Sunday, May 5, 2013

Why Obamacare Can Not Work and Will Not Work


By Kristina Ribali on May 02, 2013

In the last few days there has been a litany of information dropped on the continued failings of government health care and the implementation of Obamacare. Remember, this law was supposed to bring costs down and provide coverage to more Americans, get rid of government waste and do it all without adding anything to the debt. Well, three years into this law what are we finding out? 
To begin with, Americans still don't like this law. In the latest Rasmussen poll, 35% believe that the law has actually hurt them and 49% have an unfavorable view of Obamacare.  Could Americans be finally finding out what's in the bill and therefore like it less?   Could this also be why the Administration is spending more taxpayer money to promote it?  
Even the New York Times is reporting the Democratic lawmakers that helped draft and pass the government takeover of health care are bemoaning the ramifications of its implementation.
Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa and chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on health care, said he was extremely upset with Mr. Obama’s decision to take money from public health prevention programs and use it to publicize the new law, which creates insurance marketplaces in every state.
“I am greatly disappointed — beyond upset — that the administration chose to help pay for the Affordable Care Act in fiscal year 2013 by raiding the Public Health and Prevention Fund,” Mr. Harkin said.
Details matter now.  Now that there is push back from members of their own party and at the state level with the exchanges, it appears the White House wants to reverse Medicaid cuts.
Senator Max Baucus, a key architect of the health care law said last month that he fears implementation of the law and sees a "huge train wreck" coming. Yes, that's right, the very Senator that helped craft the legislation is coming to terms with the fact that the government is not only unprepared to roll it out, it may be incapable of doing so on its own time schedule.  Senator Harry Reid doubled down, stating that without more money a train wreck is inevitable. 
If the hallmark legislation for the Obama Administration is going to cost the government more, what about individuals? Numerous reports have noted the rise in premiums for everyone from seniors to the youth, and not to be left out is the rise in costs for businesses. The promises of an average family saving $2500 a year?  Well, that's not really working out either.  
Okay, so it's not meeting expectations on cost.  What about providing health care coverage for all Americans, or substantially more than before Obamacare? With financial incentives for people to wait until they're sick to seek coverage, many, especially the young will simply opt to take the penalty (which is substantially lower than the cost of insurance) and not seek coverage at all. The CBO's own report shows that even after full implementation of the law, over 30 million Americans will still be without coverage.  Remember the promise from Obama, "If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.  No one is going to take it away from you." Well that turns out to be not true either.  
What about Medicaid expansion?  That must work since it's an established program that receives over $450 billion a year, right?  Wrong again.  As reported widely yesterday, pouring more money into a broken bureaucracy doesn't help the poorest and sickest among us yet we're poised to spend an addition $150 billion on Medicaid next year. 
To sum it up, Obamacare has failed to deliver. This is not enough however to force the public to pay attention just yet since 42% of them still don't even know it's law.  Unfortunately, it is also not enough to sit back and wait for legislators to take action.  Republicans especially need to coalesce around a plan to defund Obamacare and replace it with free market solutions.   We cannot simply point our fingers and say "I told you so."  We must force our Republican leaders to work together to fix the system that has led us into this mess.  No more excuses, Americans deserve better.