Obamacare is the largest and most controversial piece of legislation in a generation. As implementation continues to stumble, it is appropriate to reflect on why the majority of Americans and Congress supported it in the first place. The following are five fundamental, false promises made by Obama while promoting the Affordable Care Act.
1. The ACA is not a tax.
Yes it is! President Obama’s attorneys pursued two lines of argument to defend the ACA from charges that it was unconstitutional. The first, which utilized the “commerce clause,” grants Congress the power to regulate markets. This rationale was rejected by the majority, but Obama’s lawyers succeeded with the second argument. The Supreme Court ruled in National Federation of Independent Business vs. Kathleen Sebelius that Congress could legislate the mandate based on its power to lay and collect taxes.
2. If you like your current insurance plan you can keep it.
No you can’t! The ACA officials project that employers will be paying $135 billion in fines to opt out of providing insurance under these new rules for their employees, which means these companies project the burden of ACA to be significantly greater or else they would not submit to the fines. Moreover, as of now, roughly 12 percent of employees will be forced into inferior plans, some of which will lose their Medicaid benefits. Already hundreds of thousands have lost their plans particularly in New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania and California.
3. If you like your doctor, you can keep him or her.
No you can’t! The Obama administration has projected that Medicare part A (basic medical services and check-up for the elderly) will lose 15 percent profitability, which is encouraging many doctors to retire early. So, although there will be no direct administrative rearrangement (so far as we know now) the unintended consequences may require you to find a new doctor. UnitedHealthcare alone has terminated contracts with over 2,100 doctors.
The ten-year cost will be less than $1 trillion.
No it won’t! Suffice it to say, after the subprime mortgage crisis in 2006, I have little confidence in federal economic projections. The only people who saw that coming were elite private hedge fund managers who are now all much richer because of it. Regardless, new projections are between 1.3 and 1.9 trillion depending on how lucrative the new taxes and penalties are for those who opt out.
5. Obamacare will not add a dime to the deficit.
Yes it will; many dimes in fact! The only way this promise has any hope is if $1.3 trillion dollars can be cut from Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). For the last seven years, Congress has overridden reductions in payments to Medicare physicians including an $80 billion annual cut to Medicare alone. There is no reason to believe the ACA will change this trend.
Jacob Hayutin is a writer based in New York. Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Emma Elliott Freire