A great tragedy is now unfolding across America as we prepare for the new year. Millions of Americans are losing their health plans; millions more are facing staggering price increases; millions more are having hours cut or seeing their salaries pared back at work because of Obamacare.
Sadly, this is just the beginning. In coming days, millions of employer-provided plans face cancellation, multiplying this disaster many fold.
The administration recently held a contest for videos to promote Obamacare. Its grand prize winner featured this message: “Don’t worry about the price tag.”
“Don’t worry about the price tag?”
Isn’t that helpful and compassionate advice to the millions of Americans who are struggling through the fifth year of Obamanomics and who are now also facing the reality of seeing their premiums double or triple? Just “don’t worry about the price tag,” skip the house payment and cough up the extra cash.
Many millions of Americans who had health coverage on New Year’s Eve will not have it on New Year’s Day because of Obamacare.
What awaits those who actually can sign up?
According to the government’s own numbers, about two-thirds of the exchange applicants have been forced into Medicaid. That includes many on limited incomes who’ve maintained bare-bones policies because they’re desperately trying to stay out of Medicaid. Some have found that merely by looking at prices they’ve ended up trapped in this dreaded welfare program.
A major study documents that Medicaid patients have worse health outcomes than those without any insurance. If you doubt that, see how long it will take you to see a Medicaid doctor — if you can find one at all — for a bad cold.
If you are part of the one in three exchange applicants who escape this fate, the next problem will be to find a doctor — any doctor. The president of the California Medical Association reports that 70 percent of California doctors will not accept Obamacare patients.
That means the remaining 30 percent will be overwhelmed, resulting in life-threatening waiting lines. As patients desperately seek doctors in emergency rooms, actual emergencies will go waiting. Top-flight, specialized doctors and facilities will become completely inaccessible as they opt out of the system. The Cleveland Clinic, UCLA Medical Center, Sloan Kettering are just a few of the facilities that have already withdrawn from the Obamacare networks.
Those patients who actually can get an appointment may then discover that there is no record of their policy because the government hasn’t been able to connect patients with their new insurers.
Patients will next face the cold reality of sky-high deductibles and co-payments that many will be unable to pay. Many hospitals that serve large populations of the poor can only do so through supplemental payments, but Obamacare is phasing those out. Some hospitals will be forced to close their doors.
Those Obamacare patients fortunate enough to stay well in this brave new world can expect a highly elevated risk of identity theft in what the founder of MacAfee Security Software calls a “hacker’s … dream.” And there’s no need to wait for hackers, in some cases, the government has already accidentally released patients’ private financial and medical information.
Since so many people — particularly the young — are choosing not to pay inflated prices to subsidize others, we can expect another major round of rate increases next fall on those remaining in the system to make up for the shortfalls
That is what the new year will bring to our country. Many of us in the House warned of this coming train-wreck and tried at least to delay it. For this, we were called arsonists, terrorists, jihadists and demagogues. But now those warnings have proven entirely accurate.
This program has already devastated the lives of millions of Americans. This damage cannot now be undone by delaying it or tinkering with it. It must be repealed and replaced with the patient-centered plan proposed by House Republicans, a plan guided by individual freedom of choice and open competition.
This will only happen if there is a massive change of heart by the Congressional Democrats who imposed this nightmare on our country. Now is the time for all Americans whose lives have been upended by this folly to share their stories with their representatives and to pray that they actually can touch some hearts and change some minds during this holiday season.
Otherwise, I am afraid that New Year’s Day will be nothing to celebrate.
Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, represents the 4th Congressional District, which includes part of Placer County, all of of El Dorado, Amador, Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Madera and part of Fresno County.