In light of negative comments made by Congressional Democrats, President Obama discussed the implementation of Obamacare at a press conference this week, explaining that “even if we do everything perfectly, there’ll still be, you know, glitches and bumps, and there’ll be stories that can be written that says, oh, look, this thing’s, you know, not working the way it’s supposed to, and this happened and that happened.” But Obamacare has been experiencing more than a few “bumps” and “glitches.”
For starters, it has been over three years since Obamacare’s enactment and public opinion of the law still remains negative. A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 40 percent of respondents still had an unfavorable view of the law, 35 percent reported a favorable view, and 24 percent reported they had no opinion on the law.
Moreover, with just six months until open enrollment for the exchanges begins, the poll found that “about half the public says they do not have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will impact their own family, a share that rises among the uninsured and low-income households”—the two groups the law is most likely to benefit.
In addition, another story about the harmful effects of Obamacare’s employer mandate is in the news. The employer mandate forces all employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer government-approved health coverage or pay a penalty. To avoid the cost of coverage and the penalty, many employers are increasingly shifting their full-time workers to part time. As NPR reports, Rob Wilson, president of the temp agency Employco said it is impacting his business too, “Instead of saying, ‘I want one person for 40 hours a week,’ [employers are saying], ‘I’ll take two people for 20 hours or 25 hours a week.’”
And as Heritage’s Drew Gonshorowski points out, Obamacare affects the incentives of more than just employers: “[T]he employee side also experiences many distortionary effects. Some of these distortions include incentives to reduce hours, not seek work, drop insurance coverage, drop dependent coverage, become divorced, or avoid marriage.”
And now a new study on Oregon’s Medicaid program is raising questions over the value of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. The study “did not detect a significant difference in the quality of life related to physical health” between Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured.
But this study isn’t the first of its nature. Heritage’s Kevin Dayaratna shows that, “[a]cademic literature has consistently illustrated that Medicaid patients—adults and children—have inferior access to health care, and notably poorer health outcomes, than privately insured patients.”
Despite the overwhelming evidence of these harmful “glitches” and “bumps,” the only thing the Obama Administration has changed is the length of Obamacare’s application, allowing this “train wreck” to loom.