The individual mandate isn’t the only problem with Obamacare

Deneen Borelli Director of Outreach, FreedomWorks
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A ruling on the constitutionality of key elements of Obamacare is expected from the U.S. Supreme Court by late June. The justices, and the public, are primarily focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, which would require Americans to purchase health insurance. Unfortunately, the individual mandate isn’t the only problem with Obamacare, a law that, once it fully takes effect, will fundamentally transform — for the worse — how health care is provided in this country.

One problem with Obamacare is the strain it will put on families’ budgets. The law was supposed to ensure quality health care for all Americans at an affordable cost. Instead, insurance premiums are expected to increase under Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that, if the law isn’t repealed, premiums on the individual market will rise by 10 to 13 percent between now and 2016. Moreover, the mandate, which is effectively a tax, would hit lower-income families the hardest.

Obamacare will also be a disaster for taxpayers. The law is expected to add between 16 million and 25 million Americans to Medicaid, a system that’s already overburdened and has its share of financial problems. The Medicaid expansion will ultimately cause problems for state budgets, since states are responsible for covering a large portion of Medicaid’s costs. States are already cash-strapped, largely because of existing entitlement programs.

Obamacare could also damage the economy. According to a 2011 CBO report, there will be 800,000 fewer jobs in 2020 if Obamacare takes effect than there would be if it doesn’t take effect.

And yet, even with Obamacare, an estimated 23 million Americans will still not have access to health insurance in 2019.

The few parts of that law that have been implemented so far are already creating problems. The high-risk pools intended to fill the gap between the law’s passage and implementation in 2014 have failed Americans with pre-existing conditions, while other measures in the law have led insurers to stop offering child-only policies.

Compassion and efficiency are not characteristics of government enterprises — the recent revelation of the General Services Administration’s lavish Las Vegas conference spending is proof of that. The “care” in “Obamacare” is a reference to how much Obama cares about his progressive legacy of greatly expanding the government’s control over our lives. Actual medical care will likely suffer under the law. If tragedy strikes and special medical treatment is needed, how long will it take to get an appointment with a specialist — assuming one can be found — once the people who manage the DMV are managing our health care system?

Obamacare is not primarily about coverage for children. It is not about improving workplace benefits. And it will not prevent health problems from developing. Rather, Obamacare is about Barack Obama’s overriding philosophy that decisions are better left to the government than to individuals, and that the state is a better arbiter for allocating resources than the free market.

The evidence is clear that Obamacare is the wrong reform at the wrong time. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s ultimate decision, Congress must repeal it.

Deneen Borelli is a Daily Caller columnist. She is also a fellow with Project 21, a network of black conservatives. Project 21 is an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research, a national public policy group based in Washington, D.C. She is the author of “Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation.