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Three Years Later, More Questions than Answers About Obamacare

How many people will simply throw up their hands and give up trying to deal with the new law? Also read: Stop the Presses: Senate Passes First Budget in Four Years

by
Rick Moran

Bio

March 23, 2013 - 12:25 am

Whether you’re a supporter or opponent of Obamacare, on this third anniversary of President Obama’s signing of the 1990-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it is impossible to say that healthcare for almost every American won’t change in some way.

As for America herself, it is equally hard to see how Obamacare won’t permanently alter the fundamental relationship between citizen and government. Proponents of the law rarely mention this side effect. Nor do they ever talk about how every entitlement program that has ever been passed has grown in scope and cost, and that in order to fix what we already know are flaws in the law, there will be more intrusion by government into the healthcare sector of the economy to come.

The flaws, discovered after we obeyed Nancy Pelosi’s diktat to pass Obamacare so we could find out what’s in it, are legion. Investor’s Business Daily lists a few of them in this third-anniversary op-ed:

Push millions off employer coverage. In February, the Congressional Budget Office said that 7 million will likely lose their employer coverage thanks to ObamaCare — nearly twice its previous estimate. That number could be as high as 20 million, the CBO says.

Cause premiums to skyrocket. In December, state insurance commissioners warned Obama administration officials that the law’s market regulations would likely cause “rate shocks,” particularly for younger, healthier people forced by ObamaCare to subsidize premiums for those who are older and sicker.

“We are very concerned about what will happen if essentially there is so much rate shock for young people that they’re bound not to purchase (health insurance) at all,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

That same month, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said ObamaCare will likely cause premiums to double for some small businesses and individuals.

And a more recent survey of insurers in five major cities by the American Action Forum found they expect premiums to climb an average 169%.

Cost people their jobs. The Federal Reserve’s March beige book on economic activity noted that businesses “cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.”

Around the same time, Gallup reported a surge in part-time work in advance of ObamaCare’s employer mandate. It found that part-timers accounted for almost 21% of the labor force, up from 19% three years ago.

Meanwhile, human resources consulting firm Adecco found that half of the small businesses it surveyed in January either plan to cut their workforce, not hire new workers, or shift to part-time or temporary help because of ObamaCare.

Cost more than promised. The Congressional Budget Office now says ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies will cost $233 billion more over the next decade than it thought last year.

Be a bureaucratic nightmare. Consumers got their first glimpse of life under ObamaCare when the Health and Human Services Department released a draft insurance application form. It runs 21 pages. “Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes,” the AP concluded after reviewing the form.

Leave millions uninsured. After 10 years, ObamaCare will still leave 30 million without coverage, according to the CBO. As IBD reported, that figure could be much higher if the law causes premiums to spike and encourages people to drop coverage despite the law’s mandate.

We are likely to hear a euphemism over the next several months from Obamacare supporters to describe the chaos that is going to descend on America when the law is fully implemented. The word is “messy”:

During a Center for American Progress seminar on Obamacare, Jeffery Crowley, a former top Obama aide who had a hand in crafting the Affordable Care Act, said “we know it’s going to be messy,” according to Washington Secrets.

“There are going to be things that come up that are unanticipated,” he explained.

A gift for understatement, that one.

A 21-page application to get subsidized insurance? What percentage of Americans can’t even fill out a one-page job application correctly? Filling out the form is only half the battle. At least three federal agencies, including the IRS, are going to go through that application and determine if a citizen qualifies for a subsidy.

What could possibly go wrong?

A Kaiser poll taken this month shows that fully 67% of uninsured Americans don’t have a clue what the law means for them. That same poll found that support for Obamacare had dropped to 37%. Not even Obamabots believe the law will make healthcare better.

The federal government has until October 1 to create 32 state insurance exchanges. That’s the number of states that have opted out of designing and implementing their own websites that are supposed to offer various health insurance plans on that date. One of the big problems is that insurance companies haven’t come up with the specific policies or priced the coverages. The industry is still trying to absorb the new rules — already thousands of pages of regulations. Most carriers have yet to file proposed price increases in premiums — a shock that is supposed to be eased by the aforementioned subsidies.

