The conservative Civitas Institute in Raleigh has launched a web site to counter President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, depicting the health care law as an elitist attack on the middle class.
The Civitas site dispenses with abstract policy criticisms of the law as heavy-handed government intrusion and a crippling of free enterprise, and instead opens the mic to the public.
The site – dubbed “I Couldn’t Keep My Plan” – is an inventory of personal testimonials from people who say they lost their insurance coverage or experienced skyrocketing rates as a result of the new health care law.
“I’m ready to move abroad,” writes one dyspeptic North Carolinian.
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“They have already bankrupted medicare and social security, so why not give them total control of all our healthcare?” writes another.
The several dozen submissions are anonymous because most people don’t want to publicize their names, said Civitas writer Jim Tynen. They are real people, largely from North Carolina, Tynen assures.
“We let people tell their stories,” he said. “Peoples’ confidence has been shaken.”
Much of the dissatisfaction has to do with insurance changes at Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s largest insurer. Blue Cross has been notifying customers whose policies changed after March 2010, the date the Affordable Care Act was enacted, that they’ll have to switch to a new policy.
Those who had health insurance policies in place before the law was enacted will get to keep their old policies.
Blue Cross predicted that about a third of its individual customers – more than 100,000 people in North Carolina – would see steep increases in premium costs as a result of the law.
The law requires most Americans to have health insurance, providing subsidies at certain income levels, or face fines for lack of coverage. The law directly affects more than 1 million people in North Carolina who are on individual policies and the uninsured who will have to buy an individual policy. Most people, however, already have health insurance coverage through work or through the government.