GOP senators launch broadside against Obamacare

The fight to shape perceptions of President Obama’s health care overhaul is still in the early stages, but on Wednesday two Republican senators will fire a salvo when they release a 32-page report arguing that the legislation is only exacerbating skyrocketing prices and will cause nearly 100 million Americans to lose their employer-based insurance.

“The passage of the new law is a lost historic opportunity,” says the report, authored by staff for Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, and Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican.

The report, titled “Bad Medicine,” comes as the Obama administration is accelerating a public relations push to promote benefits in the law that are taking effect now or soon, in advance of this fall’s midterm elections. There have been improvements in public opinions about the law, though large numbers still oppose it.

One of the most startling assertions in the Coburn/Barrasso report – which was obtained ahead of its release by The Daily Caller – is that nearly 100 million Americans will lose their current form of health insurance and will be required to obtain more expensive plans. One of the president’s most constant refrains in selling his health bill was that if Americans liked what they had, they could keep it.

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released a regulation that limits the changes businesses can make to health plans and still be considered ‘grandfathered’ plans – exempt from many of the burdensome new mandates in the law,” the report says. “With this new rule, it looks like almost 90 million Americans could lose their current health plan and instead be stuck with more costly, government-­mandated health insurance.”

There are roughly 176 million Americans who currently have health insurance through their employer, the report says.

The White House did not directly contest these numbers, but said that the majority of the 133 million people receiving insurance through large employers will retain what they have because the benefits are similar to what will be required in the future, while those at smaller companies would simply be moving from less protective plans to insurance policies with more protection, such as a ban on lifetime caps.

Another central plank of the Coburn/Barrasso report is that the Obama health law will drive up health care costs due to a number of factors. Taxes and fees on pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices and providers will be passed on to consumers, the report says. The White House also contests that assertion.

The report also argues that insurance premiums will shoot up because large numbers of young and healthy Americans will avoid signing up for government-mandated insurance unless and until they need it, and will drop it again when they don’t. And the Internal Revenue Service, the report argues, can’t enforce the law requiring people to buy insurance because the new law deprives it of the powers it needs to do so.

“Relatively low-­cost penalties and anemic enforcement will create an incentive for millions of Americans to game the system and only buy health insurance when they are sick,” the report says. “Penalties for noncompliance will average about $1,000 apiece in 2016 while the cost of the insurance could be three or four times higher. This gaming of the system will skew the risk pool and increase premiums for other Americans with health insurance.”

  • Susan

    Healthcare is the single most powerful issue the GOP has. They should pound this issue home and when they are in power get rid of this bill. Remember all the garbage the Dems threw at the American people to get this through. Repubs should run on this hard. Over the fence, parachute in, under the fence, etc.. and thats exactly what they did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Victoria-Linker/1618483027 Victoria Linker

    It was not noted that both of these gentlemen are Medical Doctors. They more even than the general public know & understand the current health care issues as well as the consequences of obamacare.

  • libertyatstake

    Repeal is now officially inevitable.

    [For a light hearted take on our present peril]

    • chai

      please say that isn’t so. that’s too frightening to contemplate…

  • truebearing

    Obama is a premeditated, pathological liar. He and his evil ilk were constantly denying that people would lose their insurance, or that there would be rationing. He promised costs would be reduced. All lies.

    Palin pointed out that the ruling principle behind Kevorkian Care, the insidious “comparative effectiveness”, would lead to death panels. She was right.

    The radical enviro-left has some rather radical Malthusian goals for world population reduction. Denying care to the old, handicapped, and ill is one way to surreptitiously implement negative eugenics. Some radical enviro-nitwits have advocated reducing the population of earth to only 350 million. That means a lot of abortions and denied health care.

    Stalin starved millions to death, Hitler gassed them. Obama will use more subtle techniques like denied health care.

    Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdren, has advocated forced abortion, mass sterilization, and naturally, redistribution of wealth. Berwick is for rationing. No one in Obama’s admin thinks we should own guns or have free speech. Now they are planning to tell us what we can eat.

    Welcome to Obama’s GRAVE NEW WORLD.

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