There are 13 states that have refused to expand Medicaid coverage to the poor. That number is likely to fall as the federal government offers the states cash so they can purchase individual policies in lieu of Medicaid coverage. Arkansas already has preliminary approval for such an arrangement. The crunch will begin to come in three years, after the federal government stops subsidizing 100% of the extra costs associated with covering millions of new consumers. Eventually, most of the extra cost will be borne by the states — many of which are already dealing with tight budgets and soaring healthcare costs.

Consider: We don’t know how many businesses will drop their insurance coverage of employees. We don’t know how many full-time employees will be dropped to part time so that many businesses can get below the 50 full-time employee threshold for mandatory insurance coverage, or simply save money. We don’t know how many employees will lose their jobs or how many businesses will simply go under as a result of Obamacare costs. We don’t know how the state exchanges will work. We don’t know how much premiums will increase. We don’t know what effect Obamacare’s 21 new taxes will have on the economy. We don’t know how many new bureaucracies — boards, commissions, panels, agencies — will actually arise out of the hundreds of new regulations currently being written by bureaucrats.

How many people will make the effort to fill out a 21-page form for a subsidy? How many people will take advantage of the expanded Medicaid program? How many people will simply throw up their hands and give up trying to deal with the new law?

There are dozens of other questions that we don’t have an answer to. And the fact that the Democratic Congress and President Obama didn’t bother to ask these questions before they made “history” and passed this imprudent monstrosity shows just how much they care about the rest of us. Written in haste, arrogantly conceived, incomprehensibly complicated, dishonestly sold, overpromised, costs underestimated, and already administered incompetently — the coming disruptions and chaos should teach us a lesson about government overreach.

But they won’t.

Also read: Stop the Presses: Senate Passes First Budget in Four Years

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
You know Obanacare is a bad idea when the best prospect senior citizens have is to die before they have to deal with it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Overload the system so that it collapses in on itself.

The largest job provider, by far, is small business. Crush it.

The tax system is carried, overwhelmingly, by the top 10%. Bury them.

The defense mechanisms are most vulnerable at the borders. Flood them.

Resistance to crime is most difficult when it is organized. Run guns to them and take away ours.

Freedom comes from adherence to Constitutionally protected rights. Shred them.

Liberty is based upon free will and open choice. Compel purchases and force compliance.

Self-preservation is based upon the autonomy of each nation. Surrender it.

Truth is based upon free flow of honest information. Propagandize it.

If I wanted to destroy a powerful nation...I would do from the inside. And, the first order of business...would be to hide what I was doing as " a compassionate leftist".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Seldom does one get the opportunity to place the blame for a complex monstrosity such as this on just one specific individual. I will do so.

Thank you very much Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. When the Nation called upon you to do what was right and just you dropped your sword and fled. There is a descriptive term for such behavior.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (22)
All Comments   (22)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
There will be a lot of 'political' jockeying by ideologs and special interest groups at the expense of the average citizen for some time to come. However, the very current polling, when breaking down the ten major components of the ACA, is favorable by a majority of americans.

Whats being shoved aside in the debate is, the healthcares core problem that first came to the governments attention during the Nixon administration and for which the Heritage Foundation at that time, came up with much of what became the ACA framework passed by the Obama administrations congress. That core problem was then and now, the spiraling out of control arbitrary inflation across all the healthcare industry for goods and services without any significant increase in patient outcome(s). A problem that eventually becomes unsustainble on the national economy and for the employer and citizens. Healthcare special interest groups have long been successful at fighting any attempts to responsibly contain the spiraling inflation.

The ACA bill as originally proposed and presented was directed at responsibly constaining the spiraling inflation but those mecanisms wer immediately defeated by the GOP even though the origin of them were GOP and Heritage during the Nixon administration and generally accepted by the GOP until the Obama election and bill presentation.

Today, the amended and passed ACA bill is now full of economic liability mechanisms void of any inflation containment. However, when the ACA is broken down into the ten major 'benefit' groups, a 'majority' of americans poll favorable to them according to the very current polling data.

