Yesterday the president went on television from the Rose Garden, flanked by supporters who would supposedly benefit from the Affordable Care Act, to answer for the miserable failure that the Healthcare.gov site launch has become. It isn’t worth going into what he said, other than to report that the impression of several people on Twitter that this was not the speech they expected. They expected a “we have to fix this for the people who desperately need coverage” speech and got… well, not that. Something about ObamaCare being more than a website, and that the law worked blah blah blah here’s an 800 number to call.
Oh, and some chick fainted during the speech.
I didn’t give it much thought, except to be amused by Twitter’s reaction. For the record, I do not watch the president’s speeches, ever. I get the quotes from my Journalist Twitter timeline, and then check the blogs later to see if there was anything remarkable that Twitter missed. Twitter rarely misses anything, though, so I’m up to date without having to hear or see an actual speech.
As expected, the usual progressive suspects have been trying to spin the launch failures as a “glitch”, and the president upgraded that from “glitch” to the plural “kinks”. From talking to a few programmers, I can guess that the website problems were not a surprise to anyone involved. And as many conservatives have been predicting for years, the fundamental flaws of the system itself are coming to light.
The salesmanship that has gone into ObamaCare over the past few years has been astounding, and full of heartbreaking stories of people denied coverage, people suffering with pre-existing conditions, people unable to afford insurance coverage. These Apostles of Obamacare have caused a huge number of people to associate “coverage” with “health care” as well, leaving conservatives having to first unravel the confusion before being able to address the issues. And by that time, most of the uninformed have tuned out. They don’t want to KNOW how it all works; they want to feel good that some people who didn’t have health care now have health care. The progressives sold it this way over and over. And people who thought it sounded good and generous and kind thought they were doing a great thing.
Now, even liberal bloggers are experiencing buyer’s remorse. And Reason reports that the “Obama Administration Didn’t Know When Obamacare’s Mandate Penalty Deadline Was Until a Tax Prep Firm Told Them“. Salena Zito believes ObamaCare could go the way of Prohibition, while Derek Hunter thinks “Progressives Made Their Beds, It’s Time They Lay In It“. I’ve read all this and more, trying to figure out the best way to keep fighting, the next thing I ought to do.
And then I saw Matt Walsh’s “The Definitive Guide to How Obamacare is Destroying American Lives” and I dropped everything else I was doing and read it. Well, a lot of it. Before I was halfway through (it’s hella long) I was compelled to share it, and to start writing this. And I’m shaking as I write this, and doing my best to keep my emotions in check long enough to type some coherent sentences.
As Matt says:
Many of the families facing financial ruin because of the ACA are young. Many are single mothers. Moreover, the vast majority of these emails are from women. I thought Obamacare was supposed to especially help women? Well, I guess for every Sandra Fluke, there’s a million Annes from Nebraska. The former, deeply concerned about getting cheap birth control on the tax payer’s dime. The latter, more worried about having access to affordable lifesaving medication for their children. With Obamacare, the former takes precedent over the latter.
And I bet he’s right; for every sob story the Apostles of ObamaCare trot out, there are hundreds, THOUSANDS, of people whose lives are being turned upside-down due to this debacle. These stories are sad, frustrating, and they hit close to home, because so many of us are going to find ourselves in similar situations…
We were able to afford insurance for our family of six for our entire marriage (12 years) until the “Affordable” Care Act forced our insurance company to jack rates over a year in advance because they were already suffering added expenses from Obamacare. We had to cancel our insurance and have now been uninsured for over a year. We will not be enrolling in Obamacare, which means we are uninsured AND looking at a huge financial penalty, and we are just praying our four sons don’t do anything boyish and need to visit the ER.
We priced healthcare thru the new system and because we’re not on welfare, it would cost us a whopping $1800 a month for coverage. It sucks because our current coverage thru work doesn’t even cover well child visits or immunizations for our kids.
On top of it all, Obama and his lackeys worked into their Healthcare Reform Bill additional taxes for “landlords”. We had to move due to a job change and the market was so horrible in North Carolina we would have had to take a loss on our home. Instead we rented it out and thanks to Obama, now have to pay TAX on the rental money paid to us….not rental PROFIT, ALL RENT paid. Never mind that we are not making a cent on the deal – in fact when property taxes and homeowners insurance are factored in, we are losing $700 a month. The additional tax ON TOP of the rental “income” and personal loss just feels like he’s pouring salt in the wound.
I live on my pension plus Social Security, which I started drawing this year at age 62. Been treated twice for cancer in the last five years. My current Blue Cross policy is not great, but it’s what I could afford. It is not acceptable under the ACA, however and I’ll be losing it just after the first of the year. Preliminary inquiries into another policy point toward a doubling of my annual deductible (from $5,000.00 a year to $10,000.00) and a more than $200.00 increase in my already-substantial monthly premium payments.
And the stories keep coming. Matt has already stated he’ll probably roll out more of them in a second post – he got too many responses to include in one post.
My first instinct on reading it was to share the crap out of the piece, so I tagged people and shared the piece using all my social media. Check.
My next instinct was to tag my elected officials. Check.
My third instinct was to tag the GOP with the post. Check.
My fourth instinct was to make a note to check my own insurance changes for next year. Check.
And finally, I thought about how few people who need to read those stories will get to see that blog post.
The stories need ILLUSTRATING, not just telling. We’ve done a fair job of telling some stories, but we have dropped the ball on making them accessible and visual and relatable and shareable. So here’s what I think we need to do:
1) Share Matt’s blog with your elected officials. Every member of Congress needs to have this in his in-box multiple times. Tag them on social media. E-mail it to their offices. Get this piece, these stories, in front of every elected official at the federal level, then move to your state-level politicians.
2) Go talk to friends and neighbors and relatives, and find out who is getting these notices of astronomical increases in their insurance rates and deductibles. Find people who are losing their insurance. Ask them if they’ll send their stories to Matt at ObamacareMakesMeSick@Yahoo.com. Ask them further if they’ll record a one minute video explaining how ObamaCare is hurting them, and upload it to You Tube (and link us to it in the comments!). And don’t be afraid to talk about it. You won’t lose anything by asking, and the subject should come up easily, since the website failure is all over the news. People who may have completely supported the IDEA of coverage for everyone are now seeing how they are going to have to pay for it, and that it will hurt them. Encourage them to tell their stories.
Depending on Republicans in Congress, or the RNC for that matter, to spread the horror stories of ObamaCare isn’t going to cut it. I don’t think a smirk-filled round of “I TOLD YOU SO” is going to help matters, either. And if I’m right, the sheer numbers of individuals losing coverage, losing hours, losing jobs, will drown out all the “success stories” of Obamacare and its apologists. I think we have to try. If we are going to build enough opposition to it to get it repealed (especially when there are positive solutions like THIS ONE to point to as an alternative) we are going to have to start doing it ourselves.
But that’s okay. Liberty is a Do It Yourself project, anyway.