Geez, you’ve got to feel sorry for Jessica Sanford. Do you remember her? She was one of the glowing examples of an Obamacare success that Barack Obama bragged about at a press conference last month. Turns out this much-hyped “success” was anything but.
Sanford is the mother of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD. The medications to treat him cost $250 a month. For the past 15 years, she had been unable to afford health insurance. But thanks to Obamacare, the President bragged, she was able to buy an affordable plan through the State of Washington’s health insurance exchange.
Except, it turns out that she wasn’t.
When she first applied, Sanford was told she qualified for a federal subsidy, so a “gold” plan would only cost her $169 a month. Then she was told, “Sorry, we made a little mistake here. Your actual cost will be $280 a month.” Then she got another notice, stating that because she earned $50,000 a year, she actually would not receive any subsidy and her actual cost would be almost twice as much again.
Sanford finally gave up and said she’ll just pay the penalty for not joining Obamacare. She posted on Facebook: “Wow, you guys really screwed me over.”
Yes, indeed. And with millions of people being dropped from their existing plans, while only a tiny fraction of that number actually purchases new insurance through Obamacare, you can expect to hear similar stories repeated over and over again.
This has led to such mind-boggling irony as having former President Bill Clinton lecturing Obama on the need to be straight with the American people. Yup, the man who was impeached for lying about having sex in the Oval Office broke ranks with the White House and said, “I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the President should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got.”
To a lot of folks, that sounded like a perfect set-up for the “Keep Your Health Plan Act” introduced in the House by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.). So Obama had to do more than merely denounce the legislation and promise to veto it if it reaches his desk.
No, the President went even further. A day before the House was to vote on the measure, he told a hastily assembled press conference that he would now allow insurance companies to continue offering those supposedly defective insurance policies for another year.
So once again, the White House is engaged in a patently unConstitutional usurpation of power. The President, who is supposed to enforce the laws that Congress passes, claims he can change the law whenever he wants. After all, he’d done it earlier this year, when he unilaterally suspended the employer mandate.
Some Republicans pointed out that the President has no legal authority to issue such an order. Insurance companies say that Obama is basically inviting them to break the law. And State insurance commissioners say that Obama’s “fix” will be impossible to implement in a timely fashion.
Consider: Insurance companies had three years to get ready for Obamacare to take effect. Now they’re being given less than three months to comply with the changes Obama cavalierly insists they make.
When the Upton bill came up for a vote last Friday, 39 Democrats joined 222 House Republicans in voting “aye.” The number of defectors surely would have been higher had it not been for the dubious “compromise” the President offered the day before.
But this wasn’t the only bombshell that exploded over Obamacare this past week. Here are three others that are giving the Democrats an Excedrin headache:
On Tuesday, one of the top tech officers responsible for building the Obamacare website told a Congressional subcommittee that almost 40 percent of the IT systems supporting Healthcare.gov website have not even been built yet. “It’s not that it’s not working,” Henry Chao told a House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. “It’s still being developed and tested.”
On the same day, four cybersecurity experts warned the House Science Committee that the Obamacare website is in danger of being hacked. The personal financial information of people who use it is at “critical risk,” they said. ABC News reported: “Three of the four witnesses agreed that the Obama Administration should take the site offline in order to address the security flaws.”
And finally, we learned this week that McKinsey & Co., an outside consulting firm that was hired to check on the progress of the Healthcare.gov website, told Administration officials back in March that the website would not be functioning properly by its Oct. 1 launch date.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius allegedly was briefed on their findings on April 4. Yet just two weeks later, Sebelius said in sworn testimony before Congress, “I can tell you we are on track.” Think anyone will suggest that perjury charges be brought against her?
All of this helps explain why opinion polls have gone from dismal to disastrous for Obama and the badly misnamed Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative achievement of his Presidency. The latest Quinnipiac national poll shows that just 39 percent of the public approves of his performance. His disapproval rating has climbed to 54 percent.
A month ago, Democrats were gloating at how badly the Republicans had been hurt by the reaction to the partial shutdown of the Federal government. The latest poll numbers indicate that the Democrats are suffering much more from the cataclysmic rollout of Obamacare.
Here’s what may be the most worrisome number of all for the President’s supporters. Some 46 percent of the people surveyed said that the President knowingly deceived the public, when he repeatedly promised that they could keep their health insurance plans if they wanted to.
The numbers just keep getting worse. The latest CBS poll says that the President’s approval rating has slipped even further, and is now down to 37 percent. That’s a drop of 9 percentage points in just the past month. Obama’s disapproval rating, according to the CBS poll, has climbed to 57 percent, an all-time high.
As bad as those numbers must seem to be to the denizens of the White House, the numbers for Obamacare are even worse. The same CBS poll found that 61 percent of Americans now disapprove of the President’s healthcare plan. Only 31 percent approve of it — a drop of 12 points in just the past month.
And here’s something that must have the residents of the White House tearing their hair out. Thanks to Obamacare, the President is losing the support of younger voters. Back in 2008, Obama got 66 percent of the vote of Americans under the age of 30. That landslide majority declined a little bit in 2012, but he still received 60 percent of the youth vote then.
Now, Quinnipiac says that young Americans disapprove of Obamacare by a margin of 51 percent to 42 percent. As shocking as that must be, check this out: The same poll says that young Americans disapprove of Obama himself by an even bigger margin — 54 percent to 36 percent. Not only do they give him a negative rating on his healthcare plan, they also rate him negatively on the economy, the Federal budget, immigration and foreign policy.
Granted, poll numbers can change quickly. It’s far from certain that voters will still feel the same way a year from now, when it will be time to vote for the men and women who will represent them in Congress. But given these numbers today, it’s easy to see why so many Democrats — especially those who will be seeking re-election in areas where Republicans have traditionally done well — are bordering on all-out panic.
Let’s do everything we can to make sure their worst fears are justified.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.