The Obamacare program did enough harm this year. Five and a half million holders of individual health insurance policies got letters canceling them. (Yours truly is one of them.) But next year, insurers will send such letters to employers of a hundred million people. And those employees will get those letters a scant three days before they vote for new Representatives, and a third of the Senate.
The central Obamacare problem
Obamacare sets a new, one-size-fits-all standard for health insurance coverage. They idea is: all people pay the same amount, no matter where they sit, or how well (or badly) they’ve taken care of themselves. So men must pay for care of the woman’s plumbing he doesn’t have, and vice-versa. Likewise, unmarried, widowed, and elderly people must play for maternity care.
No insurer can cover that at current premiums. Any actuary will tell you: they couldn’t do it even if they wanted to.
De facto President Barack Obama said,
If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.
He said it thirty-six times. Other Democratic Senators and Representatives said the same. And they were lying.
Obamacare cancellations present and future
This year, insurers had to cancel insurance on five and a half million people. And they had to send those notices out before October. Scott Gottlieb, of the American Enterprise Institute, writing in Forbes, says why. Individual policies come under HIPPA rules. Those rules say insurers have to tell a person ninety days ahead of time before they cancel him.
Next year, small businesses must conform to the “minimum coverage mandate.” So now insurers will cancel them. Now employer-sponsored group insurance falls under ERISA rules. Those rules say an insurer must tell the employer soon enough to tell the employees sixty days ahead. So they will start getting notices in the mail on November 1, 2014.
And the election takes place on November 4!
What a spot for Democrats to be in. Three days before the election, some of their staunchest voters will get these nastygrams in the mail. Not to mention swing voters. That’s worse.
This report from Fox News speaks of a ninety-day notice. That’s a mistake. But Fox is likely not mistaken about businesses shifting work from full-time jobs to part-time jobs. They do this to avoid the 50-employee threshold that triggers the mandate. That shift might be the only thing that saves their employees’ insurance in any form. (See also this report by Todd Beamon at Newsmax.com.)
What does Obamacare do for you?
Little good, again as Scott Gottlieb lays out. To sum up:
The program is going to leave a lot of losers for each person who comes out ahead. It didn’t have to be this way.
This includes all the men paying for gynecological care, and women now paying for urological care (and not limited to the urinary tract, either). It also includes all the hospitals and doctors who will either opt out or get kicked out of the Obamacare networks. Even the American Medical Association wonders about that. They, and the AARP, were among the first to make Faustian bargains with Obama. Now they, too, are learning what dealing with the devil really means.
The worst of this news will hit home days before the election. It could cost the Democrats the Senate and put the House further out of their reach. They’ll have none to blame but themselves.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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