Morning Bell: After Obamacare
Mike Brownfield /
For the past two years, America has witnessed headline after headline reporting on flaws in President Barack Obama’s health care law. And as America learns more about this intolerable act, the opposition to Obamacare continues to grow. Yesterday, a new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News showed that more than two-thirds of Americans want to see the Supreme Court strike down Obamacare in whole or in part, and only 24 percent would keep the law in place.
In the face of this ground-shaking opposition, the White House is continuing its public relations campaign to save face if the Court rules that Obamacare should fall — a decision that could come by the end of this month. Yesterday, the Administration hosted a health care townhall meeting during which Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius trumpeted the law’s reforms, warned of the consequences if it were to be struck down, and promised that her agency is “ready for court contingencies” if the White House doesn’t get its way.
This is all part of a broader strategy being implemented by supporters of the law. As Heritage’s Rob Bluey reported late last month, liberal groups have planned an aggressive propaganda effort to sway media coverage and public opinion in defense of government-run health care. But as the Times / CBS poll shows, they have a hard row to hoe. And the mountain of Obamacare failures isn’t making their job any easier.
According to a new analysis by the American Action Forum, HHS has missed almost half of its legal deadlines in implementing Obamacare, including the failed Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, which didn’t even get off the ground before it crashed under its own weight. Also this week, Forbes reported on new analyses which conclude that Obamacare’s medical-device tax could destroy between 14,000 and 47,100 jobs while also harming patient health. And that’s not to mention the $502 billion of new or increased taxes and fees that the law imposes, the fact that 35 million people could lose their existing coverage because of Obamacare, higher premiums, continually rising health care costs, increased government control over health care, the negative impact on doctors and hospitals, and the law’s assault on freedom of religion.
The good news is that there is another, better way, as Heritage’s Nina Owcharenko details in a new paper, Saving the American Dream: A Blueprint for Putting Patients First. Owcharenko says that after repealing Obamacare in its entirety, there are three steps Congress should take to introduce a patient-centered, market-based health care system that replaces the president’s government-run plan. Those steps include: 1) Reforming Medicare and Medicaid, which are costing taxpayers more and more while increasingly failing to meet the needs of those of who depend on them; 2) Restructuring the tax treatment of health care, which today favors those who obtain their health insurance through their workplaces without offering relief to those who purchase insurance on their own; and 3) Refining insurance market regulations to help improve the marketplace for individual-based health insurance.
Owcharenko explains that Heritage’s proposed reforms are the right prescription for health care reform following Obamacare’s repeal:
Congress should not try to save Obamacare; it should repeal it. From there, Congress should not ignore the challenges in health care, but instead get back to the basics and pursue policy changes that give control of dollars and decisions to patients, not the government. By focusing on health care entitlements, the tax treatment of health insurance, and commonsense insurance market reforms, Congress would ensure that Americans benefit from better care at a lower cost.
America is struggling with increasingly higher health care costs, but thanks to Obamacare, the country’s health care problems are only getting worse. After Obamacare, it will be up to Congress to deliver reforms that will empower individuals, not bureaucrats, in a new market-based health care system.
- Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Congress yesterday that Taxmageddon is coming and poses a significant threat to the U.S. economy if lawmakers don’t prevent it. “The so-called fiscal cliff would, if allowed to occur, pose a significant threat to the recovery,” Bernanke said.
- Attorney General Eric H. Holder faced questions yesterday from the House Judiciary Committee about the Operation Fast and Furious gun-running program. Holder may face a contempt citation for failing to turn over more documents on the operation.
- The White House counts garbage men, bus drivers, antique dealers, and used-record store clerks as “green jobs” according to testimony offered in a congressional hearing this week.
- United Nations observers are attempting to gain access to the village of Qubeir in Syria where government forces carried out a massacre on Wednesday. Military personnel blocked the observers from entering the village on Thursday.
- LUNCHTIME CHAT: Congress is broken, and leadership in the Senate are abusing rules in order to squelch debate. Join us today from 12 to 1 ET for our “Lunch with Heritage” online chat as we discuss the issue. Click here to join in.