In the last few weeks the American media has been filled with stories of a terrible disaster. If you think I’m referring to the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, you haven’t been following American media. No, the real terrible disaster, according to the media, is once again Obamacare, or, more specifically, the notices of policy cancellations that the insurance companies have sent to thousands of their policyholders. The insurance companies are blaming Affordable Care Act for these cancellations, because they can no longer offer policies that do not meet minimum standards of the ACA. The fact that ACA insurance exchanges now allow these people to buy new policies which are often cheaper AND better means nothing, because Barack Obama once carelessly promised that “if you like your insurance, you can keep it”, and this sacred covenant has been broken. Here are 10 reactions to the insurance cancellations debacle.
1) Mitch McConnell, Republican leader: “The president said that if we like our policy, we could keep it. And, we really, really like our policy of obstructing and undermining the president.”
2) Deborah Cavallaro, Obamacare victim: “This is an outrage! My health insurance company just cancelled my $100 a month policy! And I was very happy with that policy -because I never got sick while I had it!”
3) Fox News: “Obama LIED to the American people!!! How DARE he?!?! That’s OUR job!!!”
4) Humana Health Insurance company: “We just wanted to make one thing clear: when the President made that remark about keeping the policy, he was talking to us, not to you. If WE like your policy, WE will keep it. (Disclaimer: We reserve the right to cancel your policy as soon as you, or any physician, or a hospital has requested reimbursement for any medical service performed for you, and the price of treatment exceeds the cost of 1 (one) Tylenol pill at the wholesale price. The policy cancellation, a.k.a., rescission, will be effective one day before you have received said medical service. All types of medical services are covered by this disclaimer. Your monthly premiums will not be refunded, and will be used to gold-plate the toilet in the bathroom of our chief executive officer. If you are unhappy with your service, you may voice your complaints to our automatic phone answering service until your condition improves, and which point we will be happy to reinstate your policy and accept additional premiums, subject to the part I of this disclaimer.)”
5) Todd Sickman, still insured: “Obama also said that I could keep my doctor if I like him. Well, I like my doctor, and today I got a letter from him saying that he’s retiring and won’t see patients any more. Shame on you, Obama, for breaking your promise!!!”
6) Darrell Issa, top Republican Congressional investigator: “I demand the following answers from the Obama administration: who in the administration knew of the upcoming cancellations, when did they know, and why didn’t they bomb the insurance companies as soon as they had this information?”
7) Barack Obama: “I give you a solemn promise that I will not make any more promises I cannot keep. And I also promise you that Healthcare.gov website will be fully fixed by November 30, when not only it will give you affordable health insurance, but will also make rainbows and unicorns.”
8) Alford Tenninson, uninsured since 1982: “I’ve always said that it’s better to have had insurance and lost, than never to have had at all…”
9) CNN: “It’s unacceptable for the president to mislead the people. We, American journalists, have always prided ourselves for holding Presidents to the highest integrity standards, as it’s been our tradition dating all the way back to 2009.”
10) NRA (National Re-insurers Association): “If substandard health insurance policies are outlawed, only outlaws will have substandard health insurance policies! Only a good guy with health insurance can stop the bad guy with health insurance! What? The other NRA has been making same exact arguments for years!”
Personal note: I apologize for the “Insurance-Cancellation-Gate”: this was a really lousy name for a scandal – but then this whole mess is a lousy excuse for a scandal anyway.
Personal note #2: Let’s not forget the actual disaster that happened in the Philippines, so please donate to the typhoon Haiyan victims if you can.