In a stunning disappointment, many supporters of President Obama’s signature legislative piece, the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare”, are now asking themselves; was it all a lie? The new law has fallen flat on its face after the key talking point in Obamacare’s pitch was exposed as a falsehood. Insurance holders who were promised that they could keep their current policies have in fact had their insurance policies cancelled in light of the law’s regulations. President Obama vows that he was not lying when he was on the campaign trail touting the new initiative, saying “if you like your current insurance, you can keep that insurance.”; a sound byte which lent the law some credibility among current policy holders. Yet for about the 5% of those on the individual market who have seen their policies revoked, this promise was nothing more than political rhetoric meant to manipulate voter’s views on the controversial legislation.
In the wake of the health care calamity, President Obama tweaked his pitch for Obamacare in a much less catchy and concise fashion, saying “Now, if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed,”
According to the President, individuals who signed up for health insurance plans that were bare-bone plans – essentially, the least amount of coverage possible for the cheapest price – will see their plans abruptly cancelled, now that law mandates health insurance providers provide a higher minimum of coverage at a higher price. Long story short; you can’t just buy what you need, you have to buy in bulk.
President Obama fought back against claims that the change in price is a sudden shock to the market, saying that before the Affordable Care Act, insurers every year would change premiums, usually in the form of a price hike, to cover annual losses due to the uninsured. “People are acting like this is some new phenomenon,” President Obama said. “Every year there was churn in this individual market. The average increase was double-digits on premiums in the same market, with or without the Affordable Care Act.” President Obama has been giving speeches across the country assuring Americans that the promises of Obamacare were not a lie.
Meanwhile glitches and error plague the government’s healthcare website, the online portal where users were directed to sign up and research new health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. Instead of receiving customized pricing options, users saw Error 404 lost connection pages while watching their personal information vanish into the cybersphere.
Somehow, somewhere along the way, President Obama and his team administering Obamacare’s implementation lost the high ground, allowing for what could have been a potentially beneficial shift in the health insurance market to become one of the biggest flops of Obama’s presidency. The double talk and incompetence has in some ways proved Republicans and Conservatives right when they said that the new health care plan would be a monster of a mess not worth the clean up.
Was Obamacare all a lie? It is hard to argue that the health insurance market before Obamacare was any better, with the cost of co-pays and premiums skyrocketing as insurers and hospitals had to cover the 45 million less fortunate Americans who do not have insurance. Still, one would be hard pressed to find a cogent explanation for the President’s latest shift in rhetoric and for the website’s utter failure. Ultimately the American health care system is in need a dire overhaul and unfortunately, Obamacare’s methods may seem to just induce more headaches than it cures.