ObamaCare is a disaster, the administration lied to us and screwed up the rollout and Democrats are paying the political price. All of this we know. While I'm hoping that a repeal will save Americans from this disaster, here's what we can expect until that's the case.
1. Americans will lose their doctors
This isn't a line used to scare people into fearing ObamaCare, this is a fact if things continue at the current rate. It's not just conservatives pointing it out either. Time had a piece on it yesterday and so did the Washington Post.
The Post explains how insurers are being forced to restrict your choices for doctors and hospitals in order to keep costs down because of ObamaCare. It states, “The Obama administration made it a priority to keep down the cost of insurance on the exchanges, the online marketplaces that are central to the Affordable Care Act. But one way that insurers have been able to offer lower rates is by creating networks that are far smaller than what most Americans are accustomed to.” It goes on to explain how hospitals like Seattle's Children's Hospital have gone so far as to sue its state's insurance commissioner because it is being excluded from a number of provider networks.
In another report from McClatchy, doctors will be paid less under the new system resulting in a two-tier system where fewer doctors participate. That can only lead to increased prices and a diminished quality of care because there are more people trying to see fewer doctors.
The Washington Post also lays out the result of this trend: “The result, some argue, is a two-tiered system of health care: Many of the people who buy health plans on the exchanges have fewer hospitals and doctors to choose from than those with coverage through their employers.” That leads to the second thing we can expect …
2. Americans with employer-sponsored insurance will lose their coverage
A new analysis by the American Enterprise Institute of the impact of ObamaCare finds that 50 million to 100 million Americans will likely lose their insurance in a second wave of cancellations. Much of this will be because of small businesses that will be unable to sustain the weight of ObamaCare's premium hikes. The analysis shows “the administration anticipates half to two-thirds of small businesses would have policies canceled or be compelled to send workers onto the ObamaCare exchanges.” This is just absolutely stunning, and it's even more outrageous when you think about the fact that the administration knew that this would be happening to millions of Americans.
Also let's not forget that ObamaCare has already had impact, and will continue to make impact, on the number of hours employees work, the number of part-time versus full-time employees and the number of workers businesses are even willing to hire. Losing coverage is just one part of the equation when it comes to the negative impact ObamaCare is having on our businesses and in our economy.
3. Premium rates will increase
I've warned you about the “death spiral” that many economists have cited. Healthcare premiums under ObamaCare are on the road towards a death spiral because the people who are buying into the system are older and likely less healthy than the younger, healthier Americans needed in order to stabilize rates. The administration is operating under the CBO assumption that 38% of the 7 million projected enrollees by March 2014 will be 18-34 year olds. Not only is it extremely unlikely that the 7 million target will be met, but the number of young people signing up is nowhere near that 38% figure as well.
The fact remains that premium costs will be rising in 45 out of the 50 states, according to the Heritage Foundation. The cost of healthcare will rise in this country and ObamaCare will only exacerbate and manipulate this rise, rather than mitigate it as we were promised.
4. The website will get better
The federal healthcare exchange, Healthcare.gov, will improve. Though that's not saying a lot. It really only has one place to go and that is up. The technical “glitches” will be ironed out, though after the new self-imposed deadlines of this administration. The security issues will be fixed in due time. All of this will happen eventually, though it should have happened before it was rolled out on October 1st.
Democrats are convinced that once the website is fixed, Americans will fall in love with ObamaCare and all will be forgiven. I think Americans will not be as frustrated with ObamaCare once they are able to secure coverage, but that doesn't change the facts: We were lied to, millions are being forced to seek coverage because they lost their existing plans, the new plans they seek will likely be more expensive and their healthcare choices and quality of care will be limited.
5. Democrats will shy away from ObamaCare in 2014
I don't care what Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Schultz say, ObamaCare will not be a winning issue of the Democrats in 2014. Perhaps they just need to conduct a focus group in order to figure that out, but vulnerable Democrats would be absolutely foolish to embrace ObamaCare in 2014. Even if the website becomes a smashing success – which simply means that it operates properly – the issue is now steeped in drama, failure and deception. I think Democrats like Nancy Pelosi are saying this now in order to save face, but embracing ObamaCare will not be a part of their election strategy.
In fact, they are already shying away from the use of the word “ObamaCare,” which is an indication that they recognize the toxicity of the word. Watch this video put together by the folks at the Washington Free Beacon: ObamaCare then, Affordable Care Act Now. Their problem is that they think the problem is with the label but not the policy itself. I think they are mis-reading the public on that one.
If I'm wrong, great. Go for it. Knock yourselves out. Run on ObamaCare but I have a feeling that vulnerable Democrats would seriously regret that.