Be careful what you ask for, as the saying goes. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi learned the hard way not to ask unfiltered, un-vetted constituents for their stories on Obamacare — because what she heard back was hardly what she wanted.
In a tweet, Pelosi put out: “@POTUS wants to know about your experiences with #ACA. Share your stories about why we must #ProtectOurCare.”
To find fodder to fight off President Donald Trump’s press to repeal Obamacare.
But what she received was anything but.
“@NancyPelosi @POTUS #ProtectOurCare,” wrote back one. “My costs have sky rocketed under Obamacare, Out of pocket almost twice what paid pre-Ocare. #FullRepeal.”
Another: “@NancyPelosi @POTUS health care insurance for dad & two younger siblings is $800 per month. this is NOT affordable for a middle class fam.”
Yet a third, thanks to the Washington Free Beacon for finding: “@NancyPelosi @POTUS cost went through the roof.”
And other assorted comments: Obamacare “is not working”; Get rid of it because it’s “financially devastating” to middle class; Can’t get necessary surgery “cause deductible is too high!”
That last writer noted suffering two years worth of pain.
The Twitter commentary comes as Republicans are fighting over the fate of Obamacare. Trump vowed full repeal; Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s plan has been criticized for falling far short of that. Meanwhile, Congressional Budget Office statistics, for what they’re worth — remember how far off their figures were on Obamacare, particularly on the numbers enrolled in state exchanges — says the GOP bill, as introduced, would cut the federal deficit by $337 billion, but leave 24 million uninsured. The spin-meisters are in full swing.
Sen. Charles Schumer, platforming off the CBO report, for instance, is trying to label the GOP bill as “Trump care,” so he can slam it — unlike Obamacare — as a “train wreck.”
Fact it, it was a train wreck when it was Obamacare. Anything coming out of the Trump administration could only slow the wreck.
But all this insider-Washington, back-and-forth jostling and posturing distracts from the simple.
The average Americans, experiencing first hand how their insurance deductibles rose from $1,000 to $3,000, or more — and how they once visited this doctor, but now, according to their new plans, have to visit that doctor — have a much less in-the-weeds approach to analyzing any plan coming out of Congress. And it goes like this: Is Obamacare repealed?
Well then, the bill won’t work.
Take it from Pelosi’s Twitter feed: American voters know what they want, they know what they voted for, and they’re not going to be sold on a compromise or deception.