Recently, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a poll to judge the American public’s knowledge and opinion of the Affordable Care Act. Perhaps the most outrageous result from this poll is that, of those individuals uninsured, nearly 9 out of 10 of them did not know that open enrollment begins in November. Almost ninety percent of the people who this law aims to help did not know when they could enroll to receive the claimed benefits of this law. Additionally, two thirds of the individuals polled knew very little or nothing at all about how the health insurance market place works and just over half of the respondents without health insurance did not know that the law provides financial aid for individuals with low to moderate incomes. This begs the question: If the health law is as beneficial for these individuals as the administration and its supporters say it is, then why are the people who the program is supposed to help being properly informed by the law?
Cynics, such as myself, tend to believe that this is because the administration wants to attempt to hide the healthcare law until after the election. The Democrats are getting beat up on this issue in the polls – 43 percent of all individuals polled in the Kaiser poll view the law unfavorably – and many believe that insurance rates will rise significantly for 2015. The administration and the Democratic Party seem to not want the American public discovering that the law that is meant to save them money will continue to cost them more in the future. So of course the administration would not want to educate the public on the health exchange website.
This flies in the face of what individuals usually do when they produce something groundbreaking. They generally want it shared with the world and with as many individuals as possible. A brief look into this president’s past reveals that he wants to wave his own banner as well. I mean, he did take down Bin Laden all on his own, right? Yet now, when it comes to a law that is supposed to help people, the administration is not waving their own banner. Something is obviously wrong here. Why would an administration that truly enjoys touting its own success suddenly hide something as big as the health care law?
I believe that this comes back to two core issues. The first issue is that the “young invincibles” – healthy young adults who often forgo health insurance – are not signing up for insurance coverage like the administration was hoping they would. This has caused the risk that the insurance exchanges are taking on to be much higher than expected, causing the rates to increase. The second issue is one that I have had with the law since its passing, and that is that lawmakers did not understand what they were passing. This is even more clear now that we have entered the second year of the law’s implementation. There have been several ramifications from this rule that lawmakers have wanted to sweep under the rug along with several legal decisions going against the initial drafting and interpretation of the law. It has been made clear that the more we implement this law, the more it seems to deviate from what the American people were promised.
The ACA has been surrounded with issues since its passing. Now the administration and many supporters of the law want to delay discussing the issue until after the election. The failure of those in power to properly educate the individuals whom the law is targeting to benefit shows that they want little to do with the unpopular legislation at this moment. It causes me to wonder if this legislation has lived up to the expectations of the administration and what changes, if any, will be made to attempt to meet these lofty expectations.
“There is a Health Law?”
“The second issue is one that I have had with the law since its passing, and that is that lawmakers did not understand what they were passing.”
“It has been made clear that the more we implement this law, the more it seems to deviate from what the American people were promised.”
I would add another dimension: As Mark Steyn and other commentators have suggested, so many of the details of the law were left to be filled in later in the form of regulations written by agencies like HHS, and the Obama administration has created so many (probably unconstitutional) waivers and variances from the law, that we might almost as well say that there is no health-care “law”; Congress might almost as well have passed a law saying simply, “Health-care policy will be whatever the president declares it to be.”
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