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Janet Perez (R) oversees specialists (top) as they help callers and potential customers find health insurance at a customer contact and call center for HealthSource RI, Rhode Island Janet Perez (R) oversees specialists (top) as they help callers and potential customers find health insurance at a customer contact and call center for HealthSource RI, Rhode Island's health insurance exchange program for the Affordable Care Act or "ObamaCare," in Providence, R.I., Oct. 25, 2013. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)  

Think tank collects Obamacare failure stories

Photo of Chuck Ross
Chuck Ross
Reporter

A North Carolina think tank has set up a website to gather the stories of people who are worse off under Obamacare.

The anecdotes come from people who have either lost their health plans or are experiencing steep increases in their premiums and deductibles.

So far, the Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank based in Raleigh, has posted 50 Obamacare failure stories on its “I Couldn’t Keep My Plan” website.

Civitas undertook the plan to fact-check President Obama’s vow, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep you health care plan, period.”

“The only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less than you are spending now,” the president also said.

That promise has not panned out, as millions of people across that country have been informed that their health plans don’t meet Obamacare’s new requirements.

For example, California’s Kaiser Permanente recently sent notices to 160,000 people who will be dropped from their insurance plans. At least 300,000 people in Florida will lose their plans.

“This is outrageous!” one woman wrote to Civitas.

“Currently our premium is $300.43 and will rise to $767.68 next year. On top of the huge premium increase our deductible will be $5,500 per person and $11,000 for the family (there are two of us).”

The woman wrote that she and her husband will buy cheaper insurance plans and pay a penalty. People who either don’t purchase insurance or whose policies do not meet Obamacare’s strict coverage standards must pay a penalty.

Under Obamacare health insurance plans that aren’t grandfathered in must cover a wider range of illnesses and conditions including pre-existing conditions, mental health, and maternity care.

One 63-year-old woman submitted her story to Civitas:

“I purchased a Blue Advantage Bronze 5500 insurance plan from BCBSNC for $94.00 per month. I received a letter on September 24 stating that beginning Jan. 1 my new premium would be $651.48. Affordable Health Care??? Are you kidding me?”

A man from New York submitted the story of his wife, an adjunct professor whose workload will be trimmed because of Obamacare.

“The school is going to restrict her to 2 classes/sem because that is the cutoff for part time work. She usually teaches 3-4.”

Many employers across the country have cut employees’ hours to avoid the Obamacare mandate that says that employees averaging greater than 30 hours must be covered by their employers.

One 57 year-old man who is self-employed wrote that his premiums with Blue Cross Blue Shield will increase by over $8,000 and that other out-of-pocket expenses for catastrophic care will increase by a similar amount.

“I do not know many that wouldn’t be taking up their pitchforks and torches and storming the Capitol if Congress raised taxes $8,000 to $16,000 in one year and all future years on middle income families.”