By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–The fallout over the Obama administration’s struggling website, Healthcare.gov continues. At a Senate hearing today the White House was criticized for not being honest about the healthcare law and how it would affect people. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has been covering the Affordable Care Act for weeks now and joins us with the latest.
For nearly three hours, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius listened to lawmakers hammer the Obama administration for problems with Healthcare.gov. “We know that lying to Congress is a crime, but unfortunately, lying to the American people is not,” said Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn. Sebelius said the website needed more than one-hundred fixes, but can now process more than 17-thousand applications an hour.
Some senators were angry about the millions of Americans receiving cancelation notices. Kansas Republican Pat Roberts said, “In fact, more people are losing their insurance, than are signing up on the website.” A simple promise made early and often by President Obama regarding existing health insurance plans, “if you like your plan, you’ll be able to keep your plan,” is becoming a big liability now.
“When I got to the part that as a result of the healthcare law your current health plan will be discontinued, that’s when I got mad,” says Pat Doyle of Bensalem. She and her husband Frank recently learned that their health insurance plan was being dropped because it didn’t meet minimum standards according to the healthcare law. Pat says, “They keep saying the same thing, it was inferior, it’s a sound bite, it’s a talking point and it’s not the truth.” According to Frank Doyle, “The plan that we have currently is better than the plans that are available to us.”
The Doyle’s currently pay $1098 a month for a plan with a zero deductible. To keep the same type of coverage in January their premium will spike to $1838 a month. That’s a whopping 67% increase, since they don’t quality for any tax credits. In order to keep their premiums about the same as they are now they’d have to go from a zero deductible plan to one with a deductible of $6,000. For the Doyle’s and many others the Affordable Care Act is simply unaffordable.