President Barack Obama at the G7 Summit this week, while arguing against an ongoing Supreme Court case, claimed his first term healthcare overhaul has no problems whatsoever.
“What’s more, the thing is working,” the president declared. “I mean, part of what’s bizarre about this whole thing is we haven’t had a lot of conversation about the horrors of Obamacare because none of them come to pass.”
The Supreme Court case, King v. Burwell, is part of a series of lawsuits which argue that Obamacare was written so that only individuals in states with their own exchanges could get tax credits. Plaintiffs in the case argue that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can’t provide tax credits for individuals in states that opted-out of setting up their own healthcare exchanges.
Nevertheless, Obama took time during his speech not to discuss the actual language being disputed but to argue the benefits of Obamacare.
“You got 16 million people who’ve gotten health insurance,” the president continued. “The overwhelming majority of them are satisfied with the health insurance. It hasn’t had an adverse effect on people who already had health insurance.”
“The only effect it’s had on people who already had health insurance is they now have an assurance that they won’t be prevented from getting health insurance if they’ve got a preexisting condition,” he added. “They get additional protections with the health insurance that they do have.”
Even with the supposed good Obama claims his healthcare measure does, saying it has no problems is a major stretch. Here are just a few examples:
Do You Like Your Doctor? Too Bad.
In one of the better documented promises Obama was forced to break after the passage of the act, many weren’t able to keep their doctors or their plans.
“That means if you like the plan you have, you can keep it,” Obama declared in a speech from 2009. “If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold.”
“Many plans offered on Obamacare’s exchanges have very limited provider networks, decreasing the chances consumers will be able to keep their current doctor without paying more money,” The Heritage Foundation noted in a report.
“Furthermore, many Americans who purchase coverage on their own have had their existing health plans changed or canceled due to Obamacare, resulting in some people being unable to keep their current doctors without paying additional money to do so,” the report added.
Every American Will Be Covered … Except Maybe A Few Million.
Obamacare was also sold as the solution to finally insuring every American.
“I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American,” Obama said.
PolitiFact, a nonpartisan fact checker, however, listed this statement as a broken promise with several million still not being covered.
“Despite spending nearly $1.8 trillion in new spending from 2014 to 2023, the law falls far short of universal coverage,” Heritage noted in its report. “Indeed, Obamacare is projected by the CBO to leave 31 million uninsured after a decade of full implementation.”
Your Premiums Won’t Go Up… Too Much.
Another huge unintended consequence of Obamacare was the increasing premium costs.
“In an Obama administration, we’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year,” then Sen. Obama claimed during a health care town hall in 2008.
That didn’t turn out to be even close to the case. According to a 2012 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average premium for single coverage ($5,429) was 3 percent higher and the average premium for family coverage ($15,073) became 4 percent higher.
No New Taxes … Unless We Can’t Call Them Something Else.
In order to sell his healthcare plan, Obama did the most American thing a president could do, he promised there would be no tax increases. Unfortunately, this too ended up being not quite true.
“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase,” Obama stated. “Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”
This pledge was broken as well, most notably through the fine levied through income taxes in lieu of a health insurance purchase.
As is often the case, the reality is even worse.
“Obamacare contains 18 separate tax hikes, fees, and penalties, many of which heavily impact the middle class,” its report notes.
Not One Dime To The Deficits. A Check Will Do Though.
President Obama also promised that his healthcare law won’t add to the country’s growing deficit.
“First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future,” Obama said. “I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period. And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize.”
According to a study by the Government Accountability Office, however, Obamacare will increase the deficit roughly $6.2 trillion over the next 75 years.
The Protector Medicare Probably Doesn’t Need.
Another big promise Obama made during his big sell was that Medicare would be fine. This however also turned out to not be true.
“Don’t pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut, especially since some of the same folks who are spreading these tall tales have fought against Medicare in the past and just this year supported a budget that would essentially have turned Medicare into a privatized voucher program,” Obama promised. “That will not happen on my watch. I will protect Medicare.”
The reality is, Medicare was hurt pretty bad by Obamacare.
“Obamacare makes unprecedented and unrealistic payment reductions to Medicare providers and Medicare Advantage plans in order to finance the new spending in the law. The cuts amount to over $700 billion from 2013 to 2022,” Heritage notes. “If Congress allows these draconian reductions to take place, it will significantly impact seniors’ ability to access care.”
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