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Sentinel Story: “Affordable Care Act, That’s a Misnomer If I Ever Heard One”

Our first reaction when we got the letter: I was so enraged and so was Jim.  And we had to just step back from it and just process it and look at what’s really going on in this country.  – Vicki White, Alabama

After nearly 10 years with the individual “blue” plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, with a premium of $402 per month and a $5,000 out of pocket deductible, Vicki and Jim White received a letter in the mail that infuriated them.  They are a hardworking, responsible, healthy couple, so they chose a health insurance plan with a higher deductible, and were putting money in a health savings account. 

Previously a small business owner, Vicki is the office manager at a physical therapy clinic. Her husband, Jim, is a high school math teacher and coach. They are conservative to the core and suspected from the inception of the Affordable Care Act that it wasn’t going to be good for the country or America’s healthcare system. But they weren’t prepared for the massive blow Obamacare would be to them personally or how this letter would make them feel. When you hear how much Obamacare changed things for them, you’ll understand why.

The letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield notified them that under Obamacare, their insurance premium would leap from $402 per month to $1,380.28 per month – roughly a 344 percent increase – if they want coverage comparable to their current plan.  This 13 hundred dollar “gold” plan has a $6,000 out of pocket deductible.

So they went online in search of a plan that was more comparable in terms of cost.  The cheapest plan they could get from Blue Cross Blue Shield is the “bronze” plan, which has a premium of $861 per month and an out of pocket deductible of $12,600.  This means, even if they purchased the cheapest plan available to them, they’d have to spend nearly $23 thousand in one year “before a dime would be paid.”

It’s no wonder Vicki added:

We had the understanding that this whole orchestration of the quote unquote Affordable Care Act was to push the populous into a single payer system, a government controlled system, to ultimately control every facet of your life.

These concerns are not unfounded.  As the law has unfolded, it has become painfully clear that the Affordable Care Act is not about helping people get affordable health care.  In most states, insurance on the Obamacare health exchanges will cost more than existing insurance according to Heritage research.

Obamacare is about government controlling the intimate details of our lives, and in many cases, it may mean individuals are forced to violate their conscience.

Vicki’s concerns are serious and extend beyond health care to privacy and the very nature of what it means to live in America:

Once the government has your health care in the palm of their hand, they can jerk the strings on you and you will jump.

I’m involved in the medical community here, and there are HIPPA laws in place to protect privacy.  The Affordable Care Act – that’s a misnomer if I ever heard one – this law is going to expose every aspect of your medical history.  God only knows who is going to abuse that information.  There is no accountability for anyone in the Obama administration at any level.

The Heritage Foundation recently interviewed Dr. Ben Carson at the Values Voter Summit, and he reminded us of the philosophy of Vladimir Lenin, if you can control health care “that’s they keystone to creating a socialist society.”

This story – and the millions of other stories like this one – would have been different if conservatives’ warnings had been heeded, and if the Affordable Care Act had been defunded and repealed.  Tragically, leftists in government were more concerned with saving face and protecting Mr. Obama’s legacy than with listening to the voices of their constituents.

But for the sake of Jim, Vicki, and millions of other Americans being harmed by Obamacare, conservatives are going to continue to fight this unaffordable, unworkable law until it is defeated.

Jim and Vicki White are the parents of Heritage Action legislative strategist Drew White. 

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Please Share Your Thoughts
  • Barry McPhail

    The
    problem with articles like this is that the numbers are public information…..right there on
    the exchange for everyone to see who is not too lazy to sit down at a
    computer and go look.

    The article leaves out numerous important details

    Assuming:
    Average salary of a high school teacher in Alabama $50,000
    Average salary of a medical clinic manager in Birmingham $60,000

    total annual income $110,000, so not eligible for subsidy
    I’m going to assume they do not smoke.

