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'Free health care' deleted - without notice, from Obamacare Web site

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 30th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Just as Obamacare is about to take hold across the nation, a subtle change has occurred on the Obamacare Web site. The phrase "free health care" has been quietly removed. In its place is the euphemistic phrase "low-cost health care." The substitution has enormous potential four countless American.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On the Healthcare.gov Web site, a change has been made regarding those unable to afford coverage after the program kicks in.

From at least June 26, 2013 to as recently as September 15, under the topic, "Where can I get free or low-cost care in my community?" the following statement appeared: "If you can't afford any health plan, you can get free or low-cost health and dental care at a nearby community health center."

Sometime between September 16 and September 23, the reference to "free" care was quietly dismissed. The title of the topic was changed and now reads: "Where can I get low-cost care in my community?"

The Web page's Internet address remains the same, still containing the word "free": www.healthcare.gov/where-can-i-get-free-or-low-cost-care/. There is no notation anywhere that the Web page was revised. The change just appeared unannounced.

Other changes include dropping references to "dental" care and the availability of "prescription drugs," as well as exchanging the phrase "specialized care for more serious conditions" for the milder "referrals to specialized care."

President Obama has reiterated how inexpensive Obamacare will be for many Americans and that advertising the availability of "free" health care might have been viewed as a deterrent to purchasing even the least expensive option from the government-run exchanges.

"Bronze" and "silver" level plans Obama has recently been touting as equaling "the cost of your cable bill" and "less than your cell phone bill" will still entail significant out-of-pocket costs for medical care, "free" might still look more attractive to many on the lower end of the income scale. Community health centers will probably still offer free care to some, but visitors to Healthcare.gov will no longer be made aware of the option.

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