In a brutal editorial, President Obama’s hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, blasts Obama Care, and not just the crippling technical issues that have marred the launch. Getting to the heart of the debacle, the Tribune points to what much of the media won’t: the fact that millions are going to lose the insurance and doctor Obama promised they could keep; and that Obama’s signature legislation should probably cover therapy for sticker shock:
There are more problems. People who have individual insurance coverage are finding that Obama’s oft-repeated promise — “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” — is just not true. They are being told by insurers that their existing plans expire on Dec. 31 and they must choose new coverage. They’re learning that insurers managed to offer lower-cost plans by narrowing the networks of hospitals and doctors that are available or by upping the out-of-pocket expenses. Unless people are careful in selecting coverage, they may be surprised to find they have to pay much more for out-of-network care to go to their doctors or get treated at the best hospitals. Federal officials argue that they’ll work out the kinks in the system in plenty of time for people to sign up by Dec. 15 for coverage that begins Jan. 1. Yes, the techies might be able to work out the computer network problems by then. But that’s not a given.
The deeper problems of cost and coverage in Obamacare are going to require an admission by the administration that this government management of the health care market is extraordinarily complicated and will be very costly for many people. The law has to change.
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