Real stories: The pain of Obamacare

Reince Priebus Chairman, Republican National Committee
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Fewer than 27,000 Americans have selected an insurance plan from the Obamacare website Healthcare.gov. But millions of Americans have lost their insurance plans thanks to Obamacare — and millions more are reeling from higher premiums, lost jobs, and lower wages.

The RNC created GOP.com/TellUs for these Americans to share their Obamacare stories. Day after day, the responses keep coming in.

Here’s more of what Americans are saying about Obamacare. This is the real impact of the law.

Sandy E. from Florida says, “I’m a single woman, a few years too young for Medicare, who’s bought my own health insurance for the majority of my life because my employers never offered this benefit. I lost my last full time job in late 2008. The only job I’ve been able to find is part time … [I’m] now working around 25 hours a week for 25 percent of what I earned in 2008. Three weeks ago I received a letter from AvMed stating they were terminating my policy due to the Affordable Care Act. My coverage ends December 31, 2013. Independent polices are quoting me prices starting at $830.00 per month. How can I afford this?”

Joe D. of Pennsylvania writes, “I am a small business owner … . Our Management Team spend[s] a lot of time every year trying to keep our employees’ cost of healthcare down by aggressive negotiation and creative plan design/redesign every year. Like most companies, we pass on roughly 25 percent of the plan[‘s] cost to our employees. During our current renewal process, our insurer (Capital Blue Cross) has informed us that our plan no longer ‘complies’ with the ACA. They cited limits on mental health coverage and chiropractor visits among the shortcomings. As such, they were canceling the plan we had purchased for the past 3 years and offered a new plan that was compliant and close to what we had, but the new premium was 48 percent higher! We of course can’t absorb nor can our employees absorb anything near that kind of increase.”

Jeffrey S. from Pennsylvania says, “Approximately 6 years ago I switched from a conventional medical insurance plan to a High Deductible Plan paired with a Health Savings Account. That move lowered my total health care cost by around 45 percent annually. I loved the plan, the tax incentives, and the fact that I could now pay for items like dental crowns, glasses and contacts using my HSA — things I had no coverage for under my previous plan. Last year, due entirely to Obamacare mandated changes to my policy, my premiums jumped 39 percent. I am now paying for things I will never use such as maternity care and dental care for my children through age 18. I am single and have no children. I just received another letter from my carrier telling me that my premiums are going to increase again and that my policy can no longer be written after December 2014. I am furious with this administration and its lies.”

Deborah S. from North Carolina writes, “My husband is a self-employed furniture designer and I do not work outside the home. We have had BCBS of North Carolina for the past ten years and each year have seen our monthly premiums rise because of age and other factors. [In September,] we received a letter from BCBSNC that advised us that our monthly premium would be rising from $555.77 to $1100.38, an increase of $544.61 per month mostly due to the Affordable Care Act. Needless to say, we cannot afford this increase and are now being forced onto an exchange that is not working. I am fearful of our future for the very first time in my life.”

Leslie L. from Nebraska says, “Although not affecting me personally, [ObamaCare] is affecting my son, [his] wife and two daughters. His employer has opted to no longer supplement insurance, so they will have to go to the exchange. With increased monthly costs from this ‘affordable’ insurance there is a possibility they will not be able to also afford mortgage payments and so may lose their house. This could bankrupt them.”

“How can I afford this?”

“I am fearful of our future.”

“This could bankrupt them.”

“I am furious with this administration.”

This is the impact of Obamacare.

The president said Obamacare would save families money. He lied. The president said you could keep your plan. He lied. The president said you could keep your doctor. Again, he lied.

Now Americans are paying the price for those lies, and the outcries of American families fall on deaf ears in the president’s party. Republicans sounded the alarm from the beginning, and we will keep fighting to end this disastrous law and get health reform right.

“First, do no harm,” should be the guiding principle of healthcare reform. Obamacare fails to meet that standard in a devastating way.