Americans are learning that ObamaCare will pile on insurmountable debt and cause government to encroach on every area of our lives. ObamaCare is, as Yuval Levin said, an “unmitigated disaster—for our health care system, for our fiscal future, and for any notion of limited government.” And the more we learn about the specific provisions, the more we discover that the bill does not reflect our values—faith, family and freedom—nor does it strengthen those principles that are the foundation of a great nation.
Each day while Democrats are criss-crossing the country to declare that ObamaCare is not a government takeover of health care, a new government expert releases figures indicating that ObamaCare is going to be outrageously expensive and won’t do what the president promised it would. Now they tell us!
Many Americans were outraged after ObamaCare passed when a report from the Office of the Actuary of Medicare indicated that the costs of the bill would increase rather than cut the costs of health care in the United States. In an April 23 appearance before the House Appropriations Committee, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius declared that nobody really knows what ObamaCare will cost. Ed Morrisey, a major blogger on Hot Air, called the $5 billion appropriated for ObamaCare just a “spit-balling number,” because “no one has the faintest clue how much money will actually get spent on this program.” There is clear evidence, however, from the Congressional Budget Office that the average penalty for those three million middle-class Americans who are expected to pay a penalty for not having health insurance will amount to more than $1,000 per person. The report estimates that the government will collect about $4 billion per year in fines from 2017 to 2019.
In addition to questions about cost, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll reveals that over half of Americans are confused about what the law means (55 percent) and what impact it will have on them (56 percent). Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), ranking Republican on the Budget Committee and a leader in explaining Obamanomics, believes that the nation is at a “tipping point” and could be on a “very dangerous” path toward a social welfare state. He says ObamaCare “has $2 trillion in higher taxes, doubles the debt in five years, triples the debt in 10 years,” and consists of the “largest entitlement” expansion in 35 years where the “majority of Americans are more dependent upon the government than they are themselves.” More than 70 percent, Ryan claims, will get more benefits from the government than they pay for in taxes—making 3-out-of-10 families either supplement or supply the income for the other seven families.
Numerous polls indicate that the public’s trust in government is at an “historic low.” The Pew Research Center reported that only 22 percent of Americans trust government today. A Quinnipiac poll notes that the President’s approval rating is down to 44 percent, and Congress’s approval is 25 percent. Daniel Henninger, of the Wall Street Journal, said, “The American people have issued a no-confidence vote in government.” Henninger thinks that the distrust is because, with almost universal access to the Internet, the “veil was ripped from the true cost of government” so that everyone could see how much spending—$9 trillion—was out of control.
ObamaCare contains $670 billion in tax increases. For the middle class, there are at least 14 different tax increases signed into law that target taxpayers making less than $250,000 per year. In Massachusetts, a state that enacted health care reforms similar to the national plan, more than a half-dozen lawsuits were filed to stop double-digit premium increases. The Boston Globe warned that ObamaCare could result in similar lawsuits at the federal level. Indeed, Richard Epstein, a constitutional lawyer writing in the Wall Street Journal, stated that regulated public utilities have a right to a “risk-adjusted rate of return on their invested capital.” Others are predicting federal lawsuits where courts will slap down “efforts to control by fiat the price of the insurance” that Americans are legally mandated to buy. Attorneys general in more than a dozen states are working to challenge the legal mandate in federal court as unconstitutional.
Finally, officials are owning up to what most Americans already knew. ObamaCare means higher costs and lower quality; ObamaCare means rationing and higher taxes—including a Value Added Tax (VAT). It means mandating and penalties. President Obama and his liberal colleagues on the Hill jettisoned the world’s best health care system for the dubious honor of having achieved “health care reform.” Now, in addition to figuring out how to pay for the trillion-dollar government takeover of health care, we have to untangle the budgetary gimmicks, bureaucratic mess, and disastrous financial crisis that the nation faces as a result.
Janice Shaw Crouse, author of “Children at Risk,” is Executive Director and Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute.