In a town hall meeting staged for Spanish-language media, President Obama said that low-income folks who are struggling to handle the unexpectedly high rates for Obamacare simply needed to get their priorities straight and cancel their cable and cell phone contracts.
The March 6th town hall was another piece of Obama’s increasingly frantic Obamacare rehabilitation campaign, which recently featured Obama alongside Zach Galifianakis on “Between Two Ferns,” this one intended in part for the Spanish-speaking population.
As HotAir’s Ed Morissey reported, when a viewer challenged the president about the “affordability” of the new program for low-income Americans like him who are now forced to buy comprehensive health insurance, Obama first tried to point fingers at states like Texas who refused Medicaid money, but then ended up saying that really it came down to priorities, saying,
I guess what I would say is, if you looked at that person’s budget, and if you looked at their cable bill, their telephone, their cell phone bill—other things that they’re spending on—it may turn out that, it’s just they haven’t prioritized healthcare.
Apparently now the Affordable Care Act offers you the choice: It's either cable and a cell phone, or Obamacare. But wait, you don't have a choice...
Obama adds at the end of his comments that if the man who sent in that question ends up having a family member who is hospitalized, “he will wish he’d paid that $300 a month.”
As Morissey points out, Obamacare's math doesn’t add up. Not only did a recent report find that after the implementation of Obamacare Americans are now paying 39% more—with some families making under $40k having to fork over $400 in premiums for Obamacare plans—but even the lower figure of $316 a month that the man making $36k mentioned in his question ends up being a bad deal.
Morissey adds up standard expenses for a family of four, with a few minor accidents thrown in for good measure, to show that outside of catastrophic cases, the annual premiums will often prove to be more expensive than paying out of pocket. And that's before the deductible are included. When Obamacare’s high deductibles are added in, the Obamacare plan proves to be almost double the cost out of pocket expenses in Morissey's non-catastrophic scenario.
That’s why families such as the caller’s used HSAs to spend pre-tax money on routine care and smaller emergencies, and chose so-called catastrophic insurance to deal with serious issues requiring hospitalizations. They could do that and still afford to have a phone and cable TV, at least until Barack Obama assumed he could prioritize their budgets better than they could.