The first order of business for the new Congress is the repeal of Obamacare. The American people demand it. The only people who seem to be happy with Obama’s signature achievement are those who are rich or getting it for free, or nearly free.

Dig a little deeper and you will find that the bleeding-heart liberal rich with their on-call concierge physicians or so-called Cadillac plans are the only ones truly happy because they are unaffected. Those who get Obamacare free through the expansion of Medicaid, or nearly free, have found it is a trap because fewer and fewer doctors are willing to take these patients. The doctors who do require long waits. It’s called rationing, which is a hallmark of socialized medicine.

For the average guy or gal, Obamacare has been a disaster. My cousin Lori is a case in point. As an adjunct college professor, she was informed that she would no longer be eligible for company health benefits for 2017. The college then offered her the ability to self-pay through Obamacare.

In Lori’s state, Kansas, she discovered that she would have to shell out $5,000 dollars for the privilege of paying another $5,000 in deductibles for a policy that offered everything from soup to nuts – abortions to psychiatric care, etc. – assuming she got pass the additional $10,000 initial expense. And they had the nerve to call it The Affordable Care Act! That means well checkups, prescriptions, doctor visits, tests, etc. would be on her dime. For most middle class workers, this makes no sense.

Lori, who is of sound mind and whose children are grown, then sought out a private insurance agent and came up with a plan that met her needs with a deductible she could handle and a premium she could afford. Voila!

But her story didn’t end there. Before she signed on the dotted line, her agent explained that if she chose that plan, she would incur a tax penalty amounting to $1,500 because her plan was not a “government approved” one.

What? Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute! Lori, like most people, seemed to remember President Obama, with his shirtsleeves rolled up (indicating that he was working so hard on our behalf), telling us if we liked the plan we have we could keep it (9.3 million lost their coverage during the first open enrollment period) and if not we would be able to choose the government plan or any other private plan. Lori, who has never been without health care coverage, discovered that if she took the plan that was right for her, she would be required to pay that tax right along with those who chose to remain uninsured. She was was justifiably outraged!

Meanwhile, The Affordable Care Act was supposed to drive all health-care costs down. The average annual premium reduction was supposed to save the average family $2,500. But wait! In 2017, in the Obamacare exchanges in 39 states, the average premium increase for the benchmark plan is 25 percent.

Families with coverage through their employers have not fared any better. Their average premiums have increased $4,372 from 2010 to 2016. Those employees who are lucky enough to have plans all or partially paid for by their employers have seen their wages stagnate as a result of these increased health care premiums.

Now, Obama is trying to make us feel better by telling us that his plan has actually bent the projected cost curve down. But wait another minute! The decline in projected health-care spending growth largely occurred prior to the passage of Obamacare, primarily due to the recession.

One thing is sure. When Obamacare is replaced, those with pre-existing conditions simply cannot be allowed to hop aboard at any time with no penalty if insurance is to be affordable. That would be like calling an insurance agent and demanding homeowner’s insurance after your house is on fire or auto insurance after a collision.

I know what it is like to deal with a pre-existing condition. My husband has congenital heart issues. Therefore, we were in our state’s high-risk pool. We were charged higher rates, which was only fair, but we had excellent coverage.

Now, we look back on those those “high premiums” as a bargain. They were much lower than what the average family is shelling out today due to Obamacare. May it rest in peace.

Media wishing to interview Jane Chastain, please contact [email protected].

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