ObamaCare has been promoted as health coverage for the uninsured that will open the world of modern medicine to those who sign up. The emerging reality suggests that its promoters are overly optimistic.
The Los Angeles Times reports that health plans being offered in Southern California sharply restrict the number of doctors people can use. The lower the cost of the coverage, the fewer doctors you can see. Then there is the issue of how many policies you get to choose from.
Covered California, the state agency created to sign-up people for ObamaCare, has approved 12 insurance policies, but fewer than that are available depending on where you live. The agency’s web site lists three policies available in western Nevada County, from Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Kaiser. But the county Health and Human Services Agency says two policies are available–one for those currently on MediCal and a Blue Shield policy for everybody else. (They’ll get their story straight eventually.)
That confusion is mild compared to the federal government’s inability to implement the program’s basic elements by the time insurance exchanges open for business Oct. 1. Among other things:
–The employer mandate to offer insurance to workers has been delayed a year;
–The government won’t be able to verify individual eligibility for subsidies;
–The cap on out-of-pocket expenses won’t be enforced until 2015;
–The exchanges won’t be able to accept online applications from small businesses.
There are also reports that federal government software that will be used in 36 state exchanges can’t accurately calculate subsidies for low-income people.
Republicans have been fixated on aborting ObamaCare, even after losing in the Supreme Court and failing to defeat the President last November. The GOP might be better off leaving it alone because there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest we’re headed for a bumpy start if not a train wreck when the brave new world of health care becomes operational Jan. 1.
What a lovely mid-term election issue this could become.
THANKS FOR NOTHING: When Rep. Doug LaMalfa was seeking the congressional seat he now holds, House Speaker John Boehner probably interrupted his golf schedule–he reportedly plays more than 100 rounds a year–to attend a fund-raiser at the LaMalfa family farm. Supporters who ponied up $2,500 got their picture taken with the candidate and the Speaker. Now LaMalfa has joined 69 other House Republicans vowing to shut down the government if ObamaCare isn’t defunded, a fight Boehner said he didn’t want. The Speaker probably wishes he played golf instead of attending that fund-raiser.