On the two-year anniversary of Obamacare, Republicans in Congress are more committed than ever to repealing this unconstitutional law and replacing it with commonsense reforms that put health care back in the hands of individuals and doctors, instead of bureaucrats in Washington.
President Obama was right when he argued upon taking office that the U.S. health-care system was in critical need of reform. Among other problems were the rising cost of health care to private and public payers, the exposure of too many families to potentially catastrophic health-care costs, and the lack of coverage for millions of Americans.
Yet rather than solving the most pressing problems in the old system, Obamacare has made many of these problems far worse. Costs and premiums are rising, Medicare has been weakened, states now struggle to keep pace with even costlier federal mandates, and the economy is being sapped as new mandates dissuade employers from creating new jobs.
For these reasons and others, those of us who fought against Obamacare’s passage look forward to making our case before the Supreme Court next week.
Americans continue to oppose Obamacare in large numbers. Indeed, a recent USA Today/Gallup poll showed that 72 percent of Americans, including most Democrats, believe that Obamacare’s core, a government mandate to buy health insurance, violates the Constitution. This, along with a growing list of unintended consequences, are reason enough to repeal it.
But nearly two years after passage, Americans continue to find more things to dislike. Far from curing a rise in health-care costs, Obamacare is now expected to increase health-care spending by more than a quarter of a trillion dollars, and federal health-care spending and subsidies by nearly $400 billion. Health-care premiums for American families are expected to skyrocket by $2,100 per year.
And the White House has now admitted what they refused to acknowledge when they forced Obamacare into law: A key component of their deficit-reduction claims, the CLASS Act, can’t possibly be implemented in a financially sustainable way. Now they tell us.
As for the law’s broader impact on the economy, here too the reality has proven far less appealing than the president’s rhetoric. Although the plan was sold as a cure-all for a broken health-care system, but as the foundation for a stronger economy, we now know that Obamacare has been one of the single biggest drags on job creation since early 2010.
According to the director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare means 800,000 fewer jobs over the next decade. One recent private-sector analysis concluded that the president’s health-care law is “arguably the biggest impediment to hiring, particularly hiring of less skilled workers”
States face their own challenges. Many couldn’t afford federal health-care mandates before Obamacare mandated dramatic increases in Medicaid rolls — and the costs to pay for it. Needless to say, even if states are able to meet the costs of covering as many as 25 million more Medicaid patients, the quality of the care for those who rely on Medicaid would almost certainly suffer.
The president may be able to boast that more people have coverage. But states, which will have to shoulder the costs, won’t be applauding.
Nor will America’s seniors, millions of whom now know from bitter experience that the president wasn’t speaking to them when he vowed that, under Obamacare, “if you like the plan you have you can keep it.” Since then, millions who have and like Medicare Advantage have learned it won’t necessarily be there for them anymore.