There's More Trouble With ObamaCare Than the Mandate!
by Deneen Borelli (bio)
A ruling on the constitutionality of key elements of ObamaCare is expected from the U.S. Supreme Court by late June. That leaves months for speculation — and strategizing — about what will need to be done in the wake of that decision.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), most Americans must be insured. The principal element under review is how that "individual mandate" works and how the government's decision-making power in the health care process has increased.
ObamaCare fundamentally changes the nature, scope and implementation of medical care in the United States for the worse.
In theory, ObamaCare was based on a desire to ensure quality health care for all Americans at an affordable cost. But don't be fooled: the promises being made about ObamaCare are terribly misleading, and the truth is coming out now that it is being implemented.
Try to name just one government program that has delivered a cost-efficient and reliable service. The United States Postal Service? It's facing massive budget shortfalls and may very well reduce service, close facilities and lay off workers. Amtrak? Ridden a train lately?
Obama appealed to the short-term self-interest of insurance and drug companies to convert potential adversaries into allies. In turn, big business helped ram ObamaCare through Congress. All the while, public opinion was cautionary to outright opposed to the plan.
A major problem is excessive costs. Insurance premiums are anticipated to rise by almost a third, from 10 percent to 13 percent, and the percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on health care costs may jump from 17 percent to 21 percent by 2019. And the mandate "tax" is painfully regressive, imposing higher relative costs on lower-income families.
An estimated 16 million to 25 million Americans are expected to be added to Medicaid, a system that's already burdened and has its share of financial problems. How can states possibly budget and plan for such an exorbitant expense given the fact that most states are already cash-strapped in part due to current entitlement expenses?
In addition to financial costs, there are economic and social costs as well. The health care legislation meant to improve the quality of care and access to health care is going to push many families into the unemployment line. In 2011, the Congressional Budget Office acknowledged that 800,000 jobs are likely to be destroyed by 2020-2021 due to ObamaCare.
In spite of all these concerns, it is also estimated that approximately 23 million Americans will still not have access to health insurance as far off as 2019. And the most vulnerable among us are still left without hope. The high-risk pools intended to fill the gap between the law's passage and implementation in 2014 have already failed Americans with pre-existing conditions, while other measures in the law have led insurers to stop offering child-only policies.
Compassion, caring and fiscal efficiency are not characteristics of government enterprises – the recent revelation of the General Services Administration's lavish Las Vegas conference spending is proof of that. The care in ObamaCare is Obama caring about his progressive legacy of greatly expanding government control. Actual medical care will likely suffer. If tragedy strikes and special medical treatment is needed, how long will it take to get an appointment with a specialist – assuming one can be found — under the control of the people who created the DMV?
ObamaCare is not primarily about coverage for children. It is not about improving workplace benefits. And it will not limit health problems through prevention. Rather, ObamaCare is about Barack Obama's overriding philosophy that decisions are better left to the government than individuals, and that the state is a better arbiter for allocating resources than the free market.
The U.S. Supreme Court has good reason to declare ObamaCare's mandate unconstitutional and strike a devastating blow to the house of cards upon which ObamaCare is built. But the Court cannot be relied upon to completely overturn ObamaCare.
Regardless of the Court's ultimate decision, the evidence is clear that ObamaCare is the wrong reform at the wrong time, leaving the task of repeal and replacement of what remains to Congress no matter to what extent the Court rules.
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Deneen Borelli, a fellow with the Project 21 black leadership network, is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. This commentary previously appeared on the NewsMax website. Comments may be sent to [email protected].
Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints
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