Issues, Obamacare

MALKIN: Universal Coverage? My Fourth Health Care Plan Just Died Thanks to Obamacare


Cue the funeral bagpipes. My fourth health insurance plan is dead.

Image Credit: Jetthebuizel under CC 3.0

Two weeks ago, my husband and I received yet another cancellation notice for our private, individual health insurance coverage. It’s our fourth Obamacare-induced obituary in four years.

Our first death notice, from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, arrived in the fall of 2013. The insurer informed us that because of “changes from health care reform (also called the Affordable Care Act or ACA),” our plan no longer met the federal government’s requirements.

Never mind our needs and desires as consumers who were quite satisfied with a high-deductible preferred provider organization that included a wide network of doctors for ourselves and our two children.

Our second death knell, from Rocky Mountain Health Plans, tolled in August 2015. That notice signaled the end of a plan we didn’t want in the first place that didn’t cover our kids’ dental care and wasn’t accepted at our local urgent care clinic.

The insurer pulled out of the individual market in all but one county in Colorado, following the complete withdrawal from that sector by Humana and UnitedHealthcare.

Our third “notice of plan discontinuation,” again from Anthem, informed us that the insurer would “no longer offer your current health plan in the state of Colorado” in August 2016.

With fewer and fewer choices as know-it-all Obamacare bureaucrats decimated the individual market here and across the country, we enrolled in a high-deductible Bronze HSA EPO (Health Savings Account Exclusive Provider Organization) offered by Minneapolis-based startup Bright Health.

Now, here we are barely a year later: Deja screwed times four. Our current plan will be discontinued on Jan. 1, 2018.

“But don’t worry,” Bright Health’s eulogy writer chirped, “we have similar plans to address your needs.”

Riiiiight. Where have I heard those pie-in-the-sky promises before? Oh, yeah. Straight out of the socialized medicine Trojan horse’s mouth.

“If you like your doctor,” President Barack Obama promised, “you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”

Is pathological lying covered under the Affordable Care Act?

Speaking of Affordable Care Act whoppers, so much for “affordable.” Our current deductible is $6,550 per person—$13,100 for our family of four. Assuming we can find a new plan at the bottom of the individual market barrel, our current monthly premium, $944.86, will rise to more than $1,300 a month.

“What’s taking place is a market correction; the free market is at work,” says Colorado’s state insurance commissioner, Marguerite Salazar. “[T]his could be an indication that there were too many options for the market to support.”

This presumptuous central planner called federal intervention to eliminate “too many” options for consumers the free market at work. Yes, friends, the Rocky Mountain High is real.

This isn’t a “market correction.” It’s a government catastrophe.

Premiums for individual health plans in Virginia are set to skyrocket nearly 60 percent in 2018. In New Hampshire, those rates will rise 52 percent.

In South Carolina, individual market consumers will face an average 31.3 percent hike. In Tennessee, they’ll see rates jump between 20-40 percent.

Private, flexible preferred provider organizations for self-sufficient, self-employed people are vanishing by design. The social-engineered future—healthy, full-paying consumers being herded into government-run Obamacare exchanges and severely regulated regional health maintenance organizations—is a bipartisan big government health bureaucracy’s dream come true.

These choice-wreckers had the arrogant audacity to denigrate our pre-Obamacare plans as “substandard” (Obama), “crappy” (MSNBC big mouth Ed Schultz), and “junk policies” (Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa).

When I first called attention to the cancellation notice tsunami in 2013, liberal Mother Jones magazine sneered that the phenomenon was “phony.” And they’re still denying the Obamacare death spiral. Liberal Vox Media recently called the crisis “a lie.”

I don’t have enough four-letter words for these propagandists. There are an estimated 450,000 consumers like us in Colorado and 17 million of us nationwide—small business owners, independent contractors, and others who don’t get their plans through group coverage, big companies, or government employers.

The costs, headaches, and disruption in our lives caused by Obamacare’s meddling meddlers are real and massive.

But we’re puzzles to corporate media journalists who’ve never had to meet a payroll and don’t even know what is the individual market.

We’re invisible to late night TV clowns who get their Obamacare-at-all-costs talking points from Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

We’re pariahs to social justice health care activists and Democrats who want us to just shut up and subsidize everyone else’s insurance.

And we’re expendables to establishment Republicans who hoovered up campaign donations on the empty promise to repeal Obamacare—and now consider amnesty for immigrants here illegally and gun control higher legislative priorities than keeping their damned word.

We’re the canaries in the Obamacare coal mine. Ignore us at your peril, America. You’re next.

