The GOP’s Guide to Navigating Obamacare for the Ill-Informed Worrier

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Republicans have not contributed much to the establishment of Obamacare as the nation’s health care system since the conservative Heritage Foundation conceived and promoted the individual mandate as an alternative to Hillarycare in the ‘90s.

But now that it’s the law of the land and people are making hard choices about how to take this scary step into the unknown, California’s Assembly GOP caucus has offered a helping hand to the reluctant consumer.

It’s a website called Covering Health Care: A California Resource Guide, and in the words of Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, it’s a “reach for the bottom.” He points out that the web address,, is suspiciously close to the state’s official that its homepage links didn’t include one to, uh, Covered California. At least, the site didn’t have a link until two hours after Hiltzik’s column was posted online.

Among the helpful links the site does provide is one to a list of 18 frequently asked questions. Apparently, the only questions asked of them were about how badly everyone was going to get screwed by Obamacare. The answer to pretty much all the questions was the same: “a lot.”

The first frequently asked question about the new health care law was not about health care. “Are there tax implications?” was worthy of a three-part answer about tax liabilities, a new health insurance tax and your tax bill. The answer warns of new intrusions by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), bad things that could happen to your tax bill because of a federal subsidy, and a 40% excise tax increase on “employer-sponsored plans that exceed $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage.”

In answer to the question, “Will Medicare coverage be impacted by the law’s implementation?” the answer was, yes. The Affordable Care Act lets Obama appoint a board to make “recommendations on additional cuts to Medicare if the cost of the program grows too rapidly.”

Q: “Can I keep my current doctor?” A: “Maybe.” Q: “Will my co-payments stay the same?” A: “There is no guarantee.”

The FAQ also laments the rising cost of health care as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but the Congressional Budget Office says that’s not true. The New York Times and Forbes seem to lean toward the budget office’s accounting.

A separate section for Seniors warns them that Medicare erosion and accessibility of care may become a problem and one for Young Adults tells them that they will be paying for this fiasco because they are healthy and have little need for doctors.

The website has been promoted by Republican politicians as a guide to navigating the health care system. As of Tuesday night, it was at the top of Republican Assemblyman Brian Jones’ “Key Links” on his homepage, which featured an editorial entitled: “Obamacare: Health-care ‘Reform’ Will Sink Economy.” 

Assemblyman Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) pitched it to the Santa Clarita News after it was unveiled in August. “I want to provide residents with the tools necessary to help them make the best choice when deciding which health plans suit their needs,” he said.

The newspaper said the assemblyman was “looking to allay concerns about the new law.”  

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

An Underhanded Anti-Obamacare Stunt by the California GOP (by Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times)

California Republicans Direct Constituents to Misleading Obamacare "Resource Guide” (by Mollie Reilly, The Huffington Post)

Health Care Exchange Underway in California amid Glitches (by Perry Smith, Santa Clarita News)

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