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The ravages of Obamacare “reform,” continued

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 7, 2011 09:44 AM


Photoshop credit: Rachael in Kentucky, via our Obamacare photoshop contest 2009

Propaganda: “No one is going to lose their coverage.” – Obama administration, November 2010

Reality: Firms to cut health plans as reform starts: survey; 30% of companies say they’ll stop offering coverage – MarketWatch, June 2011

Once provisions of the Affordable Care Act start to kick in during 2014, at least three of every 10 employers will probably stop offering health coverage, a survey released Monday shows.

While only 7% of employees will be forced to switch to subsidized-exchange programs, at least 30% of companies say they will “definitely or probably” stop offering employer-sponsored coverage, according to the study published in McKinsey Quarterly.

The survey of 1,300 employers says those who are keenly aware of the health-reform measure probably are more likely to consider an alternative to employer-sponsored plans, with 50% to 60% in this group expected to make a change. It also found that for some, it makes more sense to switch.

Propaganda: Obamacare will lower premiums, save money! – Peter Orszag, November 2010

Reality: Out-of-pocket medical expenses skyrocketing, May 2011

Carol Schaub of Madeira Beach is thinking about dropping her health insurance because she can’t afford the $500 monthly premium. Bob Shah of Seminole increased the deductible on his family’s plan to $5,000 to keep his rates affordable. Janet and David Quinn of Brooksville have put off needed treatments and medications for financial reasons.

These are a few faces of a trend that has seen the amount of money American families shell out for health care more than double over the past decade, according to a new study.

The report, released this month by the industry consulting firm Milliman, found that average out-of-pocket health care costs for a family of four with insurance have ballooned from $3,634 in 2002 to $8,008 this year.

And that’s for families who get coverage from their employers. If you’re paying COBRA premiums like Schaub, or buying on the individual market like the Shahs, the costs are often much higher.

Health experts and advocates say that rising heath costs will force more people to the ranks of the uninsured or force them to skip necessary care and medications.

Propaganda: You can’t seriously question the constitutionality of Obamacare! – Nancy Pelosi, October 2009

Reality: The constitutional challenges keep on coming. Latest from Richard Epstein and Mario Loyola in the WSJ today:

The constitutional battle over ObamaCare has largely focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Namely, does forcing individuals to buy health insurance violate the commerce clause? But as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to hear Florida v. United States, a second issue is of equal importance: Was District Court Judge Roger Vinson correct to rule that the federal government can force states to expand their Medicaid programs as a precondition for continuing to receive matching federal funds for the program?

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states have a choice: Expand their Medicaid rolls or bear the full cost of caring for their state’s current Medicaid population, while continuing to subsidize the Medicaid programs of other states. The constitutional danger of such a scheme has long been recognized. In 1936, the Supreme Court warned in U.S. v. Butler that if conditional federal grants were not restrained, the taxing and spending power “could become the instrument for the total subversion of the governmental powers reserved to the individual states.”

And yet the government is comparing this Medicaid requirement to a “voluntary” contract. Does anyone believe that a person is entitled “voluntarily” to continue his journey so long as he pays for all poor people who use the roads? The government’s action is plainly coercive because it necessarily conditions the exercise of one right upon the conscious surrender of a second.

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Categories: Health care, Nancy Pelosi