Now its just become a huge partisn politicized mess with one side simply wanting to repeal it and return to what it was before, ignoring the economic drag and uncontained spiraling inflation consequences while the other side wants to do something to address the core problem and consequences even if, it is signifcantly flawed.

This is yet another instance and issue for which should not be a matter of partisan politics but rather, a critical economic problem all are working 'together' to fix.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
President Pinocchio: Perpetual Pathological Prevaricator, prevaricating pathologically perpetually.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure why this is so but would like to know 16yr olds are not allowed to be claimed on tax returns?
This is all I know: Eating out one day During lunch over a month ago - I over heard a mother a table over talking to the person she was dinning with. apparently she had just filed her taxes that morning, you couldn't help be see she was she was upset, talking about how she was single and sole income earner, sole supporter of her children But because one child "AGE" 16yrs -- her teenage dependent -- she fully supports and because of some law passed a a couple of years back (during Obama 1st term) she Is not allowed to claim her that 16yr old because she is to old to claim. And on her taxes next year her other child turns 16 -- she wouldn't not be allowed to claim her.

If this is True this is Crazy. Anyone know why this is?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, I believe its seventeen and not attending school. Otherwise its age twenty-four and still in school. Somebody can correct this if wrong!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Now is not the time for an EMP event.

But in about 15 months...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is another dimension to Obamacare people are just beginning to wake up to. Under Obamacare, doctors are being directed away from private practice to be employees of organizations, typically hospitals. This is because of their desire to have ACO's...accountable care organizations...responsible for care. Ironically, this concept was present in Hillarycare.

Employed doctors no longer work for the patient...they work for the organization. You may recall that all the incentives being created under Obamacare are to deny and restrict care under the guise of stopping waste and getting costs under control.

Doctors who work for organizations thus become pitted against patients, no longer their advocate.

The hospitals are doing this because the government reimburses the hospital about twice what a private practice physician is reimbursed for the same work. The Republicans could strike a great blow against Obamacare by passing legislation which equalized the compensation, or even reimbursing private practice physicians more than hospital employed physicians.

If Obamacare succeeds in its destruction of the physician patient relationship and successfully replaces it with an organization/patient relationship, then the fundamental relationship between government and citizen will be irrevocably altered for the worse. Employed doctors will owe their allegiance to an organization, and patients will be at their mercy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There will be a lot of 'political' jockeying by ideologs and special interest groups at the expense of the average citizen for some time to come. However, the very current polling, when breaking down the ten major components of the ACA, is favorable by a majority of americans.

Whats being shoved aside in the debate is, the healthcares core problem that first came to the governments attention during the Nixon administration and for which the Heritage Foundation at that time, came up with much of what became the ACA framework passed by the Obama administrations congress. That core problem was then and now, the spiraling out of control arbitrary inflation across all the healthcare industry for goods and services without any significant increase in patient outcome(s). A problem that eventually becomes unsustainble on the national economy and for the employer and citizens. Healthcare special interest groups have long been successful at fighting any attempts to responsibly contain the spiraling inflation.

The ACA bill as originally proposed and presented was directed at responsibly constaining the spiraling inflation but those mecanisms wer immediately defeated by the GOP even though the origin of them were GOP and Heritage during the Nixon administration and generally accepted by the GOP until the Obama election and bill presentation.

Today, the amended and passed ACA bill is now full of economic liability mechanisms void of any inflation containment. However, when the ACA is broken down into the ten major 'benefit' groups, a 'majority' of americans poll favorable to them according to the very current polling data.

Now its just become a huge partisn politicized mess with one side simply wanting to repeal it and return to what it was before, ignoring the economic drag and uncontained spiraling inflation consequences while the other side wants to do something to address the core problem and consequences even if, it is signifcantly flawed.

This is yet another instance and issue for which should not be a matter of partisan politics but rather, a critical economic problem all are working 'together' to fix.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Whoooops! That was NOT my response to you! It posted a previous response and somehow sent my response to you to some blackhole.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To be sure, the ACA will have a profound depressive effect on the economy just as it may be recovering. It will reduce the averaged family's standard of living by an unknown amount, but it will no doubt be a substantial reduction, and, as the article suggests, we don't known nor can we hypothesize with any accuracy just how low it will go.

