Friday, March 28, 2014

Horror Stories of Obamacare: The Jewish Journal (Oy Vey!)

Covered California Didn't Cover Jonathan Maseng
Who Still Tries to Cover for Obamacare's Failures
If you like the plan you have, you can keep it.  If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only changes you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold. -- President Barack Obama,  June 6, 2009

The only problem was, the promise was a lie. Jonathan Maseng, The Jewish Journal, March 28, 2014

After the photo cover in Summer 2012, which had printed Howard Berman's picture five times, yet neglected to include Brad Sherman (the contender for the 30th Congressional District), it became painfully clear how biased, how slanted the Jewish Journal could be.

A private initiative even purchased an advertorial calling for the resignation of Jewish Journal Editor-in-Chief Rob Eshman for his demonstrably liberal, if not progressive, political views, especially regarding the fate of the Jewish State.

Norman Lear Professor of Journalism Marty Kaplan still paints a doom and gloom scenario should the Republicans take back the Senate, and in an opinion piece, Jonathan Maseng criticizes Covered California.

Wait. Maseng criticizes Obamacare? In the Jewish Journal?

Now, Jonathan is not to be confused with Chazzan Maseng, who penned one of the most offensive interpretations out of the Book of Numbers, offering the impression that the Israelites did the right thing by rejecting the LORD and disregarding the counsel of Moses and the two true spies Caleb and Joshua to enter the Promised Land at once and take it.

Yet in a surprising turn, which would discourage anyone from viewing Obamacare as any kind of Promised Land for health care coverage, Jonathan Maseng offers an opinion of Covered California affirming what conservative critics have been arguing all along. Hardly entering the Promised Land of government-subsidized health care which would expand access for all, Maseng finds himself joining the same wilderness of higher premiums because of the law, in his case twice as high as his original affordable health insurance.

Up front and honest (obeying the Ninth Commandment), Maseng admits the following about President Obama and His signature health care law:

The only problem was, the promise was a lie.


A liberal-progressive Jewish guest columnist in the liberal-progressive Jewish Journal has called out President Obama's "Obamacare" Promises as "a lie."

What does Senate Majority Senator Harry Reid have to say to that?

And why did Maseng inadvertently start singing the tune which Republicans, conservatives, and disaffected Democrats had been singing ever since the Affordable Care Act was passed?

Former Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan outlined many times that Obamacare will (and has) raise premiums, diminish access, and impose taxes on the American People. The last outcome is all the more offensive, since the President and his Democratic Congressional colleagues affirmed over and over that Obamacare would never be a tax, but rather a fee. Even former Bill Clinton staffer turned ABC political correspondent George Stephanopoulos stepped all over Obama's two-stepping on that political spin.

After acknowledging five years later what conservatives and Republicans had anticipated, Maseng attempts to burnish his liberal, social justice, Big Government credentials:

I’m 29. I voted for Obama, twice. I believe that national health care is important, and I would have strongly supported a single-payer system in the mold of Canada or the United Kingdom.

Read my analysis and responses to single-payer health care systems in Canada and the United Kingdom here, as well as the failed attempts to implement the system in Vermont.

Maseng got what he voted for, but the hope and change proffered by the Messianic mantra of the former Junior Senator from Illinois has dusted away the bewitching allure of modern liberalism.

Or has it?

This is to say, I am not part of the crowd that believes the Affordable Care Act was evil, or that adopting a single-payer system would inevitably turn us into godless communists. But as the March 31 deadline for signing up for Obamacare approaches, I am, however, deeply disappointed with the gap between what was promised and what’s being delivered.

Disappointment which Maseng has defined as a lie, pure and simple (or rather impure and impious).

After reporting his responsibility in purchasing a catastrophic plan ("not perfect, but "inexpensive"), Maseng then reports the inevitable, yet unintentional consequences of government expansion:

When the Affordable Care Act’s first wave of requirements came into effect, I watched as my formerly inexpensive plan more than doubled in price.

