The PJ Tatler

Buyer's Remorse Growing With ObamaCare

Well, ObamaCare is going to be fully implemented by 2014, with the IRS being the government’s enforcement arm.  Although, in light of recent events, the Obama administration should have that aspect of their policy changed.  For now, discontent is growing, and some of the president’s biggest allies are calling for revisions to the new health care law.  Currently, 56% of Americans want to go back to the pre-ObamaCare days of obtaining health care.

Dana Blanton at Fox News wrote yesterday that:

[A] Fox News poll released [last] Wednesday finds that while 26 percent of voters say their health care situation will be better under the new law, twice as many — 53 percent — say it will be worse.  Another 13 percent say it won’t make a difference.

Almost all Republicans (85 percent) and just over half of independents (51 percent) say they will be worse off under ObamaCare.  Nearly half of Democrats expect to be better off (48 percent), while about one-quarter believe they will be worse off (24 percent).

Young voters and seniors are pessimistic about ObamaCare.  Majorities of those under age 35 and those 65+ think things will be worse under the 2010 health care law.

That helps explains why a 56-percent majority wants to go back to the health care system that was in place in 2009.  Some 34 percent would stick with the new law.

Three in ten Democrats would rather go back to the pre-ObamaCare system (30 percent).  That view climbs to 55 percent among independents and 85 percent among Republicans.

Additionally, three unions, one of them is part of the Teamsters, have called for revisions since they say the new law will inhibit the way they negotiate health care benefits with management.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) — a 1.3 million-member labor group that twice endorsed Obama for president — is very worried about how the reform law will affect its members’ healthcare plans.

Last month, the president of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers released a statement calling “for repeal or complete reform of the Affordable Care Act.”

UNITE HERE, a prominent hotel workers’ union, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are also pushing for changes.

Joseph Hansen, the president of the UFCW, wrote in a Hill op-ed that:

[a]s currently interpreted, the ACA would block these plans from the law’s benefits (such as the subsidy for lower-income individuals and families) while subjecting them to the law’s penalties (like the $63 per insured person to subsidize Big Insurance). This creates unstoppable incentives for employers to reduce weekly hours for workers currently on our plans and push them onto the exchanges where many will pay higher costs for poorer insurance with a more limited network of providers. In other words, they will be forced to change their coverage and quite possibly their doctor. Others will be channeled into Medicaid, where taxpayers must pick up the tab.


In addition, the ACA includes a fine for failing to cover full-time workers but includes no such penalty for part-timers (defined as working less than 30 hours a week). As a result, many employers are either reducing hours below 30 or discontinuing part-time health coverage altogether. This is a cut in pay and benefits workers simply cannot afford. For example, a worker making $10 an hour that has his or her schedule cut by six hours a week would lose $3,100 a year in income. With millions of workers impacted, this would have a devastating effect on our economy.

This gives conservatives ammunition to fight the law, but therein lies the problem.  If Republicans retake the senate in 2014 and begin the process to repeal ObamaCare, they won’t have a two-thirds majority needed to override the inevitable veto by Obama.  The same goes for the House.  Republicans wouldn’t have the 290 votes to override an Obama veto.

That brings us to 2016, where 17 million people will already be receiving benefits from the Affordable Care Act.  Are we really going to mount a campaign that tells 17 million people we’re going to take away your free stuff?  It would be suicidal for Republicans to just disregard almost 20 million votes right out of the gate.  If we do retake both chambers of Congress next year, the Obama agenda is effectively over.  After that, conservatives need to hit the books and come up with alternatives, but it looks like the window for total repeal has come and gone.