.
Both Parties have failed to implement free market solutions to fix the challenge of healthcare affordability. While the left seeks a complete single payer system, Republicans continue to block outside competition in many states giving unfair advantages to big companies. In South Carolina for example, BlueCross BlueShield gave a total $1,448,488 from 2004-2012 to lobby SC legislators according to followthemoney.org. This partnership of lobbyist and business prevents the competition needed to lower prices for the consumer. South Carolina Republican senators also had the opportunity to nullify Obamacare, but chose to let it die in the senate.
Sen. Tom Davis (R-SC) is fighting to get a bill passed next session that will nullify Obamacare. Recently Ron Paul suggested that states should nullify Obamacare as well.