New dose of Obamacare pain arriving by mail

New dose of Obamacare pain arriving by mail

After nearly four years of covering the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” it's hard not to laugh at a story today in the San Jose Mercury News about two San Francisco Bay Area Obama voters who are shocked at the increased cost of their health care.

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“Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama,” the Mercury news said. “Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.”

Vinson, a 60-year old retired teacher will pay $1,800 more a year for her individual policy. Waschura, 52, self-employed engineer, will have to pay $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.

This isn't funny, although the irony is. We at CalWatchdog, along with many in the new media, have been warning about the impending fallout of Obamacare. Our critics accused us of everything from being doom-and-bloomers, to wanting poor people to die.

CalWatchdog stories provided data, numbers, facts, studies, and quoted health care experts. But as is the case with so many, people apparently need to experience things first hand in order to learn.

Surprisingly, even with the painful reality of the significant health care cost increases, the San Jose Mercury News called media stories warning about Obamacare-induced cost increases, “political rhetoric.”

“For years, the nation has been embroiled in the political rhetoric of 'Obamacare,' but this past week the reality of the new law sank in as millions of Americans had their first good look at how the 3 1/2-year-old legislation will affect their pocketbooks,” the Mercury News said.

Obamacare facts page says, “In exchange for the new rights and protections most Americans must obtain health coverage by 2014, get an exemption, or pay a fee.

Covered California spokesman Dana Howard defended the “winners and losers” under Obamacare. “Some people will see an increase who are already on the individual market purchasing insurance,” he said, “but most people will not,” Howard said.

Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, claims on its website, “Your destination for affordable health care.”

I guess that depends on who you ask.

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The list of who won't have to pay for health care under the Affordable Care Act is long. “The shared responsibility payment (IRS penalty) should not apply to any taxpayer for whom coverage is unaffordable, who has other good cause for going without coverage, or who goes without coverage for only a short time,” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The list of exemptions to the payment of Obamacare exempts just about everyone except the middle class and those who pay income tax.

“I really don't like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this,” Waschura said. “When you take $10,000 out of my family's pocket each year, that's otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”

“I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,” Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, and the Republicans' charge to defund Obamacare.

But it was okay that the $10,000 health care cost was going to come out of someone else's pocket.

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