The problems with Obamacare are well-known. So are the lies.
Let’s start with the lies. Obamacare fans are still crowing about the program’s record enrollment this year – 14.5 million. Undoubtedly, it will be mentioned when former President Obama visits the White House tomorrow to celebrate Obamacare. What they’re not telling you is they promised 21 million people would sign up for Obamacare when it was passed. I don’t see how falling 50 percent short of your goal is anything to crow about. And the only reason enrollment is high this year is because Obamacare subsidies are temporarily jumbo-sized. Temporarily. An HHS report indicates enrollment could fall back to 11 million next year if the bigger subsidies are not made permanent.
Now for the problems. President Obama promised families would save $2,500 a year on their health insurance, but premiums have tripled since Obamacare was signed into law. Congressman Byron Donalds says he’s never paid higher premiums than under Obamacare. But locking higher subsidies into place permanently, as Biden and the Democrats want to do, will be inflationary. Higher subsidies will cost $220 billion over the next decade and, thanks to looser eligibility requirements, benefit the wealthy – people making more than six figures – more than low income families. It’s foreseeable health insurers will raise prices. The problem will be worse in the one-third of counties that still only have one or two Obamacare insurers; they’ll raise prices even more. This is so typical of Democrats – they cause a problem, then turn around and say, ‘oh, but we’ll HELP you,’ offering Band-Aids to fix the problems they created in the first place. It’s one of their machines for buying votes.
And you’ll notice Obamacare pushed government assistance into the middle class, way beyond the poverty level where government assistance programs first started. Making it so the middle class and now even well-off people can’t function without the assistance of the federal government – what do you suppose that’s about? Whatever the Democrats’ ulterior motive, it’s the wrong direction. And it’s a trap. Democrats are working to cut off escape routes like short-term plans so there’s no escape. The increased availability of cheaper short-term plans was very popular under Trump, but Democrats want to cut them to three months with no renewal. [Heartland Institute Health Care News, p. 5]
The problems with Obamacare don’t end there. Obamacare’s crowning achievement was supposedly covering people with preexisting conditions, but stories persist of cancer victims being denied coverage. No, you can’t keep your doctor and you can’t keep your plan. Obamacare’s regulatory burden has cost small business $64.6 billion and more than 3.3 billion hours of lost productivity. Some insurers continue to trip up on Obamacare’s adverse selection problem – the idea that the sickest people sign up for Obamacare plans. Adverse selection hits the insurers’ bottom line and they’re getting out of the marketplace. That problem is baked into Obamacare’s design and can’t be fixed. Finally, Obamacare did nothing to fix the problem of people not going to the doctor because they can’t afford it.
We’re stuck with all these problems for the moment, because there’s no chance of repealing Obamacare any time soon. But that doesn’t mean we should accept this crazy contraption as normal or fall for it the next time the Democrats promise us the earth, the moon, and the stars.
©Christopher Wright. All rights reserved.