It’s been over five years since Obamacare passed, and UNEXPECTEDLY everyone still hates it. I was led to believe that “We have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it” was a prediction that people would love Obamacare once they found out how it worked, as opposed to an indication that [mc_name name=’Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000197′ ] was incapable of reading the bill herself. However, as Obama’s Presidency winds down, he’s still trying desperately to sell the legislation that was supposed to be his most popular achievement.
In a hilarious-if-it-wasn’t-so-darn-sad conference call yesterday, President Obama discussed the ways in which he would be gearing up to market his Presidential footprint, Obamacare. He claimed that Americans have been “fed a lot of misinformation” about Obamacare and that’s what is scaring them off from enrolling.
Yes, President Obama warned everyone that there is misinformation being spread about Obamacare. Savor the irony: the administration that has unilaterally changed what Obamacare says on a whim more times than anyone can count is warning us that misinformation is being spread about Obamacare.
Maybe Obama is right, though. If only we had someone who the press followed around day and night, hanging on his every word who could tell people about Obamacare. Someone like, maybe, Barack Obama, then maybe we could change things – if only we could get the word out to the people and inform them of the true facts of this glorious piece of legislation.
If only we could let people know that their costs are increasing alongside their rising deductibles. (Spoiler alert: they know)
If only we could get them to understand that the taxpayer-funded co-ops designed for the marketplace are dropping like flies.
If only we could just make them see that their doctor and hospital choices are shrinking under Obamacare.
Maybe we just need to inform them that major insurance carriers around the country like Blue Cross/Blue Shield are not renewing individual PPO plans because they are unsustainable. Through the end of this year, the PPOs are available, but brokers are receiving no commission on the product. With $400 million more paid out in claims than they received in premiums last year, can anyone blame them for trying to cut costs?
Cigna announced in some states that they are not paying commissions on any individual plans sold in 2016. They also are not paying commission to brokers for individual products sold through the end of the year.
As a health insurance broker myself, my firm has received daily phone calls in the last week from panicked clients who are currently on a Blue Cross individual or family policy. They are receiving letters explaining to them that their current plan will be dropped at the end of the month, and they are being extended the laughable offer of joining one of their HMO plans instead, with a drastically reduced network and obviously limited benefit.
They want to know what to do. And I’m limited with what I can do to help them, because the insurers don’t want to pay the cost to work with brokers anymore. Another score for Obamacare.
So, after taking all of this into account, Obama actually has the nerve to come out and tell his enrollment workers (who, by the way, are not properly licensed brokers) to “be more creative.”
How is that supposed to work? As a broker, “being more creative” could mean getting my insurance license revoked. Brokers “being more creative” is exactly what Obama has demagogued for years in the financial sector, and there are rules, laws and regulations that prohibit us from doing so in the insurance sector as well. Insurance policies are a financial product with specific benefits and a specific price. The price is going up, the benefits are going down, and Obama’s answer is simply to be more creative?
It’s troubling that we’ve reached the point that the President of the United States is telling brokers to put a “spin” on a financial product sold by the government. Should it really be a thing that the President has regular sales pep talks via conference call explaining how the government is planning some big marketing attack to persuade consumers to buy their crappy product that is probably a bad investment? It makes me wonder whether President Obama has maybe been spending a little too much time watching reruns of Glengarry Glen Ross as he prepares for his retirement:
The government has wasted your money building the marketplace. They’ve wasted your money offering the subsidies. They’ve wasted your money giving it to the marketplace co-ops who are now folding. And still the product they are offering is not affordable or as good as it was before Obamacare took effect.
And now, they’re going to waste your money to market this unmarketable sinking ship. Because President Obama is determined to sell it to the American people, who he thinks will be too stupid to know any better.
His plan is going to backfire. He claims people will sign up once they are aware of the facts. He is gearing up for this successful marketing campaign to peddle this on the American people.
Republicans, you have been handed this golden opportunity to destroy his attempt to encourage Americans to board the Health Care Titanic. He is encouraging the end of misinformation. Won’t you rise to the occasion and help him?