The Corner

You Lie

Never before in the history of the Republic has a president lied so boldly, so unequivocally, so repeatedly about a matter that has such a significant impact on hundreds of millions of Americans — and that also happens to be his administration’s signature achievement.

Before Obamacare we had, for all its faults, the finest health-care system in the world. But 47 million were uninsured. We were told Obamacare would insure them. So Obamacare blew up the best health-care system in the world and yet 30 million will remain uninsured. The core reason for the law was a lie.

In return for the bright, shining, false promise of Obamacare, 3.5 million Americans have had their plans terminated, and that number is expected to rise to over 100 million when all of the law’s mandates kick-in. Millions won’t have their preferred choice of doctors or hospitals, and many doctors and hospitals simply refuse to participate in the train wreck. Medical technology and innovation are stifled by the law’s tax and regulatory burdens. The promise of improved health care was a lie.

For millions, premiums are skyrocketing, not falling by an average of $2,500 a year (more than $200 a month!) as the president promised. Deductibles are so high that for millions more Obamacare means they’re now essentially self-insuring. The very title of the bill — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — was a lie.

We were told that Obamacare would upgrade health-care technology, streamline and improve medical record keeping, and simplify the administrative aspects of health care. Instead, we have a Fred Flintstone website, a galactically incompetent administrative structure, and a system so hideously flawed that catastrophic breaches of patient privacy are all but certain. The promise of a 21st century health-care system was a lie.

Obamacare was supposed to widen our health-care options, but the act’s ridiculous one-size-fits-all plans – mandated Soviet style, regardless of individual need – assumes Americans are fungible commodities. And what will our choices be once the Independent Payment Advisory Board starts humming? The promise of expanded individual choice was a lie.

The president said this reform would help the economy. But employers have put hiring on hold in anticipation of Obamacare’s implementation. The unemployment rate has never been below 7 percent in the last five years, job creation is anemic, household income has fallen, the labor-force participation rate is at the lowest level in 35 years, and half of Americans are receiving some form of government assistance. Obamacare’s boost to the economy was a lie.

We were told Obamacare was a market-oriented, not government-driven, reform. But the bulk of enrollees to date are flocking to Medicaid, a situation that, left unremedied, could cause the system to collapse into a single-payer system, or, at minimum, require a titanic bailout. The claim that Obamacare will improve the health-care market was a lie.

Obamacare’s disastrous rollout and all of the damage it’s causing to individuals and the health-care system in general are problematic enough. But as bad as those things are, the more pernicious damage is to individual freedom and the relationship between citizen and state. A free people who permit their leaders to lie to them on large matters with impunity shouldn’t be surprised when their freedoms continue to erode and shrivel. The most profound lie of Obamacare is that it will give people more freedom. 

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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