The Failure of Obamacare: a Personal Account
Michelle Malkin is the author of the 2010 book Culture of Corruption: Obama and his team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies. This week, she decided to share her personal struggles with Obamacare.
Michelle’s family was more than happy with their high-deductible PPO health care plan from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield that allowed them to choose virtually any doctor. In 2013, the Malkin family received bad news: due to the Affordable Care Act, they would have to trash their private health insurance plan and sign up for a different one.
After “great bureaucratic difficulty,” writes Malkin, her family signed up for an individual market health care plan with Rocky Mountain Health. Not only were there far fewer doctors to choose from, but Michelle’s two kids no longer had dental coverage. The new Obamacare-enforced plan was later turned down by an urgent care clinic.
The family received another notice this summer, informing them of the “discontinuation of your Rocky Mountain Individual and Family plan effective December 31, 2015.” The Malkins have received multiple notifications during the past month urging them to sign up for a new plan in order to secure their health coverage for 2016. Enrollment begins on November 1st.
None of the options look good for the family of four. Michelle is frustrated with her state’s ACA program, “Connect for Health Colorado,” which, she writes, should be called “DISconnect from Health Colorado.”
“So much for ‘If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what,’ eh, Mr. President?” she writes, quoting Obama. “Obama lied and our health plan has now died — twice.”
An estimated 22 million Americans purchase health insurance plans directly on the individual market. The Malkins aren’t the only ones being forced into a plan that doesn’t work for them.
The Illinois division of Blue Cross Blue Shield recently announced that it would be cancelling “Blue PPO,” the company’s most popular individual plan with the biggest network of hospitals and doctors. This means that over 170,000 people will need to find an alternative plan.
“I wouldn’t be shocked if all the PPOs are gone in a few years in the individual markets,” said insurance broker Mike Troha.
Thanks to “significant changes in regulation and market dynamics over the past two years,” the Maryland Insurance Administration approved insane increases for individual and small group plans. In some cases, rates went up by double digits.
When Obamacare forces insurers to provide coverage for items that customers had previously chosen to forgo, prices go up. Americans who chose affordable, catastrophic coverage type plans now have very few choices. And none of them are affordable.
The state Obamacare exchange in New Mexico erased all PPO offerings and replaced them with HMOs. In Texas, nearly 300,000 customers with private health care plans are forced to choose alternative plans without access to specialists.
“Rosy predictions of cost savings bandied by advocates five years ago are now running into the harsh economic reality of unanticipated consequences,” said the Arizona Republic’s editorial board. Doctors are giving up private practices to join hospitals. The hospitals are consolidating.
“Bigger means fewer options. Only a handful of critics predicted in 2010 that one consequence of Obamacare would be the return of HMOs. But, in retrospect, no one should be surprised.”