Three Years Later, More Questions than Answers About Obamacare
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.