As Health Care Crashes While Obama Fiddles Around

By: Daniel Nardini

                                        Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary  A police officer who works on the police force near where I live told me that Blue Cross had cancelled his special health care plan due to the Affordable Health Care Act, and as a result he should look for a new health care policy on the federal government’s health care website. He is far from being the only one who has received letters in the mail about their health care policies being cancelled due to the change in the law. As the U.S. Congress begins to investigate why the U.S. government’s roll out of its website and operations have been nothing short of a disaster, there are some facts that are making this whole new law all the more painful.
                                              The Affordable Health Care Act was passed in 2010 at that point by an all Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress. It would be the last major piece of legislation ever passed by that Congress. The passing of this legislation was the catalyst that started the Tea Party movement which brought the Republicans into control of the U.S. House of Representatives and into the minority of the U.S. Senate. The U.S. government website for use of the health insurance policy exchanges alone costs an estimated $150 million (the whole program cost between $300 to $500 million). The government contractors who helped set up the website and the whole system did not properly test it before it went online and whole exchanges opened up on October 1st. These are the known facts, and doubtless more facts and shortcomings will be known about this in the weeks ahead.
                                          But it is the American people who are paying for this, and all the finger-pointing will not change the fact that with the whole system in disarray. Many Americans will not be able to sign up, and if the U.S. government delays the whole system by the end of November, then it means that too many people will not only not be able to even sign up but might be penalized for not getting the required health insurance by January 1st. Will the government roll back the tax penalty because of this delay? And all of this is going on the probability that the government can fix all of the problems by the end of November. I certainly have no confidence in U.S. President Barack Obama’s ability to fix this mess since he has now had to hire a totally independent private company to fix what should not have gone wrong.
                                           All this of course does not answer a lot of questions I had before the whole Affordable Health Care Act took effect and the exchanges were rolled out. How much will the individual health care policies really cost for the average American? Can Americans really afford the insurance premiums if they keep rising and young people refuse to enroll in the exchanges? How will people be able to pay any penalties when they cannot get the health care they were told they could easily enroll in? How is any of this going to help businesses grow if people are losing their previous health care policies and many businesses do not want to enroll in the Affordable Health Care Act? The whole thing has become a Republican fantasy nightmare—the new insurance policy system is making sure people cannot keep their doctors, cannot go to their hospitals of choice, and are now losing the health insurance policies they desire because of the change in the law. If things keep going the way they are, the chances are that the Democrats will face a bloodbath in the congressional elections come 2014.

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