The Corner

Obamacare Gets a Makeover, and You’re Paying for It

In the three years since President Obama signed Obamacare into law, Democrats have failed to convince the majority of Americans that the law was actually a good idea. As its full implementation date draws near, the Obama administration is desperate to change that. So they’ve awarded a $14 million contract to a major public-relations firm to run a massive ad campaign touting its purported benefits.

Who’s paying for this? Taxpayers, of course. It was bad enough that President Obama raised taxes to fund a new entitlement. Now the American people are footing the bill for our government to convince us that Obamacare — and its 20,000 pages of regulations — wasn’t a mistake.

It’s going to be a tough sell. Even some Democrats are realizing that navigating this bureaucratic monstrosity will be nearly impossible for patients and small businesses, with or without a PR blitz.

Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana who voted for Obamacare, told Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently that the implementation of the law is a looming disaster. “I just see a huge train wreck coming down,” he told her.

The best of today’s mad men won’t be able to make this “train wreck” look pretty, though. Americans will witness firsthand the dangerous side effects of Obamacare: higher costs, limited care, smaller paychecks, and a weaker economy.

Democrats promised none of this would happen. But slowly, they’re admitting otherwise. Secretary Sebelius has conceded that health care will get more expensive. Under Obamacare, individuals buying insurance on their own will see costs go up, and younger customers especially “could see their rates increase,” she says.

Health economist Jon Gruber, who helped craft Obamacare, says “a slice of the younger population” will see the most substantial increase. He adds, “after the application of tax subsidies, 59 percent of the individual market will experience an average premium increase of 31 percent.”

The nonpartisan Society of Actuaries also recently ran the numbers on Obamacare. They found that medical claims costs will jump 32 percent in the individual insurance market in the first few years the law is in place.

In short, the “Affordable Care Act” isn’t so affordable after all.

All this is on top of the increased costs families have already endured under President Obama’s first four years in office: The average cost of family health-care premiums rose by over $3,000 to $15,645 since 2009.

The pain of high healthcare costs isn’t going away with Obamacare. In fact, it will only get worse. Yet instead of trying to fix the problem, Democrats want Americans to forget about the problem altogether. That’s why they’re spending millions to give the law a glitzy makeover.

Three years ago, Nancy Pelosi famously declared, “We have to pass [Obamacare] so that you can find out what is in it.” And that’s why Democrats face an uphill PR battle: Americans found out what’s in it.

— Reince Priebus is chairman of the Republican National Committee.

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