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Things the Left Doesn’t Mention

Published 03/23/12

Here’s the truth:

Ask the Experts:

ObamaCare will increase taxes, public spending, and the national debt.

The original CBO score of ObamaCare estimated the costs of the law to be $940 billion over 10 years.  But the most recent CBO score shows that, in the coming 11 years, the law will cost us $1.76 trillion in government spending.(1)

To pay for all this, ObamaCare includes 20 tax increases.  Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a list here.(2)

And contrary to President Obama's promise, the tax burden of ObamaCare is not limited to the rich. Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute writes:(3)

“House and Senate Democrats have produced health care legislation whose mandates, subsidies, tax penalties, and health insurance regulations would penalize work and reward Americans who refuse to purchase health insurance. As a result, the legislation could trap many Americans in low-wage jobs and cause even higher health-insurance premiums, government spending, and taxes than are envisioned in the legislation.

"Those mandates and subsidies would impose effective marginal tax rates on low-wage workers that would average between 53 and 74 percent— and even reach as high as 82 percent—over broad ranges of earned income. By comparison, the wealthiest Americans would face tax rates no higher than 47.9 percent.”

All Americans will face consequences because of the great costs of this law, whether they are direct (through new taxes) or indirect (due to a continually suffering private sector or our government’s increasing debt).

ObamaCare will raise premiums.

The PPACA will affect each family differently, depending on their circumstance. President Obama promised during his 2008 campaign (4) that his health reform plan would lower the average annual costs of premiums by $2,500. He has since avoided specific numbers, but continues to argue that his leg­islation will lower premium payments. Unfortunate­ly, the opposite appears to be true. Most Americans will see premiums rise as a result of ObamaCare.

In fact, those in the individual market (and more of us will be in that market as employers drop group coverage) will fare very poorly. According to the CBO (5), families that buy individual insurance pay $6,328 each year (Keep in mind, that those in the individual market get no tax subsidy. They pay with after-tax dollars unlike those covered by employers). Their annual costs will jump to $15,200 by 2016, when without the health reform law their costs would’ve risen to $13,100. Like many cost estimates from the CBO, we should expect all these projections to be revised upward.

Why will premiums rise under ObamaCare? (6)  Unfortunately, the law attempts to solve a cost-shifting problem with more cost-shifting.  The "minimum essential" requirements in the law dictate what every insurance policy must include.  That means that every individual must buy coverage, even for treatments or services they don't want or need.  The law forces everyone to buy this robust type of insurance in order to subsidize the costs of people who have the most health needs.  But the result will be that, as everyone pays for health care more and more with "someone else's money," the individual responsibility incentive that encourages people to buy no less care than they need disappears.

ObamaCare will ultimately lead to rationing of care.

In its effort to provide “health care for all,” the government has few tools in its toolbox. It can require that a variety of services be offered, but in a world of limited resources, there will always be needs left unmet. One of the few tools the government has is rationing. In an effort to contain costs, the government will ultimately have to choose who gets what services. ObamaCare’s rationing started even before March 2010.

As Sally Pipes of Pacific Research Institute explains (7):

“More than $1 billion of the stimulus is dedicated to government-sponsored research into the “comparative effectiveness” of various medical treatments. In theory, such research could provide doctors with important information. But because the research is government-funded, it will likely be used to justify cuts in government health spending.

That’s what’s done in Britain. The British comparative-effectiveness agency routinely denies cutting-edge medicine because of cost. And the Obama administration has begun creating comparative-effectiveness institutions that parallel those across the Atlantic.

On March 19, the Obama administration announced the establishment of a 15-member “Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research” to oversee the research. Terrifyingly, there are no practicing physicians, patient advocates, or nongovernment healthcare economists among the council’s members. Instead, all hail from the Washington, D.C. area—and all are likely to see comparative effectiveness as a way to drive down costs by limiting the availability of drugs and medical treatments and rationing care.”

Another tool in ObamaCare's rationing toolbox is the Independent Payment Advisory Board, another 15-member board of unelected bureaucrats who will make decisions about payments for certain treatments in Medicare.(8)  The House of Representatives voted March 22, 2012 to repeal this part of the law,(9) and time will tell if the Senate takes up the issue and sends it to President Obama to sign.

ObamaCare limits freedom and individual choices.

ObamaCare includes the controversial and uncontitutional individual mandate, which is currently before the Supreme Court.  Visit www.HealthCareLawsuits.org for more information.

While the individual mandate is on-its-face a provision that takes away freedom, there are other provisions of ObamaCare that will ultimately limit our choices. Some of the law’s unintended consequences create a bad atmosphere for insurers and will cause them to leave the market. Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute writes (7):

“Since ObamaCare was enacted... there has been a steady drip-drip-drip of news articles about health insurers leaving the market and people losing their health insurance – long before the destructive law takes full effect. But the trickle is turning into a river with millions of Americans in states across the country learning that their health insurers have withdrawn from the market, making it increasingly difficult to find affordable coverage.”

Health care decisions are intensely personal. Individuals know best what kind of insurance and care options are best for themselves and their families. ObamaCare’s big-government, one-size-fits-all scheme is wrong for America because it limits our freedom.

Sources:

(1) http://waysandmeans.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Table_2_CBO.pdf

(2) s3.amazonaws.com/atrfiles/files/files/03232012pr_Obamacare%20Chronological%20Tax%20Hike%20List(1).pdf

(3) http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11108

(4) http://freedomeden.blogspot.com/2010/03/obama-20-promises-for-2500.html

(5) http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/107xx/doc10781/11-30-Premiums.pdf (see page 6)

(6) http://iwf.org/files/34861c37dc46ceeba8b59ae93ed90e45.pdf

(7) http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2009/05/13/under-obama-healthcare-scheme-big-government-rations-care-for-sick-patients

(8) http://www.iwf.org/files/c7e6569c3661053a248ab866e97ee597.pdf

(9) http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Daily-Reports/2012/March/22/ipab-repeal.aspx

(10) http://www.galen.org/topics/health-insurers-fleeing-markets-across-the-country/

 

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