This is a guest post by Michelle Malkin senior editor of Conservative Review. She is a New York Times best-selling author and a FOX News Channel contributor.
  • Robert

    Everyone who has a sad story to tell has a place here, but the many millions Obama Care helped, will not have their story here just a few that tries to push the point that Obama Care is horrible, Obama Care has some bad points but name me something that does not. Next tell me what is so horrible about MediCare it is Socialized medicine where everyone pays the same amount no matter what is wrong with the person. The big problem in this country is that the Health Insurance companies are big profit machines, in other countries they have to be non profit and all expenses are monitored. Why should a company make money off of the ills of others.

    • Jeffco

      If the insurance companies are “big profit machines” then why do they need government subsidies to continue offering insurance?

      • Robert

        They are big money making machines the one I am heavily invested in made close to $20 Billion last year, or at least that is what they admitted to the stock holders.
        I never saw an Health Insurance company set rates by persons income that is what the subsidies you speak of are for, to make it easier for low paying persons to afford Health Insurance.

    • Flash Robert, companies are in business to make money. They are Not social justice warriors, social experiments , and shills for democrats. Try owning and running a business and lose money every year. See you in bankruptcy court snowflake.

      • JPT

        Market forces are not viable for healthcare delivery. The rest of the modern world has already learned this.

        Insurance comapany profits impel a perverse incentive to deny care at every possible turn. The United States is alone in the existence of medical bankruptcy, at a rate of more than 600,000 each year.

        Single payer medical insurance provides fewer costs and logistical time consumption for businesses — especially medium and small business — and greater freedom for employees, to change jobs and/or locations without fearing loss of coverage.

        Do insurance companies have an incentive to misinform the American public on this?

      • Robert

        That may be true, but the fact still remains why should they make money off of the health of others, I do believe that Kaiser of the Kaiser Insurances, told Roosevelt right before WWII broke out. “We are going to start selling health insurance, it will do nothing for the persons insured but will make the Kaiser Foundation a fortune.”
        After servicing 26 years as an officer in the military, I did own and run a business for over 20 years and made great profits but not off the backs of the sick people, our company supplied complete health insurance with no co-pay to every employee at no cost to them.
        I would bet I have been a Republican, what you would call a Rino, because I am not a blind follower of things I do not believe in, and the way the Republican persons are going to independents I do suppose I am not the only one.

        • I too served in the military and owned and ran a business for 22 years. We offered HI to all employees and payed 50% of the cost but we were not in the HI business. Insurance companies make money off of the insured, healthy or sick. Its how they stay in business. Nivirna does not exist.

          • Robert

            Why would it not be in the US interest to keep the population healthy, by offering everyone HI at a set rate fro everyone regardless of any other circumstances, people die every day in this country because they cannot afford medications or even specialized care to save their lives or even make dying more comfortable, those that are not involved have no idea what those who have very little go through trying to get treatment. A neighbor his wife has to take 4 pills a day and at the drug companies rate they are still $35 per pill and the live on about $2000 SS a month so some times she has to skip her medication so they can have money to buy food.
            No matter how hard the neighbors try they will not accept charity, with the exception of coming to dinner about once a week, and then not to the same neighbor. This is the part those that do not want universal health care do not see.
            When it comes to Health Care Money should not even be involved , all medical costs could be contained like they are in most other countries, if they did that I would loose big because I am heavily invested in a Health care Company, but to me it would be worth it.
            HAVE A GOOD DAY

          • Having lived both in Europe and the far east I have seen very different types of health care systems. Also having many friends and family in Europe I hear many of the stories regarding health care providers especially in the UK. It is very different from what the media here portrays as is Canada. There is no one size fits all, and individual responsibility plays a big part in it. The system in the UK is on the verge of collapse due to the influx of immigrants who contribute nothing to the economic structure.

          • Robert

            I to have lived almost all over the world, and seen their Health care Systems at work, I praise Japan the most, not have big central hospitals but small local hospitals with reduced sized equipment and cost containment, to take care of the locals.
            Now for Europe 4 of my children live and work in Europe, went there right out of College in the early 1990s, because the offers are 2 daughters in England, 1 in London 1 in Cumberland, 1 daughter in Germany and 1 son in Norway, they all praise the medical, saying it is better than the Blue Cross, Blue Shield Premium I had them on in College. Now my ex wife’s family live mainly in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex and they seem to have no problem with their medical care. The main complaint is the Polish are working for less than the going wages, running the labor force down, and the Moor’s which we call Gypsies, steal everything and break into empty houses and squat and under the laws it takes up to a year to get a squatter out. The only thing in England which is near collapse is the whole country because they got or are getting out of the EU, so now the money is devalued and on top of that the price of food is much higher, taxes on property went up this year, my house near Sudbury in Suffolk, England taxes went up over 1000 pounds yearly.
            HAVE A GOOD DAY

