As the rollout of Obamacare continues to go from bad to worse, longstanding allies of the President are beginning to go public with their concerns over their healthcare law’s blatant flaws. The Chicago Tribune, who endorsed the President twice, put out a scathing editorial serializing the problems of Obamacare and calling for a rethink of the law.
“If you've tried to sign up online for health coverage under the problem-plagued Obamacare exchange, our sympathies. Many people have tried to create accounts and shop for insurance under the new law. Few have succeeded. Those that have enrolled have found that the system is prone to mistakes. Some applications have been sent to the wrong insurance company…Wait. It gets worse. Those who have managed to browse the marketplace have often been hit by sticker shock. Take Adam Weldzius, a nurse practitioner and single father from Carpentersville. He sought the same level of coverage on the exchange as he and his 7-year-old daughter have now, with the same insurer and the same network of doctors and hospitals. At best, Weldzius found, his monthly premium of $233 would more than double. If he chose a plan priced at the same level, the annual deductible would be $12,700, more than three times his current $3,500 deductible.”
If that opening paragraph wasn’t indicting enough, the paper went further, highlighting the administration’s hypocrisy and mistruths regarding its implementation:
• Illinois officials boasted that insurance premiums here would be lower than expected. But the Tribune reported Sunday that 21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered for Cook County residents have whopping annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage. That's much more than many families can afford to pay.
• The Obama administration delayed issuing major rules to set up the exchanges until after the 2012 presidential election and refused to push back the Oct. 1 launch date, lest Republicans take political advantage, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
• Sloppy design of the architecture of the computer system, not simply an overload of users, created the problems that are blocking people from applying online for coverage, The Wall Street Journal reported last week. "These are not glitches," an insurance executive who has participated in many conference calls on the federal exchange told the Times. "The extent of the problems is pretty enormous. At the end of our calls, people say, 'It's awful, just awful.' ''
Furthermore the Tribune recommends what many have called for, which is a one year delay of the individual mandate. While the President seems determined to watch this “train-wreck” unfold on its own, the collateral damage is beginning to pile up. The President should at the very least take the Tribune’s advice, who conclude “the law has to change.”