What a disgusting amount of self-congratulations we’ve had to endure from Barack Obama and his cronies, who are now boasting that 7.1 million people had signed up for Obamacare when the first open enrollment period ended on March 31.
“The debate over repealing this law is over,” the President declared. Continuing his outburst of wishful thinking, he added, “The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”
Not so fast, Mr. President. The issue is not nearly as settled as you’d have us believe, as a closer look at those enrollment numbers will quickly reveal.
How many of those alleged seven million new customers for Obamacare had no health insurance before this? It’s no surprise that we can’t get precise numbers out of this Administration, but consensus estimates are that it’s about 2 million.
In other words, about five million of the people who’ve signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act previously had some form of coverage. How many of them were among the approximately five million people who had their health insurance canceled because of Obamacare? Nobody’s bothered to find out. But you can bet it’s a bunch.
We all know that Obama repeatedly promised us, “If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan. Period.” And of course, we all know that was a lie – and the President knew it. Some five million people found that out the hard way, when they received a letter from their insurance company notifying them that their health insurance coverage was canceled.
We were also promised that the cost of health insurance would drop dramatically. After all, that’s why the word “affordable” was included in the name of the law. That turned out to be another blatant misrepresentation. Millions of Americans have seen the cost of their health insurance go up. The only ones getting a deal are those receiving a government subsidy.
In other words, Obamacare turns out to be another Democratic scheme to redistribute the wealth. In the words of former President Lyndon Johnson, it’s all about their plan to “take from the haves and give it to the have-nots who need it so much.”
And if you think the price of health insurance has gone up this year, just wait until next year, when the insurance companies factor in their actual costs of this monstrosity. It turns out that far fewer young, healthy adults are signing up for the program than its planners estimated.
Everyone knew that older Americans would be the most costly people to insure, especially now that anyone with a prior medical condition is entitled to coverage. The idea was that these higher costs would be balanced with the premiums paid by younger Americans, who typically have the fewest claims.
The plan might have looked good on paper, but it came crashing up against reality: Huge numbers of young Americans declined to sign up. And at least so far, the Administration isn’t allowed to round them up and force them to join.
So what will happen? The result is bound to be a substantial increase in health insurance premiums next year. Many insurance company analysts predict that increases of 25 percent to 50 percent will be the norm, with some policies rising even higher than that.
If you think Obamacare is unpopular now, just wait until those rate increases hit. Of course, this will be well after the elections this November. The Democratic leadership is hoping to get past the midterm elections without too many losses — and that the shock and anger over Obamacare will have largely dissipated by the time we elect a new President in 2016. Let’s hope the voters have longer memories than the Democrats are counting on.
But back to those sign-up numbers, which had Obama performing a victory dance in the Rose Garden on April Fool’s Day. (Mmmm, think it was just a coincidence that the big celebration for Obamacare came on April 1?)
One of the most closely guarded secrets of Obamacare is the answer to this question: How many of the people who signed up for coverage have actually begun paying for it? If you haven’t paid for it, you’re not officially enrolled in it. That’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, whose department is responsible for the program, says she’s sorry, but they can’t tell us. She’ll admit that, overall, the number is probably about 15 percent to 20 percent. That would be almost 1.5 million of those alleged 7 million sign-ups.
That’s why syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer says, correctly, that the Administration’s claim of 7.1 million sign-ups is a “phony number.” Of course it is.
But it turns out that the number of non-payees is actually much higher for people who have never purchased health insurance before. Maybe as much as double the “average” rate.
If true, this means that as many as 800,000 of those supposedly 2 million new customers will never be officially enrolled, because they won’t make their first payment.
When the debate over Obamacare began, we were told this massive takeover of our healthcare system by the Federal government was necessary, because something like 40 million Americans didn’t have health insurance.
Well, now it looks like 38 million of them still don’t.
In other words, millions of Americans have lost health insurance they liked, thanks to Obamacare. Under their new plan, they’ll see higher premiums and much higher deductibles. They may no longer be able to see the doctor they prefer or go to the hospital of their choice. And just wait until they have to confront one of those “death panels” that Sarah Palin made so notorious.
This is what “success” looks like? Sure. And in the inimitable words of George Orwell’s 1984, “Freedom is slavery.”
Until next time, keep some powder dry.
Chip Wood was the first news editor of The Review of the News and also wrote for American Opinion, our two predecessor publications. He is now the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest, where his Straight Talk column appears weekly. This article first appeared in PersonalLiberty.com and has been reprinted with permission.