President Barack Obama did nothing in his State of the Union address to ease the fears of Americans — as well as fellow Democrats — about the problems surrounding the Affordable Care Act, Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, says.
"[He] was just almost belligerent. He was not helping Senate Democrats who are desperate for him to say something that will really help … calm the fears of so many of these tens of millions of people that are fearing losing their coverage and higher premiums that they can't afford," Turner told George Marlin, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show," on Newsmax TV during a panel discussion that also included Newsmax's chief political columnist John Gizzi.
"He also didn't offer anything from the perspective of how he is hoping to change it and understanding how people are being hurt by this law," Turner said.
"He pointed to one person who is being helped … but if you wind up with four being harmed for every one that is helped, that is not a law that is going to work for America."
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Gizzi pointed to the very viability of the ACA itself, noting that the young Americans needed to make it work were simply not signing up.
"Bill Clinton once said that the Affordable Care Act... the Unaffordable Care Act... would stand or fall on the basis of how many of the young invincibles signed up....
"As of two weeks ago, 24 percent of those who had signed up... were between the ages of 18 and 32. The figures are ominous," Gizzi said.
Turner, who heads a non-profit organization focusing on health and tax policy, said the woes of Americans trying to navigate the new healthcare law continue to pile up.
"I am hearing stories from all over the country. The first wave of coverage losses were among those with individual policies that didn't comply with Obamacare, therefore, they had to be replaced starting January 1," she said.
"This next wave involves small employers [who] were being told that in order to be able to comply with Obamacare, they have to cover a broad new range of benefits, meet all sorts of other specifications, and you hear people having 10, 20, even 50 or 60 percent premium increases in addition to much higher deductibles.
"How can you possibly call this the Affordable Care Act when all it's doing is increasing our premiums?"
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