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Restoring Obamacare in California

And forgetting the ‘widespread consumer misery’ Covered California inflicted

By Lloyd Billingsley, June 11, 2019 2:44 pm

“On his first day in office, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a sweeping health care plan that would prop up the Affordable Care Act, expand health care for undocumented immigrants and give the state new powers to negotiate drug prices.”

That was Sophia Bollag of the Sacramento Bee, back on January 7. In May, as CBS News reported, “Gov. Gavin Newsom has launched a statewide tour to promote his health care proposals, which include requiring everyone to purchase health insurance and offering subsidies to families of four with incomes as high as $150,000 a year.”

The governor’s effort to revive Obamacare has bypassed some of the hardships Covered California, the state’s wholly-owned subsidiary of the Affordable Care Act, inflicted on Californians. Those were charted by Emily Bazar of the Center for Health Reporting, in her “Ask Emily” series appearing in major newspapers across the state.

Covered California offers tax credits to those who enroll, but when those people reach 65 and go on Medicare they are no longer eligible for the tax credits. Trouble is, they find it practically impossible to cancel their Covered California plan and therefore get hammered with penalties. Bazar recommended declining some or all of the tax credits, increasing the amount of taxes withheld from paychecks, boosting quarterly tax estimates, and having medical procedures done quickly, before Covered California can cancel. Do all that, Bazar wrote, “and keep your fingers crossed.”

In her column, “Five Ways to Reduce Your Obamacare Sticker Shock,” Bazar warned that “minimizing damage won’t be painless.” If Californians opt for a bronze plan, “be sure you can afford the high out-of-pocket costs that come with it.” If Californians don’t like their Obamacare plan and don’t want to keep it, Bazar recalled Obamacare’s punitive side. Next year, the basic penalty for not having health insurance will be “$695 per adult (half of that for kids) or 2.5 percent of your adjusted household income, whichever is greater,” and that “means a lot of money.”

In another report, Bazar explained, “between October 2015 and May of this year, about 2,000 pregnant women were automatically dropped from their Covered California plans and placed into Medi-Cal, even though they had the right to stay with the state insurance exchange. Some women lost their established doctors or missed prenatal appointments.” This happened because, “the Covered California computer system wasn’t programmed to give them the choice, and some pregnant women in that situation were moved immediately into Medi-Cal.” And worse, “the fix comes nearly a year after the problem began,” longer than the term of a pregnancy.

Covered California officials blamed problems on the $454 million computer system which, Bazar wrote, was “responsible for countless glitches and widespread consumer misery.” So Covered California functioned as a kind of misery index for the Golden State, not exactly a ringing endorsement for its restoration.

Under Obamacare, which takes away choice, Californians don’t get the health care they want, only the health care the government wants them to have. That is also the case with “single-payer” systems, a euphemism for government monopoly health care.

Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Sexual Terrorist, about the Golden State Killer, and A Shut and Open Case, about a California murder trial prolonged by Proposition 57 and recent legislation. Lloyd is a fellow with the Independent Institute and his work has appeared in the Daily Caller, City Journal, Orange County Register, Wall Street Journal and many other publications. Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield is a collection of his journalism.

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3 thoughts on “Restoring Obamacare in California

  1. Thankfully, we are getting ready to move to another state that doesn’t breed insane politicians drunk on power and hard left policies and gives us choices for healthcare and not the government one size fits all Obama care disaster that Obama inflicted on Americans.. The democrat party is killing the golden goose named California with European Marxism that just keeps everyone poor and Uber wealthy political hacks like Newsom in power.

  2. I left Long Beach/California at the end of April because I was in two apartments that were sold and everyone was evicted. In both cases slumlord management companies were hired. Reading articles like this I’m thinking I made it out just in time.

  3. I was raised in Caliif. since (late-50’s) grade school…L.A. area, S.F. Bay/So. Bay/Oakland area, & San Diego area – I resided in. Moved out of state 9 years ago. Why? Taxes; Housing costs; Crime; Public Diseases; No Traditional/Proven Education/Vocation opportunities; Absence of English lingua franca; Political/Law Enforcement/Judicial Corruption; Communist/Socialist Societal growth; Celebrities; CONTINUING RECESSION/PROHIBITION OF TRUE/BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY; &c. Some friends and family remain there’ however, many are actively/contemplating out-of-state relocation. One family member moved out 10 years ago and, though he can afford to live anywhere in the world, chose the Southeastern USA area. Sadly, Calif.’s M&M rate rising…

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