The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

April 8, 2014

Marilyn Beasley, columnist: Hitting enrollment goal nothing to gloat about

JOPLIN, Mo. — We see that President Barack Obama has reached his goal of 7 million people enrolled in Obamacare. We heard the president in the Rose Garden jubilantly proclaiming that the goal was reached and that Obamacare is the law of land.  

We’ve also been listening to the mainstream media gushing with excitement. However, when you look at the numbers, you have to ask yourself, “What’s all the excitement about?”

When Obama started pushing his health care law, he told us there were 30 million people, or approximately 10 percent of the population, who were uninsured and that we needed this law to make sure all people had coverage. He also told us that people could keep the doctors they had and the insurance they had prior to Obamacare being enacted. However, since Obamacare has become law, we’re seeing that much of what the president said was not factual and that this law is nothing to gloat about.

It has been reported that as soon as Obamacare went into effect, anywhere from 5 million to 6 million Americans were dropped from their health plans. The majority of these people were happy with the insurance they had, but due to mandates in the law, insurance companies had to cancel policies.

Perhaps the Obama administration should consider that those 5 million to 6 million are part of the 7 million it’s bragging about. Remember, Obama said the 30 million uninsured people were why the law had to be passed.

A Congressional Budget Office report done in May 2013 said that even with Obamacare, the number of uninsured would never fall below the 30 million. So why is the administration and the mainstream media thrilled with the 7 million who have enrolled? How many of the 7 million have actually paid for their new policies? How many of the 7 million previously had insurance that was canceled? It would be nice if this administration would provide the people of this country with facts.

We also know the president delayed the implementation of the employer mandate until 2015, after the midterm elections. According to the Heritage Foundation, the CBO and other reports, the employer mandate will result in millions losing not only their health coverage but also their jobs because many companies will not be able to afford the increases in coverage or taxes imposed on them if they do not offer insurance.  

The bottom line is that this is not just about numbers. The law is about government taking over one-sixth of the economy. It’s about government telling people what kind of coverage they are required to have, even if they don’t need it.

It’s about government coming between patients and their doctors. It’s about the 18 or so tax increases or decreases in tax deductions that can be claimed. It’s about the Independent Advisory Board, better known as the death panel, that will have the authority to make life-and-death decisions on health care funding.

Five Democrats who face tough re-election campaigns signed on to a law to repeal the panel: Mark Pryor, Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick, Kyrsten Sinema and Elizabeth Esty. Even former DNC Chairman Howard Dean called for repeal of the panel.

The magic number of 7 million has been reached, but there really isn’t anything to get excited about.

Marilyn Beasley lives in Joplin.

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