    Call him 50 and her 48

    Residents of Jefferson County, Birmingham

    a Blue Value Silver plan from BCBS from the Exchange, with
    $2400 deductible NOT $6,000
    20% coinsurance
    $6,350 yearly out of pocket limit

    $689.55
    _____________________

    Blue Saver Bronze
    $6350 deductible
    ZERO coinsurance
    $6360 yearly out of pocket limit NOT $12,600

    $556.37

    ______________________

    Oh,
    and the only plan on the exchange that comes close to the $1380.28
    price quoted in the article is not a gold plan but a platinum one:

    $100 deductible NOT $6000
    0% coinsurance
    $4,000 yearly out of pocket limit, NOT $6,000
    _______________________

    Yes,
    still more. But at their apparent age, for a family policy, their
    cancelled policy must have had significant shortcomings and absolutely
    didn’t cover preventative medicine for zero copay.

    ____________________

    The short version: one or more of the following is true:

    1. They are being screwed by BCBS who is using the confusion surrounding the ACA to run a con on their present customers or
    2. They or someone misused and/or misunderstood the exchange
    3. They or someone pulled their figures straight out of their patootie.

    ____________________

    The even shorter version, and pardon my Anglo-Saxon:

    Bull. Shit.

    • Mike Heffley

      But the key thing is, you are guessing. You do not know the ages of the adults, if there are children, if they smoke… You are missing alot of required information in order to be accurate. Without that, any information you pull up will be wrong. You guessed 50 and 48 (coincidence that the break point is 49?), but they could just as well be 55-60. You can post all the numbers you want, but unless you know these people personally and know the other key factors, anything you say will be discounted.

      And we won’t even go to the part about how Obama said “If you like your health plan, you can keep it!”. This is just another story that highlights how much of a lie that statement was.

      • Rocketvat

        He has to guess because the article didn’t include any information about the previous coverage. We just get the same “similar policy” line that I see in every single one of these stories and are expected to just believe this anecdote from an organization predisposed to think Obama is satan incarnate. Based on what we KNOW about the healthcare system before ACA it’s just not plausible to believe a family of three with two adults in their late 40s or 50s had an adequate insurance policy for only $400 a month.

        Remember when everyone hated the insurance system in 2007? Why are people suddenly pretending everyone got great coverage at a great price? It’s insane!

        • Mike Heffley

          How is it not plausible? You are making the assumption that they had health issues and their coverage was not “adequate”. And where did the 3rd person come from? Re-read the article and it does not mention a third person covered. But by the looks of these people, it would also be a safe bet to say that they are past the time for having children, so they would not need pre-natal or birth control coverage at the very least. The article does say that they are healthy and also had a HSA (Health Savings Account). So if they only had a catastrophic coverage policy with money in the HSA to cover the deductible, it is entirely plausible that they had “adequate” coverage. Just because you may think that their coverage was inadequate, it does not mean that they did, and I would also venture a guess that if they thought it was, they would not have held the same policy for 10 years.

          And the statement that “everyone hated the insurance system” is also a falsehood. There were some that did true, but saying everyone did is not true. I liked my old policy better than my new one.

  • Barry McPhail

    Second:

    Since you are required to provide NO health information in order to purchase policies on the exchange, since it is now ILLEGAL to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions, what “intimate health details” out of the total list of NOTHING, are you worried about sharing?

    • lissmth

      Every single medical contact will now go into the medical database that was created in the Stimulus bill. Your medical dossier will include your psychiatrist visits, your anti-seizure meds, and your aching tooth. Enjoy.

  • Barry McPhail

    Hey I’m a pinkocommieliberal so I don’t expect you to take my word for it….go to the exchanges and SEE FOR YOUR OWN FRIKKIN EYES, for pete’s sake.

    • StanO360

      I did, we have a $2500 deductible basic plan for a family of four, $650 a month. For not even equivalent silver plan, $1050 in CA.

  • Guest

    Fair is fair. Not mentioned in article but found to be true: they are older >50 and have a 19 year old living at home. The numbers for the bronze plan as quoted in the article are about correct.

    But the gold plan numbers are way out of line. The deductibles for BCBS Gold plans are $500 or $600 not $6000. Much better than they have now. And those monthly premiums will be defrayed somewhat by the 0% copay preventative medicine they will get.

