As the Obamacare enrollment period draws to a tentative close – and you never know when the period will close, given President Obama’s apparent willingness to manipulate the calendar repeatedly – horror stories about the Affordable Care Act mount.
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) originally maintained, “All of [the horror stories] are untrue, but they’re being told all over America”; he now says that he never called such horror stories lies. It’s a smart backtrack, given the wide variety of Obamacare horror stories that continue to pile up day after day. Across the nation, premiums are blowing up; according to a December analysis by USA Today, more than half of the counties under the federal Obamacare exchange “lack even a bronze plan that’s affordable by the government’s own definition.”
And that is having an impact on individuals.
Getting Stuck In The System: Larry Basich of Nevada suffers from heart problems. He’s 62 and bought Obamacare through the Nevada Health Link insurance exchange. He paid his premium before January 1, which is when coverage was slated to begin. He then had a heart attack on December 31. He had a triple bypass on January 3, and now owes $407,000 thanks to a mix-up at the insurance level.
President Obama has continually put off the deadline for implementation of Obamacare thanks to hang-ups in the system.
Losing Crucial Health Insurance: Bill Elliott told Megyn Kelly of Fox News that his health insurance premiums were set to jump by $1,300 per month due to his cancer after his plan was cancelled thanks to Obamacare. He said he will “pay the $95 fine and let nature take its course” to avoid becoming “a burden on my family.” Elliott said of Obama, “Absolutely he misled me. I believe that was more of an insult to me and the other people who have been cancelled than him saying 41 times ‘you’re going to keep your doctor, keep your insurance. Period.'”
Losing Access to Drugs and Doctors: According to Ralston College President Stephen Blackwood, his mother’s cancer will be accelerated by Obamacare cutting her Sandostatin medication; the costs on that medication were $14,000 between January 1 and late February. Blackwood’s mom had a Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan for 20 years; Obamacare killed it. Blackwood wrote, “Then on Feb. 12, just before going into (yet another) surgery, she was informed by Humana that it would not, in fact, cover her Sandostatin, or other cancer-related medications… Obamacare made my mother’s old plan illegal, and it forced her to buy a new plan that would accelerate her disease and death… The ‘Affordable’ Care Act is a brutal, Procrustean disaster.”
Emilie Lamb, a woman with lupus who supported Obama, said, “Obamacare has made my life a nightmare. Obamacare is a health plan that is both unaffordable and uncaring. For a law named ‘The Affordable Care Act,’ this is both backward and perverse.”
Watching Premiums Explode: According to the workers at Extreme Dodge in Jackson, MI, they’re watching their premiums explode. That’s what they told NBC News senior investigative reporter Lisa Meyers in December. According to Breitbart News’ Wynton Hall, “Under Obamacare, the workers’ employer faced a 50% increase in costs to keep worker plans at the same benefit and deductible levels. To remain economically viable, the dealership decided to give each worker an extra $2,400 and let them find plans on their own.”
It’s not just autoworkers, though. According to Casey Heaps of Alabama, who saw her plan canceled and her rates jacked up, “This is not affordable at all. This is the unaffordable care act. I don’t know what this world is coming to. It’s scary. It makes me want to cry… When Obamacare hit I thought, ‘Wow, it’s gonna be affordable.’ That has not been the case… This has just put me in a whirlwind. I have no idea what I’m going to do.” Andy and Amy Mangione of Kentucky saw their bills triple thanks to Obamacare.
Obama voters, too, are feeling the pain. Colorado Obamcare supporter Cathy Wagner said after watching her insurance plan killed, “I was really shocked. All of my hopes were sort of dashed. Oh my gosh, President Obama, this is not what we hoped for, it’s not what we were told… Our premium for next year is going up to over $1,000 a month for two of us and we’re two fairly healthy individuals.”
Other Obama supporters have been writing their Democratic congresspeople asking how they can obtain cheap coverage. One couple wrote to House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), “We believe that the Act is good for health care, the economy, & the future of our nation. However, ACA options for middle income individuals ages 59 & 60 are unaffordable. We’re learning that many others are similarly affected. In that spirit we ask that you fix this, for all of our sakes.”
Getting Fired: Emory Healthcare has fired 100 workers, with those former employees explaining, “The saddest part… is when, during the announcement, we were told that our job losses are due to the new Affordable Healthcare plan.” Indiana University has fired 50 custodial and maintenance employees thanks to Obamacare. SeaWorld will be cutting worker hours to avoid Obamacare’s 30-hour full-time requirement. In September, Investor’s Business Daily named 258 businesses that had fired or cut back employees. UPS dropped coverage for 15,000 spouses of employees. Colorado Mountain College will be cutting back professor hours to cope with Obamacare.
All of this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Obamacare will continue to destroy lives and, yes, kill people. The horror stories are real. Failing to acknowledge that will continue to damn more Americans to living a nightmare.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.