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December 16 2013

If You Like the Money in Your Bank Account...

Charlotte Hays

Not content with canceling health insurance coverage and possibly life-saving medical treatments for countless sick Americans, ObamaCare has found a way to stick it to the hale and hearty:

Shannon Bruner of Indianola (Washington) logged on to her checking account Monday morning, and found she was almost 800 dollars in the negative.

“The first thing I thought was, ‘I got screwed,’” she said.

The Bruners enrolled for insurance on the Washington Healthplanfinder website, last October. They say they selected the bill pay date to be December 24th. Instead the Washington Healthplanfinder drafted the 835 dollar premium Monday.

Josh Bruner started his own business this year as an engineering recruiter. They said it’s forced them to pay a lot of attention to their bills and their bank accounts.

“Big knot in my gut because we're trying to keep it together,” said Shannon Bruner. “It's important to me that this kind of stuff doesn't happen.”

They're not alone.

One viewer emailed KING 5 saying, "They drafted my account this morning for a second time."

Another woman on Facebook with a similar problem commented, "We are all in the same boat."

“We've got to figure out how to get money to pay the bills for the next week or two until we have another check come through,” said Josh Bruner. “It's just crazy.”

All of these people had given personal financial information to Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s exchange established in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. Washington Healthplanfinder is “looking into the problem.” That should make everybody feel all better.

The catastrophic rollout of ObamaCare is possibly the most fascinating development in the public arena in my lifetime. Watergate was disillusioning but it didn’t rob citizens of their health care, and it didn't dip into their bank accounts. The riddle is how did something this big fail so spectacularly: was it incompetence? Or is the Affordable Care Act so massive and ill-conceived that what we see is the only outcome possible?

 Michael Boskin, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under George H.W. Bush and a Stanford professor, writes this morning in the Wall Street Journal that better days are not ahead for the Affordable Care Act, even if, as the White House claims, the website is close to being fixed.

The “sticker shock” that many consumers have already seen is just beginning, Boskin says. This will be more painful as more people have to pay larger premiums for policies with higher deductibles. Next year, more Americans will have to adjust to unfamiliar doctors and hospitals because they will no longer be able to afford their current physicians.

What we’ve seen so far, according to Boskin, is just the tip of the iceberg. Employer insurance policies will be hit next year. Medicaid will expand to absorb more money and because reimbursements will decrease across the board, fewer talented people will be attracted to the field of medicine.

Meanwhile, the administration tells us the website is being fixed. But would this really fix ObamaCare?

An editorial in the Washington Times describes the website as “the Potemkin website:”

Oppressive regimes throughout history have built cities of false facades meant to impress from afar, concealing the embarrassing condition of the places. In its quest to persuade Americans that Obamacare is working, the Obama administration has built the most expensive Potemkin website yet. …

Behind the smiling faces on the front end of the Obamacare website are millions who’ve been cast into the cold as new health care mandates are designed to demolish existing insurance. Pressed about the cancellations, Mrs. Sebelius told a congressional panel that Americans are “thrilled” at the choices they now have with Obamacare. But not quite everyone. Jim Hoft, a conservative blogger, recently found that a strep bacteria was eating a hole in his heart, causing a series of strokes. His private insurance allowed him to go to the doctors at St. Louis University, who saved his life. …

The Department of Health and Human Services maintains a rapturous face, insisting 365,000 Americans have happily enlisted in government-approved health care. Left out of the pronouncement is any mention that the figure counts anyone enrolling in Medicare, which is not private insurance. The White House is actually more than 3 million sign-ups short of the goal set for the end of 2013. The number of actual enrollees may be as low as 18,000 because the Obamacare website can’t do what other major websites, such as Amazon or eBay, do without a crisis every day — inform customers about a product and process sales without a headache.

With a Potemkin village, appearance is everything. That’s why no one should be surprised that the Obamacare exchange in Connecticut spent $75,000 on three colorful murals to adorn its office walls. As mayor of this village, Mrs. Sebelius insists the site is “working faster” and “responding quicker,” yet her clerks have been required to match individual applications to insurance companies by hand, because of enrollment “glitches.”

ObamaCare appears to be the most destructive law ever passed in our history. It may well destroy the insurance industry as a going concern. But Democrats still aren’t going to give up on ObamaCare and so, as with the disasters still in the future, the fight is just beginning. The next fight will be over whether the ObamaCare fiasco moves us to a single-payer system or gives us a chance to improve health care with incremental changes.

 

 

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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