In some states, the poor have been avoiding “Obamacare” because of the political stigma:
Health professionals, state officials, social workers, insurance agents and others trying to make the law work for uninsured Americans say the partisan divisions and attack ads have depressed participation in some places. They say the law has been stigmatized for many who could benefit from it, especially in conservative states like West Virginia that have the poorest, most medically underserved populations but where President Obama and his signature initiative are hugely unpopular.
These are also states with the most competitive Senate and House midterm election campaigns, so the right-wing super PACs have poured millions into advertisements demonizing the ACA and the Democrats who support it. As a result, the poor have been convinced that Obamacare is evil on steroids.
Other problems stymied the introduction of the law, notably the initially dysfunctional federal website. But the political polarization â€œcomplicates our efforts to enroll people and to educate people about the Affordable Care Act, thereâ€™s no question,â€ said Perry Bryant, head of the advocacy group West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, based in Charleston, the capital.
â€œLiterally, people thought there would be chips embedded in their bodies if they signed up for Obamacare,â€ Mr. Bryant said.
Far to the east, at a branch of the Shenandoah Valley Medical System in Martinsburg, Sara R. Koontz, a social worker, said she had heard people express fears about chip implants as well as â€œdeath panelsâ€ as she sought to enroll uninsured residents. Some told her that they would rather pay a penalty than sign up for insurance, she said, and even people who did enroll paused in their excitement to ask, â€œWait â€” this isnâ€™t that Obamacare, is it?â€
The wealthy people spending money to discourage people from getting health insurance get great health care, I’m sure.