Remember when former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) told the American people that “we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what is in it”?
Well, it’s been over two years since the enactment of Obamacare, and we’ve found out a lot. Not only are the provisions currently in place falling short; the promises made about the health care law look to be broken. Here are five of them.
1. The law won’t raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year.
Obamacare includes over 18 new taxes (including the individual mandate) that will hit the middle class. These taxes come in all forms: on insurers, prescription drug manufacturers, medical device makers, and even tanning salons. Of course, the Administration would be quick to point out that none of these taxes is on individuals. But common sense tells us that these taxes will be passed on to the consumer.
As a result of the Supreme Court decision, the individual mandate is now a tax and one that the Administration can’t run away from. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office shows that nearly 70 percent of the individual mandate will be paid for by those earning less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
2. If you like your health plan, you can keep it.
Facing great uncertainty as a result of the struggling economy and the health care law, would anyone be surprised if more employers decide to drop coverage and pay the penalty than originally predicted? It makes sense for an employer to get out a calculator and set aside a lump of money to pay the government each year rather than worry about aligning their plans with still unknown and likely ever-changing government mandates.
And don’t think this broken promise just affects those with employer coverage—seniors will be hit, too. The chief Medicare actuary projects that enrollment in the ever-popular Medicare Advantage options will decline by 50 percent as Obamacare cuts go into place.
3. It will protect Medicare.
After two-and-a-half years, the word is finally out: Obamacare cuts over $700 billion out of Medicare—not to shore up the long-term viability of the Medicare program but to pay for the rest of Obamacare. It is worth noting that Heritage documented these cuts back in 2010 when the bill was enacted. Good to see that this fact has bubbled its way into the mainstream.
4. It will cut premiums by $2,500.
Granted, the health care law is not fully in effect, but the trends don’t look good. According to the annual Employer Health Benefits survey, average annual premiums for employer-based health care coverage have increased. From 2011 to 2012, single coverage rose 3 percent, and family coverage rose by 4 percent.
Here again, common sense tells us that the promise of “free” preventive coverage and new mandates on employers and insurers will make premiums go up, not down.
5. It will bend the cost curve down and reduce the deficit.
Only in Washington do you spend over a trillion dollars to “save” money and still leave 30 million people without health insurance. The truth is that Obamacare included a number of budget tricks to paint a false deficit picture.
There’s a Willie Nelson song that says, “A broken promise always means someone will surely cry.… I know who that someone is bound to be.” Under Obamacare, it is clear that it’s the American people.