Just a day after his most recent State of the Union address, President Obama visited Pittsburgh, Pa. In what was called a "campaign-style" event by the Pittsburgh Gazette, he addressed a cheering crowd of invited guests and steel workers at a local plant.
Barely 12 miles away from where the President was speaking to his audience of loyal and enthusiastic supporters, a small group of workers in a local car repair business in McKeesport, Pa., was dealing with the stinging realities of what Obama's programs were doing to their healthcare and their wallets.
The crew at Simonetta's Collision Repair Center gathered in the office to hear the news. Six employees, one of whom was owner Gary Simonetta, attended a meeting with the benefits administrator hired by Simonetta's to manage the 32-year-old company's medical insurance.
One by one, the workers were handed a folded sheet of paper that contained their new monthly cost for coverage as well as details on any increase in their deductible payment if any treatment was needed in the coming year.
Of course, coverage and costs will differ between single workers, married workers and those with families. However, in every instance among the Simonetta employees, costs, deductibles and co-pay fees were increasing significantly.
Comparing the previous year to the new Obamacare costs:
- In 2013, monthly charges were up 6 percent. Under the Affordable Healthcare Act, Simonetta's costs exploded by 32 percent.
- Deductibles increased anywhere from 60 to 100 percent.
- Co-Pays also doubled.
There were two potential positives among the bad news. Pediatric dental and vision plans are now covered under the new regulations, and generic drugs are cheaper. However, the overall cost increases are staggering to these average working folks.
The three parents in the room were hit with sticker shock.
Brian's monthly costs decrease by about 18 dollars a week, but the $4,000 deductible is a major concern.
Christy's saw her monthly premiums jump 30 percent to $895 per month. "That's a house payment for most people," Christy told the reporter.
Judy, a mother of one child who saw her premiums skyrocket 42 percent along with her deductible doubling, had nothing positive to say about the news, "I don't know who President Obama thinks he's helping." She continued, "Because we can't afford to pay these co-pays, to pay these deductibles, on what we earn."
Single workers were not exempt from Obamacare's pain.
Jeff and Dave, the two single men working at the body shop, saw their deductibles increase 60% from $1250 to $2000. The monthly premium costs for these two single guys increased $50 or less, but the jump in the deductible was a concern to both men. "They call it the affordable health plan, there's nothing affordable about it," a frustrated Jeff said to the WTAE news crew. He continued, "Wake up, America. This isn't acceptable."
The shop owner, Gary Simonetta has tried to find the best possible coverage for his workers, but he too was hit by the Obamacare sticker shock. According to the WTAE report, Simonetta's overall costs jumped 63 percent thanks to the new regulations. TheBlaze has reached out to Simonetta for further comment. When he responds to our inquiry, we will update this story.
As you watch the local news report, the shock and despair are obvious and displayed on the faces of the workers as they are told the grim reality of their own individual insurance costs under Obamacare.
Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter - @stuntbrain