There’s no free lunch

By storeyeditor


So we have another poll reinforcing what we already know. Or should have known.

(Just once I’d love to see one of these polls blindside us with something.)

This week opened with a new Associated Press-GfK poll that tells us the people who already had coverage before the president signed PPACA into law – roughly 85 percent of the country – are suddenly pissed off. Why? Because it just dawned on us that, yeah, it screws with us, after all.

Honestly, what’s more naïve: someone without coverage thinking they’re gonna get free health care now? Or someone with a plan already who doesn’t consider his coverage might change?

That being said, while about 75 percent of insureds admit the obvious – that the rollout’s been more of “stumble out” – almost half of them also say their policies won’t be the same next year.

And those changes – whether they’re higher copays, less coverage or greater out-of-pocket maximums – are all being laid at the feet of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to the tune nearly 80 percent of the respondents.

How soon we forget the economy – and never-ending health care cost increases – drove some of these changes long before PPACA became this administration’s albatross. We used to point our finger at the greedy, cost-cutting corporations who either cut your health insurance or your job. We used to blame the evil health insurance companies, who never seemed to be in the business of promoting health or providing insurance. Now it’s all Obama’s fault.

Which is fine, to a point. This law has already shown us that its biggest misnomer is half its title: affordable. The should have just called it the “(Almost) Universal Coverage Act.” But then, of course, that would have been a tough sell given how much it reeks of HillaryCare. (Bet that’s looking pretty good right about now.)

Again, these polls – and the fretting that typically follows them – only serve to remind me not of dishonest politicians and bumbling bureaucrats (about which I already know plenty) but of how hopelessly out-of-touch the average respondent, i.e. voter really is.

When you pass a law meant to expand health care coverage to everyone, guess what’s going to happen? Everyone will have to pay more. The people who need it most will be the first in line to apply for coverage. And at some point we’ll find out there are enough providers. Oh, and big surprise, the federal government won’t be abler to do something quickly and efficiently.

Overall, this law – by both its protracted, painful implementation and the subsequent dismantling of truths we believed about it – has served to hurt this president like nothing else. This poll shows his health care disapproval rating as high as 60 percent. And it will, in fact, be his legacy. Just not the way he’d planned.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com