    The article leaves out numerous important details

    Assuming:
    Average salary of a high school teacher in Alabama $50,000
    Average salary of a medical clinic manager in Birmingham $60,000

    total annual income $110,000, so not eligible for subsidy
    I assume that they do not smoke.

    Call him 55 and her 54

    Residents of Lee County, AL

    a Blue Value Silver plan from BCBS from the Exchange, with
    $4800 deductible ..
    20% coinsurance
    $12,700 yearly out of pocket limit

    $967.51/mo
    _____________________

    I would REALLY like to know what that $400 policy actually covered. At their apparent age, for a family policy, their cancelled policy must have had significant shortcomings and absolutely didn’t have no lifetime limit and did not cover preventative medicine for zero copay.

    • lissmth

      And again. What that couple chooses to buy is not your business.

  • Guest

    The article leaves out numerous important details. Not mentioned
    in the article but found to be true: they are older >50 and have a child living at home.

    First, fair is fair: the numbers for the bronze plan as quoted in
    the article are about correct. But a bronze plan would be a terrible choice for them. It is basically a plan for a catastrophic rainy day…It pays nothing until expenses reach $12,700…but then……after that, it pays everything. Zero percent out of pocket. And still comes with the ten essential benefits at zero copay.

    A silver plan (detailed below) would be a much better choice for this family.

    The gold plan numbers in the article are way, way out of line. The deductibles for
    BCBS Gold plans are $500 or $600 not $6000. Much better than they have
    now. They pay more but they get a lot.

    Now: A Blue Value Silver plan from BCBS from the Alabama Exchange, with
    $4800 deductible ..
    20% coinsurance
    $12,700 yearly out of pocket limit

    $967.51/mo

    Yes, more than double what they are paying now, but they get a lot more for their money.

    I would REALLY like to know what that $400 policy actually covered. At their apparent age, for a family policy, their cancelled policy must have had very significant shortcomings.

    • lissmth

      Barry McPhail again comes back as “Guest.” Their business, again, is not your business.

  • Barry McPhail

    The article leaves out numerous important details. Not mentioned
    in the article but found to be true: they are older >50 and have a child living at home.

    First, fair is fair: the numbers for the bronze plan as quoted in
    the
    article are about correct. But a bronze plan would be a terrible choice
    for them. It is basically a plan for a catastrophic rainy day…It
    pays nothing until expenses reach $12,700…but then……after that, it
    pays everything. Zero percent out of pocket. And still comes with
    the ten essential benefits at zero copay.

    A silver plan (detailed below) would be a much better choice for this family.

    The gold plan numbers in the article are way, way out of line. The deductibles for
    BCBS Gold plans are $500 or $600 not $6000. Much better than they have
    now. They pay more but they get a lot.

    Now: A Blue Value Silver plan from BCBS from the Alabama Exchange, with
    $4800 deductible ..
    20% coinsurance
    $12,700 yearly out of pocket limit

    $967.51/mo

    Yes, more than double what they are paying now, but they get a lot more for their money. If one of them stepped off a curb and had a million dollars in hospital expenses, these policies will take care of them.

    I would REALLY like to know what that $400 policy actually covered.
    At their apparent age, for a family policy, their cancelled policy
    must have had very significant shortcomings.

    • lissmth

      So Barry McPhail comes back as “Guest.” Their business, again, is not your business.

  • Barry McPhail

    The article leaves out numerous important details. Not mentioned
    in the article but found to be true: they are older >50 and have a child living at home.

    First, fair is fair: the numbers for the bronze plan as quoted in
    the
    article are about correct. But a bronze plan would be a terrible choice
    for them. It is basically a plan for a catastrophic rainy day…It
    pays nothing until expenses reach $12,700…but then……after that, it
    pays everything. Zero percent out of pocket. And still comes with
    the ten essential benefits including preventative services like colonoscopies at zero copay.

    A silver plan (detailed below) would be a much better choice for this family.

    The gold plan numbers in the article are way, way out of line. The deductibles for
    BCBS Gold plans are $500 or $600 not $6000. Much better than they have
    now. They pay more but they get a lot.

