One of the most-remembered phrases of the Clinton administration included "people who work hard and play by the rules." It's a phrase that, predictably, resonated with Main Street. The Obama administration doesn't have that type of connection with Main Street. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act's, aka Obamacare's, mandates people who have worked hard and played by the rules have gotten punished for doing the right thing.
Dianne Barette of Florida is a person who fits that description:
In Florida, at least 300,000 people are losing coverage. That includes 56-year-old Dianne Barrette. Last month, she received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield informing her as of January 2014, she would lose her current plan. Barrette pays $54 a month. The new plan she's being offered would run $591 a month -- 10 times more than what she currently pays.
Barrette said, "What I have right now is what I am happy with and I just want to know why I can't keep what I have. Why do I have to be forced into something else?"
According to HealthCare.gov, Barrette is eligible for some subsidies, CBS News' Jan Crawford pointed out on "CBS This Morning." But Barrette told CBS News she has no idea what those subsidies would be because she cannot log on to the website -- an issue U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is sure to be asked about when she testifies on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
It's unlikely that Ms. Barette would be eligible for a big enough subsidy to offset the price increase imposed through the Affordable Care Act's mandates. Let's stipulate, though, that Ms. Barette is eligible for subsidies that keep her out-of-pocket expenses to a minimal price increase. That imposes important, unanswered questions that this administration doesn't want to answer.
First, why shouldn't the policies that people have bought be the policies they get to keep? If people purchase a health insurance policy that they like, why should the government, whether state or federal, have the authority to tell you they know what's best for you? Shouldn't people question this and all administrations' ability to determine what's best for families, especially without having met them?
Sunday, Juan Williams argued that people getting cancellation notices aren't being left out in the cold. He argued that these people, including Ms. Barette, are getting "better packages at lower costs with more benefits." That was met with considerable disagreement:
BRIT HUME: Whose idea of better coverage? Their idea or the government’s?
Then Chris Wallace jumped in with this:
We have to end this segment, I just to want to point out that we had a couple of weeks ago, a letter that a 62-year-old couple who have their own business in Oregon, under the ObamaCare, they were losing their policy, the new policy, the cheapest policy they were being offered, the deductible was going to double to 5,000 a person. Visits to specialists, and one of them had to see a specialist, were going up from $35 a visit to $100 a visit and their premium was going up. So, the idea that they are going to get more for less -- there are no free lunches.
People's trust in government is at an all-time low. What proof do people have that this administration has been trustworthy? After all, President Obama said repeatedly that "people who like their plan could keep their plan. Period." It's important to remember that Democrats first argued that people getting kicked off of their policies were getting kicked off by the insurance companies. That isn't entirely true. The insurance companies are kicking people off of their existing policies because the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has made it illegal for insurance companies to continue offering the old policies that people liked.
That's the ultimate in people who've worked hard and played by the rules getting punished by this administration and their allies in Congress. Shouldn't families have the right to make their own decisions rather than have the government punish them for doing the right thing?