Column: Obama's Oh-Bummers for Americans
With Obamacare's March 31 sign-up deadline and subsequent penalties looming over the heads of young and old Americans, citizens are wondering more than ever — and with good reason, I might add — whether Washington has dished out another bill of bad goods. And here are a few more solid reasons our skepticism about socialist medicine continues.
Reporter Bob Unruh at WorldNetDaily recently reported about how Obamacare is blocking patients from paying for their own treatments. The feds are already capping what some citizens can spend on their own health care, even if those patients are willing and able to cover their own costs.
Unruh cited a new report from the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, which warned that some seniors will not be permitted to spend as much as they wish on their health care.
The report points to several ways that Obamacare "will drastically limit access to life-saving medical treatment under the law. ... These four areas include: the (40 percent) 'excess benefit' tax coming into effect in 2018, the current exclusion of adequate health insurance plans from the exchanges, present limits on senior citizens' ability to use their own money for health insurance, and federal limits on the care doctors give their patients to be implemented as soon as 2016."
The study goes on to warn: "Essentially, doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers can be told by Washington just what diagnostic tests and medical care are considered to meet 'quality and efficiency' standards. These standards will be enforced not just for health care paid for by federally funded programs like Medicare, but also for health care paid for by private citizens and by the health insurance they or their employers purchase. ... Treatment that a doctor and patient deem needed or advisable to save the patient's life or preserve or improve the patient's health, but which runs afoul of the imposed standards, can be denied, even if the patient is willing and able to pay for it."
And if Obamacare doesn't cap Americans' spending on their own health care, it will raise their health care premiums and medical bills instead. Forbes published an exposé last week on "4 Reasons Why Obamacare Exchange Premiums May 'Double In Some Parts Of The Country' In 2015." They include:
—"The White House is making up the rules as it goes along."
—"The administration has avoided talking about the individual mandate."
—"Many of the young people enrolling are pregnant women."
—"Obamacare's design gave insurers an incentive to 'underprice' in 2014."
I know a business manager in her 50s from my wife's small hometown. She makes less than $25,000 a year and applied to sign up via Obamacare's website, only to discover that it would cost her half her paycheck to pay for the medical coverage it offered. She could have purchased that insurance "deal" before Obamacare was enacted!
And speaking of raw insurance deals, the Las Vegas Review-Journal just reported that Larry Basich, a 62-year-old Vegas resident, has been stuck with the ginormous medical bill of $407,000 despite his signing up in the fall and monthly paying for an insurance plan through Obamacare's mandated state insurance exchange program.
Basich signed up online and just kept paying his monthly premiums through the holidays. On Dec. 31, he had a heart attack and needed a triple bypass. To his horror, however, he soon discovered a problem while recovering from his heart surgery: Despite his faithfully paying his monthly Obamacare-obtained insurance premiums, no insurer was actually covering him for his $407,000 medical bills.
And if Obamacare's costs don't get you, its limitations in health care coverage will. CNNMoney just reported about an Oklahoma family whose teenage son has a terrible heart condition and now has health insurance thanks to Obamacare. The problem is that they "don't have ... local doctors and hospitals who will take it." The mother, Terri Durheim, gasped, "It's so frustrating!"
CNNMoney explained: "Like Durheim, many Americans who've enrolled on the Obamacare exchanges are realizing they have access to a relatively limited set of doctors and hospitals. In many areas, the largest hospitals are not participating and many doctors are not accepting the coverage. That's by design. To keep premiums down for silver and bronze plans, insurers narrowed the networks of doctors and hospitals, often excluding the priciest and most specialized providers. ... Limiting access to providers isn't new, but it is becoming more common as the Obamacare exchanges expand coverage to more people."
And the financial prospects look even worse for American businesses. Despite the fact that President Barack Obama deferred U.S. company compliance to provide medical coverage for employees to 2015 (for all employers) or 2016 (for those with 50 or more employees), Bloomberg Businessweek explained, "those who comply with the mandate can still be fined if their plans cost workers more than 9.5 percent of their income, or if their insurance doesn't cover at least 60 percent of medical costs. 'Not doing this correctly could have staggering penalties,' with some companies potentially owing tens of millions, says David Marini, vice president of strategic advisory services at payroll provider ADP. That's a real concern for big employers with low-wage workers, such as restaurant and retail chains that often offer skimpy coverage."
Now, we understand why the president has been so "gracious" to defer company compliance of his federal health care law until 2016 for those with more than 49 employees: It's just in time for him to slip out of the Oval Office as the penalties rain down on American companies.
And travesty beyond travesty, though Obamacare boasts to reach the most unprotected and vulnerable minority, Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, explained that "for pro-life Americans concerned about the impact on innocent human life — both born and unborn — the policies of Obamacare couldn't be worse ... with Obamacare's funding of abortions. Obamacare is bad medicine for America."
Unruh couldn't have summarized it better: Nancy "Pelosi famously said Congress should pass the law so Americans could find out what was in it, and its unpleasant surprises have been shocking citizens ever since."
One thing is for sure: Every time Washington sticks its greedy fingers into American business, Americans lose big-time.
Ronald Reagan was right when he said that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook's "Official Chuck Norris Page." He blogs at http://chucknorrisnews.blogspot.com. To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.