    Now: A Blue Value Silver plan from BCBS from the Alabama Exchange, with
    $4800 deductible ..
    20% coinsurance
    $12,700 yearly out of pocket limit

    $967.51/mo

    Yes, more than double what they are paying now, but they get a lot
    more for their money. If one of them stepped off a curb and had a
    million dollars in hospital expenses, these policies will take care of
    them.

    I would REALLY like to know what that $400 policy actually covered.
    At their apparent age, for a family policy, their cancelled policy
    must have had very significant shortcomings.

    • StanO360

      You sir are either quite ignorant or deluded. for almost $5000 a year (that’s assuming nothing bad happens) you can get a LOT of colonoscopies for that, and their plan may have been an MSA plan too and all those advantages are lost as well.

      If you have ever bought your own plan you would know that the math for a high deductible and CHEAP plan pay out well in the long run. But a high deductible and EXPENSIVE plan has NO redeeming qualities.

    • Art Watson

      A much better plan would have been for the governemnt to have stayed away from their health insurance plan to begin with

    • oncedarkness

      Yes Barry you would really like to know. But sir, IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

    • Arnold Whitman

      Of course!!!!! YOU ARE RIGHT, Barry. After all, it wasn’t Vickie and Jim that got the letter – it was YOU who got the Blue Cross letter and it was YOU who shopped – not them!!!! A$$hole!!!!

      • Lilly Peace

        Grow up! You must be a great role model in life. An adult who calls others online vulgar names. Real classy!

    • lissmth

      Who are you, Barry, to tell these people what they should want? Who are you to be telling the male in the family that he has to pay for maternity services and Fluke control pills? What that family chooses to buy is their business … and they were happy until Democrats took over that huge part of the economy. Have you ever heard of freedom?

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  • mike hunt

    Gotta love the gov’t paid shills on here commenting.

  • doree10

    Good Luck with this America…He has three year’s to make sure you comply-one way or the other..

  • abbati77

    I don’t know about you but from the picture, they look very happy. Do they really have a health care problem or are they just looking for attention. BTW, if he is a teacher, does not he get health benefits from his employer?

    • concerned

      exactly what I was thinking

  • abbati77

    In another 70 years we will read the same thing about Affordable Care. My assumption is that no one on this site believes or receives Social Security benefits.

    1935: Almost all Republicans in Congress oppose the creation of Social Security.

    1939: 75percent of Republicans in Senate try to kill legislation providing Social Security benefits to dependents and survivors as well as retired workers.

    1950: 79 percent of House and 89 percent of Senate Republicans vote against disability insurance to defeat it.

    1956: 86 percent of Republicans in Senate oppose disability insurance; program approved nonetheless.

    1964: Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan both suggest that Social Security be made voluntary.

  • abbati77

    Boy, history just repeats itself.

    “I am not exaggerating the folly of this legislation. The saving it forces on our workers is a cruel hoax.”

    “I Will Not Promise the Moon”: Alf Landon Opposes the Social Security Act, 1936

    by Alf Landon

    The U.S. Congress enacted the Social Security Act, originally called the “Economic Security Bill,” in August of 1935. The Act was aimed at giving older Americans a pension that would provide them with a reasonable standard of living as they aged. The Social Security Act was politically moderate. The agency created to administer these benefits was to be funded by both employees and their employers, as opposed to using funds collected from general tax money. Still, it represented a milestone in moving this country toward a modern welfare state; as a result of this legislation, the United States joined other industrialized nations in offering old-age pensions and unemployment compensation. Several groups offered a spirited resistance to the program. Alf Landon, the Republican candidate for President in 1936, offered strong opposition to Social Security based on its burden on employers and employees as well as the possibility that the money coming into the Treasury would not be put away for later liabilities.

    …Beginning next January employers must, in addition, begin paying taxes on the payrolls out of which your wages are to come. This is the largest tax bill in history. And to call it “social security” is a fraud on the workingman.

    These taxes start at the rate of $2 in taxes for every $100 of wages. They increase until it is $6 in taxes for every $100 in wages.

