President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010. In just the year since, the law known as ObamaCare has already severely crippled the nation’s economy and health care system.
Despite Obama’s continued pride in his signature health care legislation, a new CNN poll shows that 58% of Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling health care.
The Republican House passed a repeal of ObamaCare in January, but the bill was blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate. Four House committees are now drafting a replacement bill for ObamaCare. The House also passed legislation defunding ObamaCare in March, which was likewise blocked by the Senate Democrats. Republican leaders are committed, however, and say that they will be defunding the health care law through the appropriations process this year.
These are the top 10 failures of ObamaCare, starting with those that have had the most serious effect already on the economy, jobs, and the American people.
1. Explodes the Budget Deficit
One year ago, Obama said, “This legislation will also lower costs for … the federal government, reducing our deficit by over $1 trillion in the next two decades. It is paid for. It is fiscally responsible. “
Today: ObamaCare is projected to cost at least $2.4 trillion when it is fully implemented. Instead of Obama’s promise to reduce the deficit, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that ObamaCare will increase the federal deficit by $260 billion through 2019. The United States has more than $14 trillion in debt already, and will hit the current statutory debt ceiling ($14.3 trillion) in the next couple of months.
2. Kills Jobs
One year ago: Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said that the health care bill “will create 4 million jobs — 400,000 jobs almost immediately.”
Today: The only jobs that have been created from ObamaCare are the tens of thousands of new government bureaucrats who have been hired to deal with all the new regulations and taxes from ObamaCare.
Contrary to Pelosi’s prediction, the director of the CBO testified that 800,000 jobs will be lost over the next decade as a result of the law. Even the liberal Urban Institute released a report this week that said that the health care law will have “no noticeable effect on net levels of employment.” Employers are forced to either cut jobs or move workers into part-time slots that are not mandated to receive health insurance in order to meet the regulations, according to the CBO.
3. Lose Your Own Doctor and Health Plan
One year ago: Obama said, “If you like your current insurance, you will keep your current insurance. No government takeover. Nobody is changing what you’ve got if you’re happy with it. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. If you like your plan, you can keep it.”
Today: New regulations could force as many as 87 million Americans to lose their current health care plans and their own doctors.
As soon as the new ObamaCare regulations were announced, companies told their employees that they may not be able to keep their current health care plans because of the increased expense. So Obama’s secretary of Health and Human Services started issuing one-year waivers that exempt companies and unions from complying with the law if it causes a significant increase in premium costs or decrease in access to coverage.
ObamaCare is so broken that the Obama administration has spent the last six months exempting its union friends and large companies from the law. In this one year, the Obama administration has already issued 1,040 waivers to unions and employers, which thereby exempt 2.6 million people from ObamaCare regulations.
But small businesses and non-union workers who do not have the resources or access to the administration’s waivers will be forced to drop their employees’ current health care plans.
4. States’ Budget Deficits Grow to Possible Bankruptcy
One year ago: Obama said, “It will take four years to implement fully many of these reforms, because we need to implement them responsibly. We need to get this right.”
Today: The states, which already have a collective $175 billion budget shortfall this year, are faced with such huge new mandatory costs from ObamaCare that some are on the verge of bankruptcy.
The main cost of the law’s plan to states is from expanding Medicare to add 20 million more people to the program. Medicare accounts for an average of 22% of state budgets. The Medicare expansion will cost the states $118 billion through 2023. States are cutting other programs such as education and law enforcement in order to make up for the shortfall in the new federal mandates.
Already, 28 of 50 states have challenged the constitutionality of the health care law’s individual mandate in court. Judges in Virginia and Florida have ruled that ObamaCare is unconstitutional. These and other cases are expected to be resolved in the U.S. Supreme Court.
5. Higher Insurance Premiums:
One year ago: Obama said that the law will “lower the cost of health care for our families.”
Today: Some Americans have already had a spike in the cost of their insurance premiums of an astounding 20% to 60%. Insurance companies have raised premiums in double-digit increases. For example, Blue Shield of California recently increased some of its individual plans by 59%, saying that 4% of the increase is a direct result of the new health care law.
Now, the CBO projects that the average American family will pay $2,100 more on health care premiums when the law is fully implemented (an increase of 10% to 13%).
6. Crushes Businesses
One year ago: Obama said that the law will “lower the cost of health care” for businesses.
Today: While the economy is barely growing at all, companies are facing a government mandate to provide health care for their employees. The law will cost at least $50 billion to employers because of these new mandates.
Even the CEO of Starbucks said this week that his company is struggling to meet the ObamaCare regulations. His company spent $250 million last year on health care benefits, and the costs are expected to rise by double-digit percentages. He said that if his big company is struggling, then he believes that “under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great.”
7. Fewer Americans Have Access to Health Insurance
One year ago: Obama said, “And we have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.”
Today: Employers are facing huge increased costs or fines, and so will be forced to find ways to make fewer employees eligible for health benefits. Experts estimate that as many as 35 million American workers will lose health care benefits because of the higher cost put on companies from ObamaCare.
Also, an estimated half-million children will lose health care because of the new law. Big health insurance companies such as Anthem Blue Cross and Aetna have already dropped offering child-only policies in 19 states because they are too costly under the ObamaCare regulations.
8. Senior Citizens Lose Medicare Coverage:
One year ago: Obama said, “We’re not going to mess with Medicare”.
Today: The health care law cuts nearly $530 billion in Medicare over the next decade, with $200 billion coming from the Medicare Advantage. As one in four seniors is currently enrolled in the Medicare Advantage program, approximately 7 million of them will lose access to the popular program. Many seniors have already been cut off their plans.
There are 46 million seniors in the Medicare program, but the ObamaCare provisions could drive the program into bankruptcy and prevent doctors from accepting it. Physicians will have a nearly 30% cut in reimbursements next year from ObamaCare.
Even the Obama administration’s chief Medicare actuary reported, “Providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable and, absent legislative intervention, might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries).”
9. Overburdens Small Business
One year ago: Obama said, “This year, we’ll start offering tax credits to about 4 million small businessmen and women to help them cover the cost of insurance for their employees.”
Today: Obama has already conceded that a provision in his law is so onerous to small-business owners that he asked Congress to fix it. The provision mandates that small-business owners file a 1099 tax form for any business transaction over $600.
Congress is working to pass the 1099 fix now, but the effect on small businesses has already hurt the economy. Small businesses are the primary source of job creation in the U.S., so their burden this year with the 1099 provision and other mandates from health care has helped keep unemployment at almost 10%.
More than 40 million small businesses are subject to this new regulation. So the Internal Revenue Service requested to hire 1,270 new bureaucrats to help handle the paperwork for the flood of 1099 forms and other provisions in implementing the new taxes from ObamaCare.
10. Tax Hikes
One year ago: Obama said, “Millions of people will get tax breaks to help them afford coverage, which represents the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history.”
Today: The ObamaCare law includes more than $813 billion in total tax hikes over the next decade, which include the penalty for not having health insurance, and taxes on health plans ($60 billion), medical devices ($20 billion), and prescription drugs ($27 billion).
After President Obama signed the health care law last March 23, he said this: “And now that this legislation is passed, you don’t have to take my word for it. You’ll be able to see it in your own lives. I heard one of the Republican leaders say this was going to be Armageddon. Well, two months from now, six months from now, you can check it out. We’ll look around and we’ll see. You don’t have to take my word for it.”
Mr. President, as you instructed, the American people have looked around the country and they have checked out ObamaCare. And, frankly, they still think it looks a lot like Armageddon.
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter