Jack Kelly: Obamacare horror stories will catch up with Democrats

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Each day brings new reports of seriously ill patients losing their doctors; financially struggling families socked with huge health insurance premium increases; workers who’ve had their hours cut back or lost jobs because of Obamacare.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents in a Kaiser Health News tracking poll Feb. 26 say they’ve been hurt by Obamacare; 17 percent say they’ve benefited from it.

The number negatively affected is sure to rise, because:

*Two thirds of employees of small businesses will have their health insurance premiums hiked, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed Feb. 21.

*CMS is contemplating regulations which would cancel low cost drug plans for 14 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage. They’d cost each affected senior up to $900 a year, estimates America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group.

*Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius plans cuts which will destroy thousands of jobs in the home care providers industry, IBISWorld, an industry research firm, reported Feb. 25.

New problems keep cropping up:

*A provision requiring grocery stores to post the calorie content of the food items they sell will cost about $1 billion a year, the Food Marketing Institute estimates, an enormous burden on an industry where profit margins average about 1 percent.

*Andrew Robinson of Orlando, Fla., discovered he can’t afford the Obamacare policy he signed up for.

He’s spent six weeks and more than 50 hours on the phone trying, unsuccessfully, to cancel it, WFTV reported Feb. 27.

*Doctors’ offices must spend hours to verify coverage of patients who bought insurance on Obamacare exchanges, the Kaiser Health News reported. Patients can’t schedule appointments until this is done.

The federal government has spent $1.2 billion to subsidize troubled state health care exchanges. But heartbreaking stories like these make the mammoth waste of taxpayers’ money almost not worth mentioning:

*Ellie Porter, 6, of Kaysville, Utah, was halfway through her radiation treatments for pediatric cancer when her health insurance was canceled. The family’s policy didn’t comply with Obamacare, a search for new coverage was complicated by web site troubles. The only options available cost significantly more than they were paying before.

*Julie Boonstra, a leukemia patient from Michigan, claims she lost her old plan due to Obamacare, and that her new plan has led to out of pocket costs that are so high, her new plan is unaffordable.

*Catherine Blackwood of Virginia Beach, Va. has carcinoid cancer. After Obamacare canceled her health insurance, she couldn’t find another which will cover the cost of the medications which keep her alive, her son wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

The most important one — Sandostatin — costs about $7,000 a month.

Two thirds of the roughly 300,000 Americans who got insurance through state run high risk plans had their policies canceled.

“For some of the high-risk members, it’s a matter of life or death,” Tanya Case, executive director of the National Association of State High Risk Pools, told the Washington Post. “We have many members who are on specialty medications that they have no way of affording on their own.”

So far, 6.3 million Americans have had their health insurance policies canceled because of Obamacare.

More than 100 stories like Ellie’s and Julie’s and Catherine’s have appeared in local media since Oct.1. “All of them are untrue,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, said Feb 25.

“Denied medication, their long-term doctors, and having premiums and deductibles soar, every day Americans are now told they’re faking it,” said Ed Morrissey of the Fiscal Times.

Ms. Boonstra complained in a political ad about the loss of her health insurance. If you run it, you could lose your broadcast licenses, Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich, who is running for the Senate, threatened television stations.

Mr. Peters was inside his Bloomfield Hills residence when Ms. Boonstra went there Feb. 25 to ask him why he was sliming her and trying to shut her up but didn’t answer the door.

Their smug assumption of moral superiority has been a factor in the electoral success of Democrats, and is critical to their self image. Bullying and smearing the victims of their blunders are the acts of moral cretins.

And calling the millions of Americans who’ve suffered at their hands liars isn’t very good politics either, I suspect Democrats will discover.

Jack Kelly writes for The Blade and The Pittsburgh Press. He can be reached at jkelly@post-gazette.com.


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