Mark Caserta: Let’s truly work to create affordable healthcare

22 Jan

Obamacare just isn’t working

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FSP EDITORIAL

Jan. 22, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

It’s time to get serious about providing affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Most people are now keenly aware of the political motivation behind the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the lies and deceptive tactics needed to sell it to the American people. A recent Gallup Poll taken at the beginning of the 2015 enrollment period revealed 37 percent of Americans say they approve of the law, while 56 percent say they disapprove.

It’s also now known the enrollment numbers provided by the Obama administration touting the success of Obamacare were inaccurate. The Department of Health and Human Services recently reported that it had made a “mistake” in calculating the number of enrollments.

Reportedly, 380,000 stand-alone dental plans were “inadvertently” added into the number of healthcare plans, allowing the administration to claim more than 7 million paid enrollments, the “magic number” needed for the new health insurance exchanges to be sustainable.

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Just last week, the leader of the agency charged with the rollout of Obamacare decided to step down. Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, decided to step down after five tumultuous years on the job. Her tenure included the disastrous rollout of the HealthCare.gov website as well as the recent discovery of the inflated tally of Obamacare’s enrollment numbers.

But even without the inflated numbers, the exchanges have lost more than 1 million subscribers since May 2014, based on Tavenner’s recent testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Tavenner attributed this to people picking up employer coverage, becoming eligible for Medicaid or simply not paying their premiums.

While proponents of this healthcare nightmare understandably ignore the falsehoods leveraged by this administration to pass the law, they rarely speak about the estimated 5 million people who lost their coverage because it “didn’t meet the ACA guidelines.” No doubt millions of these individuals were forced to purchase a replacement policy from an exchange, seriously compromising the legitimacy of the number of “newly” insured individuals.

And Americans found it insulting that liberal proponents of Obamacare would pompously justify the loss of those existing healthcare plans by declaring they were “inadequate” for the people who chose to purchase them. After all, big government knows best.

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Possibly making matters even worse for the ACA, the Supreme Court will soon decide whether the law provides for healthcare subsidies to people in the 36 states which declined to set up their own healthcare exchange and ended up on the federal exchanges instead. If the court kills Obamacare’s subsidies, more than 4 million people will likely see higher premiums, possibly forcing them to drop coverage altogether.

Liberals have made this simply about “winning.” The goal should be to provide everyone affordable healthcare and Obamacare simply isn’t working.

And once the ACA is replaced, it will be the government’s responsibility to ensure that no person who purchased health insurance from an exchange loses their coverage period.

Voting to repeal Obamacare isn’t enough. The GOP must first provide a visible, well-vetted alternative.

For now, Americans are simply waiting.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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