Checking out the new health exchange quotes from Covered California leads some previous believers in the Affordable Care Act to discover bad news -- not only for their personal finances but also for their hometown economy.
Among the startled reactions is this one from Tom Washura, who told the MercuryNews:
"I really don't like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family's pocket each year, that's otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy."
Tom Waschura votes independent, according to the report and is described in the story as being "proud" to say he helped elect, and even re-elect, President Barack Obama.
A Facebook page titled "ilikeobamacare" is receiving "hateposts"such as these:
In response to a post regarding the House of Representatives ("A group of Republicans in the House of Representatives shut down the government, but Obamacare is still open for business."), posts such as these are being added:
From Pamela Argo: "Obamacare can suck it. Just went through the whole process to see what it would cost. $600 a month!!!!!! Ya, real "affordable". I guess I will be one of the MILLIONS that get penalized on their taxes because I can't afford $600 a month for health insurance. Oh wait.... I can't afford the penalty either!!!!"
From Tracy Ford Lutrick: "Just pay the fine......let this whole system implode and THEN the insurance companies can start over and make policies/premiums that actually make sense!"
From Julie Hill Wilson: "May I add, encourage every young adult to opt out. That will help it explode too"
In California, 1.9 million people buy plans on the open market, according to the Mercury News story which quoted officials with Covered California, the state's new health insurance exchange. Subsidies may also help to reduce premiums, according to officials with Covered California officials who note that perhaps 570,000 of the 1.9 million people who buy their own insurance should be eligible for subsidies that will reduce their premiums.
Even if rates do not drop, officials believe that because Obamacare won't allow insurers to charge people more if they have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and cancer, this is a benefit also.
Dana Howard, a Covered California spokesman mentioned in the Mercury story, states that the health exchange "always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare."
Howard is quoted as stating:
"Some people will see an increase who are already on the individual market purchasing insurance, but most people will not."
U.S. Congressman Michael Burgess who serves on the Rules Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee and Dr. Ben Carson, an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have written a recent Forbes opinion piece on Obamacare, in which they warn that the implementation of the new law may threaten the healthcare future for people and the industry. They wrote:
"The Affordable Care Act was not the product of any informed or learned group, it was a hastily contrived political farce that was literally cobbled together at the last possible minute. It was never intended to become law — except that it did. For the past 3 1/2 years literally “all the kings horses, and all of the kings men” have pushed and prodded to give it the appearance of workability. We are on the threshold of finding out if they were successful."
Burgess and Carson add this:
"In medicine, we sometimes talk about the compression of morbidities, how the ravages of time and multiple maladies may overwhelm the patient at the end of life. That compression sequence also seems to describe afflictions of the Affordable Care Act as it careens towards implementation."