Obamacare is a year old. What an unhappy anniversary. Have your health insurance premiums gone down? No? I didn’t think so. Then again, it was never about bringing down the cost of insurance. It’s about rationing and control. It’s about the central government taking over a fifth of the economy. Heritage gave Obamacare a checkup, and it’s not looking good.
Abstract: On its one-year anniversary, Obamacare’s unpopularity is growing. Its hodgepodge of mandates and regulations have reduced competition in health insurance markets and increased the cost of coverage. Overall, Obamacare has increased government control of Americans’ health care choices and limited consumer choice. The more than 1,000 waivers already granted tacitly acknowledge that Obamacare’s “benefits” are not worth its costs. Congress should replace Obamacare with consumer-focused reforms and sensible changes in health care entitlement programs.
Perhaps the most revealing change in the year past, however, is the reaction of the employers who face mandates under Obamacare that impose massive new costs and mountains of red tape. As a result, more than a thousand employers, including Fortune 500 corporations, nonprofits, labor unions and small businesses, have requested and received one-year waivers to buy them some time to figure out how to cope with Obamacare’s demands. Those demands are so severe that even previously enthusiastic Obamacare advocates in the business community, like Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, are stepping back. “I think as the bill is currently written and if it was going to land in 2014 under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great,” Schultz recently told the Seattle Times.
I only wish people like Howard Schultz thought about this before they threw their support behind this awful law.
The Wall Street Journal pointed out that Obamacare is already 8.6% over budget. What a shock.
We thought you’d like to know, and we also want to underline a less-noticed section that shows that ObamaCare will be far more expensive than advertised. To wit, CBO says the entitlement’s health insurance subsidies will cost $1.13 trillion between 2012 and 2021, not $1.04 trillion, the prior estimate. This 8.6% jump is the result of revised assumptions, the so-called technical factors in CBO’s budget model. The bill’s total cost now stands at $1.445 trillion, according to another recent CBO estimate.
Remember that all of these are fictitious numbers that reflect Congressional gaming of CBO conventions to make it seem as if ObamaCare “saves” money. But now, even under these conventions, CBO is conceding that it significantly underestimated the bill’s cost. If the propeller heads decide to add a few more trillion dollars in new spending, they might get somewhat closer to the bill’s true cost.
No wonder the law’s champions have gone into hiding.
This is what President Obama and the Democrats spent so much time and effort ramming through while the economy was in the toilet. Unemployment is still high, the cost of living is skyrocketing, and health insurance is more expensive than ever. That’s some record.