Obama’s Obamacare promises far from the truth

September 25, 2013

Chart credit: blog.heritage.org

To my generation, and generations before, there is an age old saying:  There are only two things certain in life:  Death and Taxes.

Future generations are on the verge of adding a third: Hey Dad, how come you only had death and taxes and I’m stuck with Obamacare?

Since the first hours following the passing of the Affordable Care Act, the warning bells have been ringing but no one cared to hear.

It is only now, after the waivers have all been given, the exemptions embedded, and the politically connected are preparing to reap their profits, that millions of Americans actually paying America’s bills are finding out that what they were promised is not what “Obamacare” is delivering.

What was promised:  In July of 2009 President Obama clearly stated: “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”

What is happening:  Day after day, story after story is appearing in state after state of one American after another getting a notice that the plan they have, the plan they were happy with, the plan they wanted to keep, will no longer be available as of December 31st, 2013, “no matter what”. 

And now we see even one of the President’s strongest supporters, the venerable New York Times with a front page story that the “you will be able to keep your doctor…keep your health care plan. Period” is not exactly true.

The Times reports that in order to be successful in the healthcare exchanges the plans being offered are for networks so limited in scope and size that an untold number of Americans will be forced out of their current plans and no longer be able to continue to see their current doctor.  And in addition risk having to pay exorbitant out of network costs if their illness requires treatment outside their exchange approved network.

On July 16, 2012 President Obama promised: “So when you hear about the Affordable Care Act… Obamacare…You should know that once we have fully implemented, you’re going to be able to buy insurance through a pool…which means your premiums will go down.”

The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker”, Glenn Kessler gave that Presidential promise a 3 out of 4 Pinnochios (“Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”) for among other things:

“The president asserted that because of the law, small business and individual premiums “will go down.” But the reality is much more complicated..The law’s provisions…will almost certainly increase premiums…But a lot of other people…are likely going to have sticker shock when they see what happens to their premiums starting in 2014.  As we said, you don’t get something for nothing. And the president should be more careful about suggesting that is the case, especially when discussing a complex law with still-uncertain ramifications.”

“Uncertain ramifications” indeed.

In 2010 then House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D – CA) lectured that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it”.

Well it passed and now we know.  We know that what was promised is not happening, and what is still being promised cannot happen.

Obamacare may have started with the noblest of goals, but bad law is bad law. (Slavery, prohibition, Japanese internment camps, segregation just to name a few.)

To continue to pretend otherwise only guarantees that costs will continue to climb, choices will continue to be curtailed, and the very middle class Mr. Obama claims to want to help, will be hurt the most.

(A version of this column first appeared in the September 25th, 2013 print edition of the Joplin Globe.)

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