The LA Times has been as friendly as possible to the Obama administration, but they can't ignore this. Today they broke the story that another massive lie around Obamacare has been told to the Congress and the American people. As you know "If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan" was ranked as the biggest lie of the year by the Washington Post. Well here comes an early contender for this years award.
The Republicans have been accusing the Obama administration of building into Obamacare an insurance plan for the insurance companies. A bailout if the insurance companies lost money under Obamacare. Their claim was that in the law was something called the temporary risk corridor program. Under that Republicans said the administration had allowed themselves a way to take tax dollars and bailout an insurance company that lost money. But the administration and the Democrats have denied that. Apparently the administration and the Democrats had been telling the truth...and didn't like it.
The LA Times reports that late last week hundreds of pages of new regulations were added to Obamacare. Their reporters went through it and found a few key paragraphs. The change in regulations essentially provides insurers with another backup: If they keep rate increases modest over the next couple of years but lose money, the administration will tap federal funds as needed to cover shortfalls. This could be hundreds of billions of dollars!
This is a classic bait and switch. The middle class will feel like they're getting a break on insurance premiums. As long as they don't look at the governments check book, they'll believe the Affordable Health Care Law is working. It only unravels if they realize they are paying double for their insurance, because the increase is being charged to their account in the form of more debt.
The Republicans are expected to go nuts over this, and the Democrats will point at the scene they are making and say 'look how fanatical those people are'. I would warn Republicans against making a big deal out of this. In the medical field it's called bedside manner. You're about to inform the patient (America) that it has a potentially fatal disease (debt). They are going to get a 2nd opinion from the Democrats that will contradict your diagnosis. If you come off as raving lunatics, the patient will believe the diagnosis of the other doctor who is telling them they're fine. Conservatives don't have the luxury of showing anger anymore. They have been rightly angry over a number of scandals, but it turns the middle off. It's vital that the middle hears and comprehends what your message is.
This won't be classified as a scandal by the media, so we shouldn't either. Talk calmly about the disappointment you feel in the administration burying new regulations into the law, that Congress didn't get to vote on, that will cost us potentially hundreds of billions of dollars. Talk about how crony capitialism between this administration and a select few insurance companies has perpetrated a fraud on the American tax payer to make it seem like the Affordable Healthcare Act is helping to keep costs low when in actuality it is forcing prices to skyrocket while making it more difficult for all Americans to receive treatment. Encourage them to read today's LA Times story. Don't get into arguments with liberals who support wholeheartedly what is happening out of a blind belief that this is helping. You will not win an argument with someone who refuses to look at the facts honestly. And in your rage will potentially dissuade fair minded folks from investigating for themselves. I don't believe Obamacare will the law of the land for long. Sometime around 2017 it will either move to socialized medicine or as the Democrats have branded it "single payer", or it will turn into some free market based system which probably includes some government subsidies and Health Savings Accounts. There is a lot depending on the way this argument is settled and it's important that the patients understand what their decision means for their health.