This seems like an especially timely reminder, given yesterday’s news about how easily GAO investigators were able to buy insurance with faked credentials on Healthcare.gov. WECT in Wilmington, North Carolina reports that actual consumers have a much more difficult time in acquiring and paying for their health insurance coverage. One broker still has customers getting canceled despite their efforts to keep the premiums flowing:
Months later, Mercer said he and his clients are still running into problems with the healthcare service.
The broker said he has personally had between 25 and 30 unsatisfied Obamacare customers.
Mercer said the main issue is with the payment process and said that he’s had multiple clients try to pay their bill only to be dropped from coverage.
“It kind of defeats the whole purpose of what the law was about of helping those that need financial assistance to get their healthcare insurance. They’re simply getting hung in the wind a little bit after it’s dropped,” said Mercer.
The back end systems, promised long ago by HHS, still aren’t up and running properly. Nor is that the only promise that’s been forgotten, as I note in my column today at The Fiscal Times. The GAO may have succeeded in getting insurance through fake accounts, but that’s nothing compared to the false promises we’ve already seen from ObamaCare and this administration:
Obama insisted that Obamacare would drive down premiums for a family of four by $2500 a year, but premiums escalated sharply instead, and are set to do so again for 2015. National Journal reported this week that doomsayer predictions about the 2015 escalations would prove incorrect, and that price hikes would be “less than 10 percent – nominal hikes in line with standard increases that have happened every year with or without Obamacare.” But the promise was that Obamacare would “bend the cost curve downward” and address the trend, not leave it undisturbed.
Insurance companies tried to limit premium increases with the only method left to them – narrowing the provider networks to control costs. That has led to rising anger among consumers who thought they would keep their existing doctors, as Obama promised, only to discover that their choices got significantly reduced.
The previous trend in premium increases came while leaving provider networks relatively wide, and if state and federal regulators force insurers to broaden them, those “nominal” increases will give way to a much sharper spike in premiums.
“People have to recognize it’s a trade-off, and I’m not sure they do yet,” Politico quotes one industry expert as saying. But Obamacare wasn’t sold as a trade-off. Obama and Democrats promised that nothing would change while everything was changing, and that government could deliver on all these promises if only we let Congress redesign the health-insurance market into America’s first-ever peacetime command economy.
To be fair, as Investors Business Daily notes, we have opened up vast new vistas for fraud.