The Dog Days of Obamacare

Tuesday, 03 Dec 2013 01:21 PM

By Michael Reagan

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Those of you who regularly read this column know that I’ve been unstinting in my criticism of Obamacare and the record-setting incompetence of the HealthCare.dud website.

Unfortunately, Obama administration apologists distort principled opposition to big government ham–handed intrusion into the private sector healthcare market and accuse conservatives of wanting to deny coverage to the uninsured.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Conservatives simply believe many of the uninsured are in that state through choice or poor expenditure decisions (sounds like Congress, doesn’t it?).

The few that lack insurance due to pre–existing conditions or other extraordinary circumstance can best be helped with a precise, targeted program that does not involve the federal government seizing one–sixth of the economy.

Still, I’m just as susceptible to a heartwarming story as the next man, even if it involves a program I don’t support. And that’s why I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Baxter Smith of Fort Collins, Colo. Baxter has been off the healthcare leash for his entire life, a total of 14 years, but now he has full coverage, thanks to Obamacare.

Maybe I should make it 72 years, since Baxter is a Yorkie and the Pedigree dog age calculator says he’s now a senior citizen. Baxter’s owner, Shane Smith, says gaining canine coverage was not his intent when he called Connect for Health Colorado after Obama’s “if you like it, you can keep it” proved to be untrue for him, too.

Smith thought fetching a new policy on the phone was as easy as could be, until he received the confirmation letter. He howled with laughter when he read a new account had been opened for Baxter.

“I thought, Wow, this is so awesome,” Smith told with a laugh. “They have gone out of their way to insure my 14-year-old Yorkie.” He thinks the mistake may have come during the phone interview when he was asked to supply an answer to a security question and gave the operator Baxter’s name.

Smith is a concerned owner and didn’t want to get his dog in this fight, but something had to be done since he needs health insurance even more than his dog. And even though he didn’t know if hounding Connect for Health about the mistake would work, he gave them another bark.

After a series of calls Smith says, “They fixed it. I think they fixed it,” but somehow I don’t think he’s completely pawsitive.

Here’s hoping that when Smith has to use his new policy he gets to go to a doctor’s office and not the vet’s.

In the meantime, as John Walkenback once said, “Whelp it was fun while it lasted.”

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

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