    We are told that this $6 will be equally divided between the employer and the employe [sic]. But this is not so, and for a very simple reason. The actual fact will be, in almost every case, that the whole tax will be borne either by the employe [sic] or by the consumer through higher prices. That is the his¬tory of all such taxes. This is because the tax is imposed in such a way that, if the employer is to stay in business, he must shift the tax to some one else.

    Do not forget this: such an excessive tax on payrolls is beyond question a tax on employment. In prosperous times it slows down the advance of wages and holds back re-employment. In bad times it increases unemployment, and unemployment breaks wage scales. The Republican party rejects any feature of any plan that hinders re-employment… …One more sample of the injustice of this law is this: Some workers who come under this new Federal insurance plan are taxed more and get less than workers who come under the State laws already in force.

    For instance, under the new law many workers now 50 years old must pay burdensome taxes for the next fifteen years in order to receive a pension when they are 65; whereas those of the same age who come under some State laws- pay no taxes and yet actually get a larger pension when they reach the age of 65.

    These are a few reasons why I called this law unjust and stupidly drafted. There is a further important point in connection with the compulsory saving provided by the plan of the present administration. According to this plan, our workers are forced to save for a lifetime. What happens to their savings? The administration’s theory is that they go into a reserve fund, that they will be invested at interest, and that in due time this interest will help pay the pensions. The people who drew this law understand nothing of government finance…

    …Let me explain it in another way—in the simple terms of the family budget. The father of the family is a kindly man, so kindly that he borrows all he can to add to the family’s pleasure. At the same time he impresses upon his sons and daughters the necessity of saving for their old age.

    Every month they bring 6 per cent of their wages to him so that he may act as trustee and invest their savings for their old age. The father decides that the best investment is his own I O U. So every month he puts aside in a box his I O U carefully executed, and, moreover, bearing interest at 3 per cent.

    And every month he spends the money that his children bring him, partly in meeting his regular expenses, and the rest in various experiments that fascinate him.

    Years pass, the children grow old, the day comes when they have to open their father’s box. What do they find? Roll after roll of neatly executed I O U’s.

    I am not exaggerating the folly of this legislation. The saving it forces on our workers is a cruel hoax.

    There is every probability that the cash they pay in will be used for current deficits and new extravagances. We are going to have trouble enough to carry out an economy program without having the Treasury flush with money drawn from the workers…

    Source: Alfred M. Landon, “I Will Not Promise the Moon,” Vital Speeches of the Day (October 15, 1936), 26–27.

  • Ed Gonzalez

    Obamacare is not healthcare. Judge Roberts said…” if you wanna tax the people…tax them! What do they know? They voted for a communist…so now do with them what you wish.” Plain and simple. So Obamacare is a tax, given the illusion of being medical coverage. I mean really…do you believe DC cares about your crooked painful toe? NO! What matters is…whether you get a plan or not…it’s payola in the IRS registers! …And all this time you thought you were loved! If you vote a communist into the White House…then, you get a communist in the WH! Now…take your medicine!

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  • Lilly Peace

    I saw a video of Obama saying American’s are stupid. Well, yes heck we are. We have allowed an evil selfish commie to take over our country! But we are not the only stupid people, Obama is an idiot with this ACA. He really thinks people can and will be able to afford a 344% hike in their insurance bills??!! Maybe some, but not most especially the way this economy is going. He just wants to take more $100 Million dollar vacations on the backs of the American people’s hard earned money! He wants young people to sign up, but he puts them on their parents plan until they are 26. Now who is stupid?

  • Sue Hern

    I am a healthy 50 yr old who does not utilize employer health insurance when employed. I am currently unemployed but not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare. This “Affordable Health Care Act” would cost me $300 to $400. a month for myself with a $6,000+ deductible. What a Con piece of legislation! I feel this law violates my Equal Protection Under the Law-I do not utilize health care as I am healthy and under no medications-why should persons in my similar situation be discriminated against with high premiums just because we are in our 40′s and 50′s if we are healthy? There are young people with chronic health conditions but because of their age enjoy low insurance premiums. Can’t this law be challenged in court as being age discriminatory?