Posted by Tina
Ellen Degeneres recently interviewed President Obama to gush over the “success” of Obamacare:
It’s doing very, very well…you’ve got 5 million people signed up so far. [Applause] An enormous number of people have signed up, so it’s successful….Well, for people who are starting to applaud here, I think everyone’s very grateful that you did this. And I think it is important for people to sign up. It’s just better to be covered. You just never know.
Hey, it’s not surprising that Ellen and the President are putting a positive spin on the number of people that the President says have enrolled. I would expect no less from either of them. But the word success doesn’t paint an accurate picture of the roll out, which has been a big disaster, nor does it accurately portray expectations for enrollment based on earlier predictions of around 7 million. Additionally, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will still not say, when asked, how many of the 5 million enrollees have actually paid the premium, a number that is necessary for accuracy in the enrollment number. During his interview the President also repeated an earlier claim, without being challenged by Ellen, that young people can sign up:
for “100 dollars a month or less, in some cases, less than your cell phone bill or your cable bill.”
This is likely untrue. In fact, I’d call the pronouncement a hook, something carnival barkers use to reel in the suckers.
It will only be true for some people who qualify for government subsidy. One of the reasons for the President is making this pitch is that not enough young people have signed up. Obamacare will not work unless a sufficient number of young, healthy people are signed up…and consistently paying into the system!
Here are the facts. People won’t have coverage and cannot be counted as “signed up” if they have not paid the premium. Cell phone bills with major carriers can cost between $80 to $90 dollars a month; the average cost of the “bronze” plan is about $249 a month. Granted the premium would be less IF the person qualifies for a subsidy…but not if he doesn’t. Do the young people need coverage as much as the President needs them to pay up? Not likely. Most young people are, and will remain, healthy in the short term. The expenditure is unusual for young people until marriage, children or a better job create necessity and ability to pay.
So can the Obamacare roll out be called a success? Are the things said by Obama and Ellen lies? (are they just little white lies?) Should the American people trust what the President says…what about what Ellen says? After this can she be considered trustworthy? The administration has spent (almost $700 million) to pitch Obamacare to young people. Does this need for expensive advertisement and somewhat deceptive talking points signal a great “success” as described by Ellen? She certainly did not inform her audience of this expenditure during the interview. Was that irresponsible?
I have no gripe with Ellen doing the President a favor by having him on her show. Ellen obviously likes and supports the President and apparently doesn’t personally believe that the lies that were told to pass the legislation, or the terribly bad launch, or the negative consequences that continue matter. Maybe she is oblivious to all of it! Either way, when she called this a success I think she believed what she was saying. I believe she is wrong…extremely wrong…and I don’t mind saying so! Now here’s the other question that comes up…does that mean I’m hateful, disrespectful…even racist? the charges have been made.
Post Scripts gives me the opportunity to discuss issues and to point out what I believe is wrong. The “very unaffordable” ACA may work well for a few people but it is not working for the vast majority of people that have lost their insurance, their doctor, needed drugs, or hospital, and are seeing higher premiums or out of pocket costs. It isn’t working for people in the medical device field whose businesses will be greatly impacted because of newly imposed taxes. It isn’t working for people that have lost their jobs or lost hours at work. It isn’t working for doctors who the AMA says will get stuck for unpaid bills because of language in the law. It isn’t working for a man in Nevada who signed up early, paid his premiums and is now stuck with $407,000 in medical bills…he’s been told he doesn’t have the coverage he thought he had. How does that happen when premiums have been paid? This program has a definite downside for cancer patients. Forbes reports:
The legislation contains provisions that directly target patients with cancer because their care is perceived as costly. These policies couldn’t be more badly timed.
We’re at a turning point in battling cancer. Doctors are finally able to reliably tailor treatments to the unique genetic composition of each patient’s tumor rather than by its location in the body alone. Other new drugs are able to prime our own immune cells to attack cancers. But Obamacare puts access to this progress at risk.
First, Obamacare is going to block the ability of patients to seek out the specialist doctors who are most likely to prescribe these cutting edge treatments.
Obamacare coaxes health plans to reduce spending and healthcare utilization by limiting the choices patients will have of doctors. This is the primary way that health plans are being cheapened enough to meet Obamacare’s strict guidelines on the low value of the coverage that the plans can offer.
Insurers are barred from using the other tools that they’ve traditionally employed to keep the costs of policies in check: cost sharing, underwriting risk, adjusting premiums and benefits. The only thing that health plans are permitted to do under Obamacare is narrow the networks of providers that they contract with. So that’s precisely what they’re doing. By contracting with fewer providers, insurers can cheapen their coverage by clamping down on what doctors prescribe.
This is not success. This is not the American way. Americans don’t approach problems by looking at how to skimp or reach for mediocre outcomes. Americans reach for the stars, find ways to overcome…to go farther than we ever have before.
No, Ellen, the Affordable Care Act is not a success.
The ACA was a terrible mistake; it is a failure! The sooner we dump it and address the few problems that existed prior to it’s passing the better. There are very sick people out there who need the best treatments their doctors can give them. There are people that need those extra hours at work. There are doctors whose practices are challenged enough without being stiffed on payments and yes, we need the cost to be brought down…for everyone! The truth about that is that ultimately, it will require pulling government way back, reforming medicare, and finally letting the market work.
Would I stoop to making a blanket statement that Ellen Degenerus is “not trustworthy” because I disagree with her or her style and approach to discussing Obamacare? Nope. I think that would be irresponsible.