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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Marking One Year of Obamacare Passage

March 23, 2011 marks the one year anniversary of President Obama signing the health care overhaul legislation. Many statements were made by those in favor of the monster of a bill at the time - most popular of the claims was that it would create thousands of new jobs and that it would reduce the federal deficit in the process.

How is it going so far? Well, if you are reading the facts versus the spin from Team Obama, you may be quite concerned for the nation's health care delivery and personal health insurance coverage.

Since ObamaCare Passed:

Democrats’ Cost Projections Proved Overly Rosy

Cash-Strapped States Were Stuck With Unfunded Mandates

Premiums Are Rising, Not Falling As We Were Told

The Individual Mandate Was Ruled Unconstitutional

Over 1,000 Organizations Have Received Coverage Waivers

34 States No Longer Offer Child-Only Policies

And Americans Still Strongly Dislike The Bill

More than 20 states have taken the state mandates of Obamacare to court. It is headed to the Supreme Court where it will be decided. The interesting part of the debate is that the objections to the sweeping legislation is a bi-partisan opinion. Even some left leaning institutions are voicing concerns. The left leaning Urban Institute points out that there will be no influx of new jobs created, contrary to the claims made last year as the law was signed into place by President Obama.

In this report, the authors examine how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact labor costs and the demand for labor. They conclude that the ACA will not have noticeable effect on net levels of employment for three reasons – (1) the net new expenditures are too small relative to the overall size of the economy; (2) the negative effects on jobs of Medicare premium cuts and new taxes will be offset by the expansion of coverage through Medicaid and income related subsidies that will likely increase employment; and (3) the new law will not affect the most firms either because they already provide private insurance that meets federal standards or they are exempt from the new requirements because they employ fewer than 50 workers

The promises and conclusions of the Democrats as it pertains to health care reform have not panned out for anyone. We clearly see the folly in Congress passing a bill that no one knew exactly what was in it, even now confusion is the name of the game.

We now know that lawmakers who promised that "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan" were wrong. As one of the Obama Administration's own top health care analysts recently put it, that particular oft-repeated pledge was "not true in all cases," since the new law creates strong incentives for businesses to drop employees from plans they get through their jobs. One recent study suggests as many as 35 million Americans could lose their employer-based health insurance this way. And the administration has already admitted that at least 7 million seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage plans as a result of the new law.

Democrats employed the use of fuzzy math as they sold their bill. Now the CBO predicts further deficit exploding consequences.

Fueling the ire is the Congressional Budget Office with its budget deficit projections. In February, Republicans seized on an estimate that it would reduce employment by 0.5 percent, or 800,000 jobs, because people wouldn't have to work to afford health insurance anymore. The CBO continued to be the catalyst for debate when it estimated that repealing the law would increase the deficit by $230 billion by 2021 earlier this year and then that the initial budget forecast might have been wrong and keeping the law would increase the deficit by $1.45 trillion in 10 years.

Texas Public Policy Foundation offers solutions for the upcoming disaster of mandates about to fall upon states - the Health Freedom Act and the Interstate Health Care Compact are two ways the Texas Legislature can mitigate the harmful effects that ObamaCare is inflicting on Americans’ health care.

The Health Freedom Act was introduced as a resolution in the Texas House of Representatives: Proposing a constitutional amendment relating to the rights of individuals to choose or decline to choose to purchase health insurance coverage.

The Interstate Health Care Compact is pending in committee as HB 5. Interstate compacts are the best long term solution for upcoming budget deficits in states. A state decides what works best for its residents and submit the plan to Congress. There is no bureaucracy of red tape in between the origin and the approval process in Congress to ratify the plan. Each state exercises freedom of choice and the needs of its residents are best met by their own state lawmakers.

Obamacare was a thinly disguised power grab by Democrats in Congress who hoped for the front loaded reforms everyone agrees with would pacify the voters and re-elect Barack Obama in 2012 before the more destructive parts of the bill go into effect in 2013 and 2014. It's backfired on them. The public is still not happy and the re-election campaign of Obama is in full swing.

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