Obamacare anger: It’s not about sticker shock; it’s about pillage and plunder

Last night, working from an article in Politico called “Obamacare losers could pack political punch,” I wrote about the political backlash that likely will stem from millions of people losing their privately purchased health insurance plans thanks to Obamacare. Today, the Washington Post has a front page article on the same subject.

The Politico piece is more informative because it presents survey data about those who purchase their own health insurance. But the Post article points to a huge looming problem with Obamacare — the fact that millions will not only lose their insurance, but may very well lose their doctor[s] too.

This fact isn’t mentioned until near the end of the article, when we read about Marlys Dietrich, an Obama-supporting artist from San Antonio. Dietrich initially was delighted that Obamacare would provide coverage for her artsy friends. But that before she found out what Obamacare would do to her:

Her insurer, Humana, informed her that her plan was being canceled and that the rate for herself and her 21-year-old son for a plan compliant with the new law would rise from $300 to $705. On the federal Web site, she found a comparable plan for $623 a month. Because her annual income is about $80,000, she doesn’t qualify for subsidies.

A cheaper alternative on the federal exchange, she said, had a premium of $490 a month — but it was an HMO plan rather than the PPO plan she currently has. “I wouldn’t be able to go to the doctor I’ve been going to for years,” she said. “That is not a deal.”

And both the HMO and PPO exchange plans she examined had family deductibles of $12,700, compared with her current $7,000.

Think about it. Dietrich cannot keep her insurance plan, as the president promised she could. And she cannot keep her doctor unless she pays twice as much for insurance as she pays now.

In fact, even if she goes into a plan in which she can’t keep her doctor, she will still pay around 65 percent more than she currently does. Finally, the family deductible will be almost twice as much as before.

This isn’t sticker shock; it’s pillage and plunder.

Dietrich’s story is typical of reports from around the country. In a more dramatic case, Edie Littlefield Sunby, a cancer patient, is being forced to give up doctors that have kept helped keep her alive.

As word of these developments spreads, the political backlash against Obamacare may become astonishing to behold.

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