Maseng rationalized the increase with the other Obamacare promises, such as protection from cancellation because of pre-existing conditions, as well as caps on deductibles.

The more consequences fell upon him, like the walls of Jericho:

But in the spring of 2013, Aetna sent me a letter announcing that they would be canceling my plan, as they no longer wanted to sell insurance in California. How could this be? Obama had promised that if you liked your plan, you wouldn’t lose it.  I liked my plan, and I lost it.

I have to respect Maseng's directed outrage. Rather than blaming the insurance companies, which die-hard, true-believer Obamacare supporters are attempting, Maseng returns to the Big Lie.

Undeterred by the "disappointments" of Obamacare, Maseng visited the Covered California website.

Instead of clusters of grapes and wells he did not dig, Maseng encountered one giant problem after another, including: poor Web design, confusing language, "cumbersome" half-dozen required security questions, including the means of reporting his annual income:

and that was when the site was actually working, which it often wasn’t.

Oy Vey!

He then catalogues indirectly the same economic plight of many youth suffering Obama-nomics, including an unsteady, uncertain income, which made it impossible for him to offer an accurate yearly sum required by the Covered California  website.

Maseng signed up and waited, not for forty years, but longer than expected, and his insurance card showed up the third week of January. He reported worse horror stories from friends who continued to pay for medical expenses out of pocket until March, even though they followed all instructions to purchase health insurance through the state exchange.

But Maseng's murmuring is all too accurate, although sadly predictable:

And friends told me similar stories of impossibly long wait times on the phone, the loss of primary care physicians, cards that arrived late or not at all and, most galling, the loss of access to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which can only be accessed through Covered California via one “bronze-level” plan with an extremely high deductible.

Now that must be really tragic. A private hospital, founded by Jewish philanthropists, refuses to accept most forms of Obamacare-purchased insurance. Other doctors have opted out of the exchanges too, and will not receive patients under similar plans.

Still, refusing to read the hand-writing on the wall (another Biblical allusion, G-d help me!), Maseng still believes " that the Affordable Care Act is [not] a disaster, nor do I wish for its repeal."

Yet the very law is neither Affordable nor Protecting Patients, as the name originally stated. What does he believe in, exactly?

And now comes the most incredible statement:

But I do believe I was lied to by the president and his spokespeople, who claimed on no less than 37 different occasions, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning, that no American would lose access to their plan or to their doctor.

So, Maseng believes in a lie? Really? How is this even possible?

I lost access, my friends have lost access, and we certainly haven’t seen falling costs.

Without realizing it, or accepting it, Maseng is a walking, writing, publishing advertisement for repealing Obamacare.

Yet I still believe health care reform is worth it. The false promises, however, made even small victories seem like defeats. The ill-timed, ill-planned, and just plain ill rollout of the health exchange system has left many young Californians wondering if aggravation, confusion and delays are all we have to look forward to. The president sold us change we could believe in, but delivered us changes that have left us faithless.

Oy vey!

Maseng's lamentations about Obamacare (more laughable like Jonah's self-righteous protestations than Jeremiah's jeremiads) recall a few Scriptures:

"Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!" (Ecclesiastes 10: 16)


"He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool." (Proverbs 10: 18)


"The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment." (Proverbs 12: 19)

Faith requires believing in something that is true, though yet invisible. There is nothing true about Obama's lies that his legislation would provide affordable health insurance at a better price with qualified professionals. All of Maseng's murmurings about the failed rollout and outcomes of the law cannot be justified with "I still believe."

The Lord God did indeed bring the Israelites out of Egypt and offered them a Promised Land where everything was provided for them. No government, not institution of men can force everyone to have something for nothing.

Another verse, a commandment from Moses, also comes to mind:

"2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

"3Thou shalt have no other gods before me."(Exodus 20: 2-3)
No gods, including the federal government, or President Obama, which have certainly turned out to be one disappointing set of idols, or icons for this generation, including the young and disillusioned Jonathan Maseng.


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