Survival, The “New Normal” of Obamacare

“Basically, I’m helping support three families right now – mine, my daughter and my youngest son,” shared Norma, a Tennessee mom who has seen just how destructive bad policies like Obamacare can be.

It’s difficult to watch anyone undergo hardships, but when it’s your own family, the heartache is even more painful. Norma’s three grown children, all who work and have kids, have been adversely affected by the new healthcare law.

“They are trying to be the best they can,” said Norma. But, in a system where opportunity is impeded by rules, regulations and high costs, any type of economic advancement seems out of reach. One of her sons – a cook for a restaurant – has struggled to get 40 hours a week.

“Last year, my youngest son was not able to get full-time hours anymore due to Obamacare,” Norma explained. “He is now getting 38 to 40 hours a week, but it’s only because two employees have been fired [non-Obamacare related]. The company has decided not to hire anyone to replace them.”

With her son needing to get insurance, Norma who worked four years as an insurance agent guided him through the online healthcare exchange, which was an experience in itself.

“He and I tried to navigate through the healthcare website, and that was a nightmare. He makes too much money for TennCare, but he doesn’t get a subsidy either. To be perfectly honest, he can’t afford more than $100 a month, and I’m not sure he could afford that at times,” she vented, noting how the restaurant industry is not quite what it used to be due to the economy.

Unfortunately, her daughter who is a pharmacy technician faced the same situation.

“My daughter couldn’t get full-time hours, and the people she works with had their hours cut. She gave up on [trying to get] full-time and went back to school,” stated Norma.

Noticing the lack of job opportunities for current graduates, Norma hopes things will be different when her daughter completes college. “I see all these people going back, getting a college degree and going into debt, and they are coming out still making $9 an hour.”

While her oldest son did not encounter any reduction in hours, he lost his healthcare because it didn’t comply.

“The program my son was under was called CoverTN. I though it was a fabulous program in that it was split three ways – the employer paid a third, the employee paid a third and the state paid a third. It had a $25,000 spending limit, but it covered all of his medical,” described Norma. “It made people conscious of their medical care, so they didn’t go running to the doctor all the time like some people do.”

The program was good for her son and incorporated personal responsibility with some state assistance. The Affordable Care Act forced the state to cancel the program, because it was a limited-benefit program.

“Now, he is looking at insurance policies to cover him and his daughter, and he can’t afford it,” Norma said. “Again, he makes too much money to get on the regular TennCare program.”

The Tennessee mom knows this is not the American Dream her children envisioned, but it’s the reality they are confronted with in an economy that offers little hope under Obamacare. Her children, like many across the nation, are working to survive.

“My poor [youngest] son is getting so discouraged. He says, ‘Mama, I’m working all the hours I can get and I still feel like I’m drowning,’” she shared.

Making too much for government subsidies is the “New Normal” of Obamacare.

Full Repeal. Now.