The law that promised health coverage for all has so far stripped 3.5 million Americans of their insurance. Meanwhile, fewer than 27,000 people merely “selected” plans—without necessarily purchasing them—on HealthCare.gov.
To date, then, Obamacare keeps creating more coverage losers for every Obamacare “winner.” And many of those “winners” have been dismayed to discover that their trophy coverage is far more expensive than their former plans, or denies them access to the doctors and hospitals they’ve come to rely on—or both.
The White House promises things will improve—but most analysts outside government insist the problems are so severe that a “fix” won’t come for months … if it comes at all.
Far from making America’s health system better, Obamacare is making it worse. In this kind of situation, the logical thing to do is to stop the destruction. That means pulling the plug on Obamacare.
Of course, the Administration doesn’t want you to entertain that notion. To discourage Americans calling for repeal, defunding, or scrapping this intrusive health law, liberals have taken to repeating President Obama’s assertion that Obamacare is not just the law of the land, but “settled” law that is “here to stay.”
The assertion is nonsense, of course. Far from being “settled,” numerous challenges to the law are still winding their way through the courts. And just because something is “the law of the land” doesn’t mean it can’t be changed.
Representative Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) learned that lesson the hard way nearly a quarter of a century ago. On August 17, 1989, a group of senior citizens chased the Ways and Means chairman from a town hall meeting in protest of the new Medicare Catastrophic Health Care Act. It had been enacted into law just 14 months earlier, with the promise that it would help seniors cope with medical expenses.
It was a classic case of “Washington knows best.” Lawmakers assured seniors the law was for their own good. After all, they noted, it established a ceiling on hospital and doctor bills, expanded benefits for nursing home care and prescription drugs, etc. What’s not to like? As Rostenkowski complained while fleeing his aged pursuers, “These people don’t understand what the government is trying to do for them.”
Unfortunately for Rostenkowski, they knew all too well what the government—and the law—was doing to them. Once the law took effect, seniors discovered that these “new” benefits were extremely expensive. Worse, many already had the newly guaranteed benefits under their old coverage plans—and weren’t at all happy about having to pay higher taxes just to keep them.
The saga ended sadly for Rostenkowski but beneficially for seniors. Their protest gathered steam, and Washington—at last—listened. Just three months after that fateful protest, Congress repealed the Medicare Catastrophic Health Care Act.
When “the law of the land” doesn’t work for the people, the people—through their elected representatives—can change it. The “fix” for Obamacare won’t come from tech gurus. It will come from the American people who want alternatives to government-run health care. Fortunately, Heritage has issued several commonsense solutions that give the American people power over their health care decisions and dollars.
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