Here’s another person for Democrats to insult as a meaningless “anecdote”: Chris Dunn of Sonora, California, who lost his old insurance due to Barack Obama’s Big Lie, got saddled with an overpriced and inferior ObamaCare plan, and can’t get the back surgery he desperately needs. ”Doc shock” for the win!
Americans for Prosperity introduces us to trivial anecdote Julie Boonstra, who also lost her insurance to the Big Lie, and now cannot get the cancer drugs she needs to fight her leukemia. ”The out of pocket costs are so high, it’s unaffordable,” she says. ”I believed the President. I believed I could keep my health insurance plan. I feel lied to.”
That all seems like a modest price to pay for the incredibly tiny number of previously uninsured people who are flocking to ObamaCare’s broken websites to sign up for insurance coverage, or at least put something in the online shopping cart, or maybe click on a couple of buttons until they see an error message. (If the true number of ObamaCare enrolles is about 2.6 million people, as industry experts suspect, and only 20 percent of them were previously uninsured, ObamaCare is one of history’s worst examples of return on investment for the American people.)
But how much worse does “doc shock” get when entire hospitals are closing? The Daily Caller reports “the fourth Georgia hospital in two years is closing its doors due to severe financial difficulties caused by ObamaCare’s payment cuts for emergency services.”
The Lower Oconee Community Hospital is, for now, a critical access hospital in southeastern Georgia that holds 25 beds. The hospital is suffering from serious cash-flow problems, largely due to the area’s 23 percent uninsured population, and hopes to reopen as “some kind of urgent care center,” CEO Karen O’Neal said.
Many hospitals in the 25 states that rejected the Medicaid expansion are facing similar financial problems. Liberal administration ally Think Progress has already faulted Georgia for not expanding Medicaid as Obamacare envisioned.
But the reality is more complicated. The federal government has historically made payments to hospitals to cover the cost of uninsured patients seeking free medical care in emergency rooms, as federal law mandates that hospitals must care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay.
ObamaCare was falsely billed as the cure for such “cost shifting,” when in reality it’s increasing the burden on emergency rooms. Forcing the Affordable Care Act through Congress required states to be given the option of rejecting the Medicaid expansion that would theoretically have replaced these emergency room visits with a certified welfare plan. Now we’ve got the worst of both worlds. ObamaCare is such a disaster that the old, sloppy approach of letting the indigent use hospitals as free clinics, with the cost offset by government support and higher insurance premiums, might actually have been more efficient. It’s a cure that’s worse than the disease, a “reform” more expensive and chaotic than the problems it was supposed to solve.
If you like your plan, you can’t keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can’t keep your doctor. You’re most likely not going to save money on health insurance, especially if you try to use your “benefits” and run into those massive out-of-pocket costs. And the number of uninsured Americans is scarcely going to change at all.