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Obamacare Bait-and-Switch Bludgeons Californians

Thursday January 26th, 2017   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 8:38am PST   •  

baitswitch“Thousands of people enrolled in Covered California face higher-than-expected bills from their insurers because the exchange sent incorrect tax credit information to the health plans.” That’s the latest from health reporter Emily Bazar, now with Kaiser Health News. As she explains, Covered California, the state’s Obamacare system, send the wrong tax information for 25,000 policy holders, meaning “higher premiums than consumers initially anticipated.” Beth Freeman of San Bruno, for example, is paying $330 a month more than she expected. Covered California mouthpiece Lizelda Lopez told Bazar that most of the victims will “owe more out of pocket than they originally thought.” Freeman was told it was all because of a “computer data error” and there was nothing Covered California could do about it. She called it an example of “bait-and-switch,” but Emily Bazar has already confirmed that it is much worse.

As we noted, last year Covered California dropped 2,000 pregnant women from their plans, and they lost their established doctors and missed prenatal appointments. Bazar had previously charged that Covered California was responsible for “widespread consumer misery,” raising rates 13.2 percent this year, booting people off plans, making it more difficult to cancel policies when people go on Medicare, and other woes. Covered California blamed the $454 million computer system, but had no trouble dishing out $184 million in contracts, without competitive bidding, to firms and people with ties to Covered California bosses. When it comes to prodigious waste, the system functioned just fine. If Californians didn’t like their plan, they had to keep it, and the “bait-and-switch” is much worse than Beth Freeman imagines.

The widespread consumer misery is inherent in the system. Democrat Hillary Clinton supported Obamacare but wanted a switch to a “public option,” and a “single payer,” system. That means government monopoly health care, with Big Brother in charge of all.

On the other hand, Clinton lost the election. Embattled individuals like Beth Freeman, and the 2,000 pregnant women booted off their plan, make a strong case that Obamacare should be scrapped.

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January 2017