Obamacare, Michaud, Pingree and the war on, well, everyone

U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud, Chellie Pingree and every other elected official who voted for Obamacare (and those like gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler, congressional candidate Emily Cain and Sen. Angus King who have thrown their support behind it) have tied a millstone around the neck of the constituents they are supposed to represent. By voting for government control over one-sixth of the American economy, they have declared war on all hardworking Maine taxpayers.

The war on marriage: Any married couple earning more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($62,040 for a family of two) won’t get Obamacare subsidies to help pay their rising premiums. But couples who live together without marrying will, even at the same income levels. So Americans will again pay to undermine the institution of marriage, shown in study after study to be the foundation of a healthy family.

The war on women: As I’ve previously written, women are almost two-thirds of the lower-wage workers likely to be disproportionately hurt when employers either downsize or cut employee hours to avoid Obamacare’s employer mandate. Based on an estimate cited by state Senate President Justin Alfond of 14,000 minimum wage workers in Maine, that’s 9,240 Maine women harmed by the Michaud and Pingree Obamacare votes. Smaller paychecks, fewer opportunities to get ahead.

 The war on the Maine Education Association union: Oh dear, since the MEA supported both Michaud and Pingree, this has got to be particularly painful. Although there have been more than 1,200 Obamacare exemptions given to the chosen, the MEA didn’t make the cut, as many Maine teachers and retirees may soon discover.

According to a letter from Christine Burke, executive director of the MEA Benefits Trust, to the union’s members, Obamacare “may not make [teachers] happy.” (Yeah, that’s an understatement if I’ve ever heard one.) They will likely see premiums increase — if they don’t lose coverage altogether. Burke tells the betrayed members that while the MEA is seeking an exemption from some aspects of Obamacare, they shouldn’t hold their breath. Ouch.

 The war on seasoned and senior citizens: I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that a woman of the age of menopause will not be needing the expensive maternal health care Michaud and Pingree are forcing her to purchase.

Over on the Medicare front, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare will reduce Medicare reimbursements by $716 billion over 10 years, $154 billion of which will come from Medicare Advantage, limiting seniors’ ability to access medical care. (Rationed care, anyone?) “Providers could not sustain continuing negative margins and would have to withdraw from serving Medicare beneficiaries or (if total facility margins remained positive) shift substantial portions of Medicare costs to their non-Medicare, non-Medicaid payers,” reads the 2013 annual report of the system’s trustees. Translation, Granny might lose her doctor. And that’s already starting.

An apple a day may keep the doctor away but Michaud, Pingree and all who voted for or support Obamacare are keeping trusted doctors away from their senior patients.

The war on gays: This is actually a double whammy — not only will gay men be forced to buy plans that cover maternity care, but married gay and lesbian couples will also be subject to the marriage penalties the law creates.

The war on Gen Y: The Obamacare debacle is designed to be paid for on the backs of the young and healthy. They pick up the tab for the older and sicker, because healthy millennials rarely rack up hefty medical bills. With only 6 in 10 Gen Y members currently employed (half in part-time jobs), and with 18- to 34-year-olds shouldering most of the $1 trillion in student loan debt, many younger citizens can see their financial future is threatened by the forced purchase of an Obamacare plan.

The war on all Mainers: According to the Wall Street Journal, as many 10 million Americans may receive health insurance cancellation notices before the March Obamacare enrollment period ends. In Maine, Obama’s pledge, made no less than 36 times, has proven false. Already the first wave of letters has gone out from Anthem (cancellation letters sent to approximately 8,500 individual plan holders) and MegaLife (letters to 3,800 non-grandfathered policyholders in October notifying them of coverage changes). Policyholders are trembling as they pick up the post. More letters are on the way.

Ask yourself: Were you and your family better off before Obamacare? If so, next November, you have a chance to make a change and vote out those who voted it in.

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Susan Dench

About Susan Dench

Susan Dench is the founder and president of the fast-growing non-profit, non-partisan Informed Women's Network. Recognizing that many women are tired of "politics as usual," Susan decided to take action and develop strategies that are innovating the way women and politics intersect, nurturing and encouraging women in fun, energetic gatherings where views can be expressed in a supportive environment and then translated into practical solutions that produce results.