BURBANK, December 20, 2013 – As continuing and ever-increasing problems plague seemingly all aspects of Obamacare, the negative effects in California threaten to have a massive political impact in the state as well.
“For years, Republicans warned that the Affordable Care Act would be bad public policy and actually hurt the people it purported to try and help. If anything, we underestimated the damage, and every day brings a new dimension of how disastrous Obamacare is,” said Mark Vafiades, Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County (RPLAC).
Stretching from President Obama’s obvious untruth uttered numerous times in public – “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan ... period” – to the disastrous website rollout to the serious online security breaches found on the Obamacare site, the Obama Administration’s handling of the program has been widely criticized, even occasionally in a bipartisan way.
“For Californians, Obamacare is more than a failed website and even a broken promise. It is a betrayal of the public trust,” said Vafiades. “And it won’t go unnoticed in elections.”
The state’s created health care exchange Covered California has in the past boasted ambitious enrollment numbers, but this week the Los Angeles Times reported that it “sent flawed eligibility notices to nearly 114,000 households due to a computer error. The Covered California exchange said the letters sent from Nov. 22 to Dec. 7 had blank spaces or missing information on people's eligibility for insurance or federal premium subsidies. A Covered California spokeswoman added 'The letters would say you are eligible for Covered California, but you are ineligible for blank. It was confusing to people.' "
The real-world impact is here: More than one million Californians have lost their insurance because of the new law. Others are losing access to their doctors, including technical medical specialists that are essential to patient care.
Covered California is instead focused on extending its own outreach efforts, including a rap song to sell young people on the virtues of Obamacare, featuring Obama doppelganger B-Rock O'Beezy. Even ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl was moved to ask White House spokesman Jay Carney, “Is anybody going to buy health care because B-Rock O'Beezy tells them to buy it because it’s hot?”
Many observers believe the political impacts are already being felt. Recently 39 Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to essentially end Obamacare, including California Democrats who were previously enthusiastic supporters of the Obama plan. The latest CBS News poll found that looking ahead to the 2014 midterm elections, most Americans say their own member of Congress’ position on health care will have at least some effect on their vote and 35 percent say it will matter a lot.
“Obamacare was presented dishonestly, designed incompetently and being partly delayed cynically to try and avoid a political landslide in 2014,” said Vafiades. “It won't work. Since only Democrats voted to makeObamacare law, I believe only Democrats will be voted out of office for the real pain that this new law is causing millions of Americans."