Obama reminds the uninsured of March 31 signup deadline; McConnell continues to point out the pitfalls of reform

On the fourth anniversary of the law that has informally come to bear his name, President Obama reminded uninsured Americans that they have only one more week to sign up for coverage under open enrollment.

He also dismissed Republican calls to repeal or replace the law, first citing the relief one woman shared with him after she used her new insurance for the first time: “I felt like a human being again. I felt like I had value.”

Obama said, “This is what’s at stake any time anyone, out of some outdated obsession, pledges to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act. And that’s why my administration will spend the fifth year of this law and beyond working to implement and improve on it.” (Read more)

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell took the anniversary as an opportunity to remind voters of the pitfalls of “a deeply misguided expieriment,” noting in an op-ed piece that Obama “pledged that Americans could keep their health care plans
and their doctors and that their coverage would be ‘more secure and
stable’ than before” and that journalistic fact-checkers called that “the lie of the year.”

McConnell cited the example of Angela Strobel of Owensboro, “a mother of five girls [who] not only lost her insurance, she also lost a trusted family doctor to Obamacare. In a perfect summary of modern liberalism, one of the billing clerks for Kentucky’s Obamacare exchange told Angela that since she now qualifies for Medicaid, she’d be breaking the law if she tried to pay more out of her own pocket just to keep her old doctor. Medicaid rules forbid it. The upshot: for Angela and her family, it’s either Medicaid
or a monthly premium increase of nearly $1,000.”

Medicaid is free, but many doctors don’t treat Medicaid beneficiaries, and most insurance policies sold through the exchanges have fewer providers to choose from because some providers were not willing to limit their charges in order to be part of the insurance network.

“A recent analysis by the management consulting firm McKinsey
& Co.
found that only a fraction of the biggest local hospitals in a given
coverage area will accept Obamacare patients,” McConnell wrote. “An Associated Press study found
that only four of the 19 cancer centers it surveyed would give Obamacare
patients access to its cancer care through the new Obamacare exchanges in their
states. This is progress?” (Read more)

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