“Billions of more documents” will be have to be filled out by small businesses for the IRS so that a “spendthrift Congress can shake a few extra bucks out of” them to pay for ObamaCare. They will have to spend countless hours to “gather information,” such as about the person they buy a used car from, and the mom-and-pop landlords who lease space to them, even if the small business has to spend more money gathering the information than the IRS will collect in taxes as a result. (The new health care law will raise far more revenue by taking away medical-tax deductions of “15 million very sick people” with “major medical expenses” starting in 2013.)
The health care bill vastly expands the power of the IRS. The Washington Examiner says that “16,500 more IRS agents” will be “needed to enforce Obamacare.” That’s “the biggest expansion of the IRS since World War II.”
ObamaCare is also costing major employers who provide health coverage for retirees billions of dollars. “When companies started reporting the write-downs they’d take as a result of the passage of ObamaCare,” congressional Democrats “reacted with outrage at the announcements, and scheduled hearings to demand answers . . . from AT&T, Caterpillar, Deere, and Verizon.” But now, the massive costs of ObamaCare are so obvious and undeniable that even congressional Democrats have “admitted that CEOs who reported billions in losses due to ObamaCare were required to state those losses after all,” and that their “companies acted properly and in accordance with” federal “accounting standards.”
“Economic experts from President Obama’s own Health and Human Services Department have released a devastating report noting that Obamacare ‘will increase national health care spending by $311 billion from 2010-2019,’ according to the Associated Press. Even worse, ‘Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15 percent of hospitals into the red and ‘possibly jeopardizing access’ to care for seniors.’” This contradicts Obama’s claims that the health care law would “bend the cost curve down” and cut the cost of health insurance.
This report existed before Congress voted on the health care bill, but Obama’s HHS Secretary concealed it until after the bill’s passage.
“The administration’s own actuary reported on Thursday that millions of people could lose their health insurance, that health-care costs will rise faster than they would have if the law hadn’t passed, and that the overhaul will mean that people will have a harder and harder time finding physicians to see them.”
To try to offset and hide the increased cost of health care resulting from their ill-conceived health care law, the Obama administration and congressional leaders are now proposing a new bill to “impose price controls on insurance,” even though similar legislation is already backfiring in Massachusetts, where health care costs spiraled upwards after the state government adopted a prototype of ObamaCare several years ago, resulting in “explosive costs.”
The health care legislation backed by Obama contains many penny-wise, pound-foolish provisions. It spends money on frills like “cultural competency,” while cutting spending on crucial things like anesthesia.
Fourteen attorneys general are challenging provisions of the new health care law in court. Their lawsuits argue that forcing people to buy health insurance is not a valid exercise of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.
The new law imposes many middle-class tax increases, such as taxes on uninsured individuals, on cosmetic surgery, on medical devices, and on certain health care plans. It also increases taxes on many investors and imposes marriage penalties.
The new health care law will reduce lifesaving medical innovation, raise taxes, drive up insurance premiums, break many campaign promises, and increase state budget deficits. It will jeopardize the quality of medical care, while imposing restrictions that failed when tried at the state level. It ignores advice from doctors and federal experts, and lessons from countries with universal health care, about how to keep costs down.
While the CBO deceptively scored the health care bill as not increasing the federal deficit, thanks to the many tax increases in the bill, it did so only because it was required to accept many accounting gimmicks that even pro-administration journalists have admitted conceal the bill’s enormous cost and the fact that it will massively increase the deficit. The New York Times‘ David Brooks, once a staunch supporter of President Obama, recently said that the bill’s drafters were “corrupted by power” and called arguments for the law “unbelievable” and “insane.” The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle, who also voted for Obama, wrote that the law “is a fiscal disaster waiting to happen.”
Hans Bader is counsel to special projects at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. This article originally appeared on the CEI blog.