          • Speaking of Japan you can not compare them with us. They have a very homogeneous population and do not have to confront the racial and socio economic issues we have. They also have a very deep culture of respect which unfortunitly has been undermined in this country. As for the Uk , wait times and quality of services leave very much to be desired. And always a good day

          • Robert

            Why do you think that Japan does not have the problems we have here, could it be that discrimination is much below their standard, one of my men from the military is living in Japan and married to a Japanese woman he is black and said he never felt more welcome any where than he was in japan.
            Now about those wait times in England, I know you are not talking about appointment waiting times when you just go in take a number and wait your turn to be seen, and having a operation of any kind is just like a triage system in the USA, where the neediest get the operations first and on down the line, my daughter had to have eye surgery, cataracts, and she had about a 30 day wait to get it done, my wife here has the same thing done here and we waited about 3 months for the appointment, and we have good insurance, Tricare for life, According to the World Health Organization there quality of Health Care in England is better than here for the common person.
            HAVE A GOOD DAY

          • You live in Japan and you conform period. As for the NHS, I guess its who you speak with. I know from relatives who live in the Midlands that it is not good.

          • Texas Belle

            Because the Government will go belly up if they try to provide health care free for everyone. The entire GNP will be taken up by healthcare with no money for anything else. It is a pipe dream of those who know nothing about running a business or about personal responsibility. Govt. was not designed to take care of the populace from cradle to grave.

          • Robert

            Texas Belle
            If you believe that then why have all the other industrialized countries in the world not gone belly up, yet provide better health care than the USA, we are the only industrialized country in the World without Socialized Medicine.
            If you notice we are #37 in the world up from #39 before Obama Care
            This is the World Health Organization the most trusted in the world.
            Now with that Socialized Medicine they also have a bigger GDP than the USA so it must not be much of a redistribution of wealth.
            HAVE A GOOD DAY

    • JPT

      Important clarification, if I may, Robert.

      Medicare is not socialized medicine. Doctors and other providers are not govt employees; they establish and maintain their own businesses. It is the payment/billing structures which are govt provided.

      This structure frees physicians’ office managers from having to deal with dozens and dozens of entities and logistics. Billing practices typically are more than 30% of their costs.

      • Robert

        I do see you don not even know what Socialized medicine is, maybe you should go live in Europe or Canada and you will find out that what you wrote is totaly wrong.
        Socialized medicine is a single payer system where the Insurance companies as all non-Profit and all costs inside of the Insurance providers are controlled so that the CEOs and management can not get excessive pays out of line with other agencies as well as prescription and medical equipment.
        In the USA the Government just makes a contract with the Insurance carrier and that is why it costs the USA so much to provide it, but in the same time everyone pays the same and gets the same treatment regardless and just like in Europe anyone can buy suplimental insurance out of their own pocket. Tell me why any Health Insurance Corporation should be allowed to make in the billions yet telling their customers what they can and cannot have in the way of treatment. Health care should be a right for everyone in the country, and not something only the well off can afford. Why do you think the US is rated so low in Health Care Rating by the World Health Organization, the most respected in the World.

    • Texas Belle

      You obviously haven’t been impacted by the horrendous charges of Obamacare. Those with high deductibles and high premiums have no insurance at all because they don’t usually meet the criterium. If they go to a Dr. they have to pay out of pocket while those with subsidies pay nothing or very little. It is nothing but a redistribution of wealth scheme designed to break the middle class and make them as poor as those they are subsidizing. It is an unsustainable system that is failing everywhere and will bankrupt this nation if something isn’t done.

      • Robert

        Texas Belle
        No I am not impacted in any way with Obama care I am retired military officer and have paid insurance for life, but many of the people I know now can afford health insurance which they could not get before because of pre existing conditions, and they are middle class retirement over $70,000 a year but now they can get health insurance. My son has had Blue Cross Blue Shield since college in the 1990s and has kept everything the way it was yes there has been an increase in premiums but not because of Obama Care, Health insurance companies were constantly raising their rates before Obama Care, my sons went up greatly every year before Obama Care, and increased about the same after the law was passed. The insurance company I am heavily invested in made over$20 Billion dollars last year but applied for a rate increase this year of near 20% which shows that Obama Care is not the reason for the rate hikes.
        Socialized Medicine will be here in just a few years it has to be to take care of a large population and no industry, and taxes will go up to support it, there is no other answer, than to control the Health Insurance industry through non profit and the rest of the health insurance industry the same way.

  • SourdoughSal

    Robert so wrecking some people’s lives are ok to make others better? so the deaths of some is ok for the greater good of an armed and secure society, right?😉

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