This is what comes of a government hell-bent on equalizing the lives of its citizens, particularly the middle class with the lower class. The lower classes do not rise, but the middle class falls to a substandard existence; the upper economic classes continue to live well; the government, used to the ready available of funds, becomes more and more to be the enemy of the people in order to maintain its lavish and opulent lifestyle.

And, please note that not one of our politicians can come to terms with the dire straits we are in.

It's all happened before in several states, just not on this great a scale.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Monthly premium for my daughter and I with $3000 deductible:
End of 2010 - $465
As of 08 Mar 2013 - $883

And they're saying it's going to double AGAIN?? Furious doesn't even begin to describe my mood.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A corrputed industry will take advantage of any means that comes to them too arbitrarily inflate the value of their goods and services. Look at the historic national inflation rate and then take a good long look at the historic inflation rates of the healthcare industry sector. The healthcare idustry and the GOP has long succeeded in protecting that near criminal level of YTY inflation increases on employers and the average american citizen -- and the government! Do they care if they create an unsustainable economic crisis upon the nation? NO!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Agree that there is some of that going on, no doubt, but I don't think it can explain the whole thing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Since the very first healthcare insurance company was formed (initiatilly non-profit) to the present, the average range of inflataion YTY has been 3.5%-5.5%. Now, if you take a look at the historic national inflation rate charts its a real eye opener. Even Nixon seen the handwriting on the wall after only a few short decades of thrid party insurer's and the enactment of employer provided healtrhcare benefits and the advent of powerful healthcare lobbyists forming.

A competitive environment is one that the end-user determines the competitiveness, not third party for profit insurance companies who simply pass along the inflation to the employer and end-user to maintain their profit lines. Healthcare 'maintenance' services and goods not categorized as catastrophic or terminal needs to return to doctor patient relationship in which not for profit insurance is available to ONLY the end-user and payed on an 'average' regional and or national coded rate.

In conjunction with the above, if insurance companies ONLY provided direct pay for catestropohic and terminal policies along with long term disability policies through employers, things would make a huge turnaround almost immediately. Likewise, if bankruptcy law was amended to exempt all healthcare debt beyond the regional or national average of coded services, a change would be seen immediately.

Something else to consider is an 'annua'l comprehensive exam to all who have high risk history or other life style factors and all who reach the age of 50 or 55.

Furthermore, there is simply NO excuse for any employed adult to be without a minimum of catestrophic, terminal and annual compreshensive insurance. While the federal government 'cannot' mandate any consumer activity, the states are certainly free to do so --and should! The indigent, temporary and permenant can the be compensated by a federal tax program with a cap limit grant to the states like the current medicaid program using the same costing formula stated above.

As being discussed currently, there are a LOT of healthcare mainteneance services that can be done in-office by nurses and PA's that will reduce the cost.

While not a 'perfect' framework, anything similar, WILL address the reduction in healthcare costs that id devistating our national economy and government liabilities.

Time to take the greed and corruption out of the nations healthcare industry!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You know Obanacare is a bad idea when the best prospect senior citizens have is to die before they have to deal with it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Overload the system so that it collapses in on itself.

The largest job provider, by far, is small business. Crush it.

The tax system is carried, overwhelmingly, by the top 10%. Bury them.

The defense mechanisms are most vulnerable at the borders. Flood them.

Resistance to crime is most difficult when it is organized. Run guns to them and take away ours.

Freedom comes from adherence to Constitutionally protected rights. Shred them.

Liberty is based upon free will and open choice. Compel purchases and force compliance.

Self-preservation is based upon the autonomy of each nation. Surrender it.

Truth is based upon free flow of honest information. Propagandize it.

If I wanted to destroy a powerful nation...I would do from the inside. And, the first order of business...would be to hide what I was doing as " a compassionate leftist".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Seldom does one get the opportunity to place the blame for a complex monstrosity such as this on just one specific individual. I will do so.

Thank you very much Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. When the Nation called upon you to do what was right and just you dropped your sword and fled. There is a descriptive term for such behavior.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
john roberts, coward, traitor, stooge, lackey,
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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