When he was pushing Congress to pass Obamacare back in 2009, President Obama scolded critics of his health care overhaul for misleading people about the consequences of his bill. Of course people will be able to keep their doctors and health care plans under Obamacare, he said.
But according to a new projection from the Congressional Budget Office, as many as seven million Americans will be dropped from employer health care coverage because of Obamacare. That’s about twice what was previously estimated — and we can expect that number to keep increasing.
So the critics were right: Millions of Americans won’t be keeping their own doctors or health care plans under Obamacare.
Americans are already suffering from another false promise — that Obamacare would bend the “cost curve” down for health care. That has not happened, nor will it. The new demand for health care that Obamacare creates, coupled with the static supply of doctors, nurses and hospitals, guarantees that costs will rise. In fact, the IRS has just issued rules that assume family health care coverage will cost at least $20,000 a year by 2016.
With the country struggling under the weight of a growing and debilitating debt, this president and congressional Democrats have created a new, unworkable and destructive entitlement program. Their insistence that the debt-fueled economic collapses in European countries bear no lessons for the United States is nothing less than willful negligence.
Senate Democrats have yet to admit that passing Obamacare was a mistake of historic proportions. The dawning realization that small businesses have stopped hiring and that the Affordable Care Act is making health care less affordable is only beginning to occur to the most astute among them. Humility is still a long way off.
Their arrogance in enacting such sweeping and ill-considered legislation over the objections of a majority of Americans is about to run head-on into the reality of Obamacare’s implementation.
Twenty-five governors have flat-out refused to create health care exchanges in their states, and enrolling millions of people in exchanges run by the federal government will be enormously challenging and expensive. It’s not even clear that the federal government has the authority to disburse subsidies to — or impose tax penalties on — people who purchase insurance in federal exchanges.
The problems with implementing Obamacare will become the most powerful argument for repealing it. Every critic’s prediction of dysfunction will come true. They already are.
Newly elected Texas Senator Ted Cruz promised voters that his first piece of legislation would call for Obamacare’s repeal, and he has kept his word. For all those senior citizens who are already being turned away by doctors sick and tired of Washington’s Medicare reimbursement games and the siphoning of a quarter of a trillion dollars from Medicare to Obamacare, this is welcome news. It’s also reason for small business owners and their beleaguered employees to hope.
Senate Democrats would do well to start listening for the sound of ice cracking beneath their feet. Crafting public policy without public support is dangerous.
The 2014 midterm elections may very well do what the 2012 presidential election did not — give voice to all those Americans who realize what a mistake passing Obamacare really was.
Ken Hoagland is the chairman of Restore America’s Voice, a two-million-person-strong advocacy group that believes public policy decisions too often ignore the views of American citizens.