‘Obamacare Won’t Pay For My Back Surgery, But It Will Pay For Opioids’

The story of one North Carolina man’s ordeal with Obamacare shows how the federal health care law hurts average American families by denying care.

Most days, Joe Cato is confined to sitting in a chair or lying in bed, heavily medicated or asleep, debilitated by back pain that’s left the 41-year-old husband and father of four unable to work, attend seminary, or run his construction business. He has degenerative arthritis in his lower back and pelvis, a condition brought on after years of working on construction sites as a stonemason and hauling music gear as a worship leader in his church. Even riding in a car is painful, which he must do to get to his health-care provider 30 miles from his home in Waxhaw, North Carolina.

Joe is one of the many victims of Obamacare. His doctors say he needs surgery to repair the nerve damage in his lower back and pelvis, but his insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, won’t cover it. In most of North Carolina, including Union County where Joe and his family live, Blue Cross is the only health insurer still offering coverage on the exchanges established by Obamacare. The only treatment Blue Cross will cover for Joe is pain medication—a battery of prescription drugs he must take daily, including what he calls “comatose-inducing” muscle-relaxers and opioids.

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John McCain Kills Obamacare Repeal With Single Decisive Vote

In the end it was not meant to be: Senate Republicans failed, by a single vote, to pass a month-long effort to pass Republican healthcare legislation culminating with a vote on a “skinny” bill to repeal Obamacare thanks to a single decisive vote by Donald Trump’s nemesis, John McCain.

In a devastating blow to President Trump and his healthcare agenda, Senate Republicans voted 49 to 51 to pass a slimmed down bill put forward as a last gasp effort to overhaul the US healthcare system, leaving the fate of Obamacare in the hands of Democrats and the general public.

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Senate Moves Ahead With Obamacare Repeal As Pence Is Forced To Break Tie

  • Senate votes 51-50 to start debate on Obamacare repeal, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tiebreaking vote.
  • Passing the motion to proceed does not mean Republicans have a consensus on a bill they can pass.
  • Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against the motion.

The Senate on Tuesday voted by the narrowest margin to move forward with its Obamacare repeal push, a significant step for Republicans that still leaves senators searching for an agreement on how best to follow through on a campaign promise that has defined most of the last decade.

Vice President Mike Pence was forced to break a tie as the Senate voted 51-50 to start debate on proposals to change the landmark health-care law. The vote comes after weeks of setbacks for Republicans as party divisions stalled multiple versions of their plans to overhaul the American health-care system.

The Truth Behind The CBO


Driving the 480 miles from Columbus, Ohio to Raleigh, N.C., should take you about eight hours. But what if your GPS device insisted you could make the trip in four? Blindly following such an unreliable estimate, even when made by your trusted GPS, would cause you a lot of problems.

Congress too often makes the mistake of blindly following projections of the Congressional Budget Office that later prove to be grossly inaccurate. The CBO’s reputation among the public and the media may be strong, but its track record in providing accurate estimates to Congress leaves much to be desired.

This isn’t a new problem. Scholar Alan Reynolds noted clear back in 2001 that CBO’s flawed projection model often leads to inaccuracies, pointing out several inaccurate CBO projections in the 1990s. He noted their budget projections widely missed the mark even though they were made only 12 months in advance.

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Leaked CBO Numbers: 73% of GOP ‘Coverage Losses’ Caused By Individual Mandate Repeal

In the national debate over the GOP health reform proposals, one data point has stood out above all others: the estimate, from the Congressional Budget Office, that more than 20 million people would “lose” coverage as a result. And there’s been an odd consistency to the CBO’s projections. Do you want to repeal every word of Obamacare and replace it with nothing? CBO says 22 million fewer people would have health insurance.

Do you prefer replacing Obamacare with a system of flat tax credits, in which you get the same amount of assistance regardless of your financial need? CBO says 23 million fewer people would have health insurance. Do you prefer replacing Obamacare with means-tested tax credits, like the Senate bill does, in which the majority of the assistance is directed to those near or below the poverty line? CBO says 22 million fewer people would have health insurance.

22 million, 23 million, 22 million—these numbers are remarkably similar even though the three policies I describe above are significantly different. Why is that?

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This Is Why Getting Rid Of Obamacare Is Next To Impossible

Public support of government-run health insurance continues to grow

Congressional Republicans are currently engaged in an embarrassing struggle to revamp Obamacare. When revamping didn’t work, they turned to repeal, only for members of their own caucus to balk.

We’ve explored the procedural issues with repealing Obamacare, but there’s still another reason we’re likely stuck with the bones of government-run health insurance for the foreseeable future — much of the public wants it this way.

Omnibus spending and Obamacare were once repulsive enough to birth the Tea Party movement, but in the years since Obamacare has taken root, voters have warmed to the idea of some form of state-sponsored health insurance.

Historically, the solution to bad, or poorly conceived government programs is not eradicating the problematic program, but more government intervention. And it looks like Obamacare will be no different.

A poll released by Pew last month shows a frightening uptick in the number of Americans who believe it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has health insurance.

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