Editorial: Health insurance is not a used car
10/10/2013 - The Charleston Daily Mail
CHARLESTON - During the short debate in 2009 on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Obama assured the public that there would be no changes for most people.
"If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance," Obama said.
"If you've got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor.
"Nobody is trying to change what works in the system. We are trying to change what doesn't work in the system."
But four years later the reality is Obamacare jeopardizes the employer-based health insurance for millions of American workers.
Charleston Area Medical Center announced part-time workers will lose their health insurance because the hospital does not want to pay an Obamacare tax on having a Cadillac health insurance plan.
That's right. Obamacare actually limits health coverage for millions of Americans by taxing employers whom the government deems as too generous.
But if CAMC's plan is a Cadillac — and one would expect a hospital to offer good health benefits — then Medicaid is a 12-cylinder Bentley that costs four times the price of an Escalade.
Consider that Medicaid coverage comes for many people without a premium, without a deductible and without a co-payment.
Obamacare encouraged states to provide Bentley coverage to more people — at the expense of federal taxpayers.
But the increase in the cost of Medicaid coverage for people already in the system is part of the reason many state agencies in West Virginia had to cut their budgets by 7.5 percent. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is considering a similar cut next year.
CAMC officials are looking ahead in cutting employee benefits.
"Part of health care reform's effect is that large employers have to take a look at who they cover," CAMC spokesman Dale Witte told Daily Mail Business Editor Jared Hunt.
"Most are planning to make some changes to their plan over the next four years."
Obamacare is not what the president promised.
America deserves better: a bipartisan plan that does not destroy a system that works for 85 percent of the people.