It's hard to believe but we are just days away from the ObamaCare exchanges going into effect October 1st. Meanwhile, the country remains deeply concerned about ObamaCare and a scant few in Washington seem serious about doing anything to stop it.
Barack Obama gave an interview to Telemundo the other day. During that interview he was asked about ObamaCare. Jose Diaz-Balart posed the question: “The Affordable Care Act takes effect next month, The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Americans oppose it, believing it will produce damaging results. Fifty-two percent believe the law will raise their health care costs. Is everybody wrong?” Barack Obama's answer: “Yes, they are.” Obama went on to explain:
“The problem we have is that over the last four years billions of dollars have been spent misinforming people about what this law is about. All of the horror stories that were talked about have not come true. It is going to be a good deal and we expect that once it is fully implemented -- a year from now, two years from now, five years from now -- people will look back and, they'll be asking what was the argument about. Why is everybody fighting this so much?”
So let me get this straight. Everybody else out there – the American people, businesses, healthcare providers, states, the CBO, labor unions, independent researchers – ALL of these people are wrong and Obama is right? Question: What does Obama know that we don't? From where I'm sitting, ObamaCare is shaping up to be an unmitigated disaster that even some in his own party have labeled a “train wreck.” When Obama speaks of these “horror stories” that have not come true, I've got enough examples to fill the airwaves for days. I've chronicled these horror stories on my website. I've explained the long-term effect ObamaCare is having on hiring and shaping our economy into a part-time society. ObamaCare is only a “good deal” for big government. That's it! It's a lousy deal for Americans and our health, our wallets, our taxes, our jobs, our employers, our freedom, and our privacy.
Just how bad are we talking? The CBO has released new figures related to ObamaCare. According to the Heritage Foundation, “The CBO predicts that the tax increases in ObamaCare will be the second-largest contributor to revenue increases between now and 2038.” Just what our economy needs: More tax increases! More specifically: “Obamacare raises taxes by more than $770 billion over the next 10 years. In following years it will raise taxes even more, because one of its biggest increases, an excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans, doesn’t begin until 2018.” We are already approaching an entitlement crisis and ObamaCare manages to exacerbate this problem: “Obamacare is the single biggest factor driving the growth in mandatory health care spending over the next decade. Obamacare’s exchange subsidies and Medicaid expansion are projected to account for 53 percent of the increase in health care spending through 2023. This means Obamacare’s spending accounts for more than even the aging population and excess health care cost growth.” How is any of this considered a “good deal?” We will eventually have to come to terms with this spending and it will be our grandchildren who will ultimately have to pay for this new wave of liberal entitlements.
The fact remains that ObamaCare is wildly unpopular, despite Obama and his PR team's best efforts to spin it. A new Fox poll released this week found that about 7 out of 10 Americans are concerned about their healthcare under ObamaCare and a majority of people want the healthcare system to go back to 2009. Those least concerned are young people, but I'm sure that will change when they are hit with a penalty for NOT having health insurance. Fox News isn't the only outlet reporting these findings. The latest USA Today/Pew Research poll found that that 53% of Americans disapprove of ObamaCare, which is the highest level ever. In fact, that poll also found that Americans now trust Republicans more on the issue of healthcare over Democrats, which is a remarkable change since last year. Another poll conducted by NBC/Wall Street Journal found that only 12% of Americans believe that ObamaCare will have a positive impact on their family. More than half expect healthcare costs to rise, despite Obama's promise of lowering premiums by $2,500.
So we've established the fact that ObamaCare is unpopular. Only Obama, Harry Reid and a few other delusional administration propagandists refuse to embrace this fact. But the question then becomes: So what do we do about it? As a conservative, I would like to see the entire law repealed and the way I see this happening is by defunding it. The idea to defund ObamaCare has been floated in conjunction with a vote to fund the rest of the government. However there are many people, including Republicans, who balk at this plan because they fear the intensely negative PR campaign that will ensue if this results in a government shutdown. There is no doubt that the Obama mania-media will spin this as the Republicans shutting down the government over ObamaCare. Now you and I know that this isn't the case, but that's likely how it will be play out. Fine. ObamaCare is bigger than the politics of the moment. The GOP can and will recover as it has in years past, and I actually think that standing on principle when it comes to ObamaCare will ultimately help the GOP in the long-term, not hurt it. It will be the bright line, the bold difference between Obama and the liberal vision for America and conservatives.
For what it's worth, polling released this week by Rasmussen found that a majority of 51% favor "having a partial government shutdown until Democrats and Republicans agree on what spending for the health care law to cut." In other words, they would support a shutdown if it meant defunding ObamaCare. That number is even higher if you cite government spending in general. Yet Obama and the Democrats want to increase spending through ObamaCare AND they want to reinstate spending that was cut under the sequester. In other words, the momentum is on the conservatives' side, if they would only seize the moment, articulate with clarity and develop a coherent strategy.
Today was an important day for Republicans in terms of coming up with these plans: Will there be a short-term delay of 3 months, a one year delay, a defunding? Then there is the issue of replace. Remember that Republicans ideas for reforming healthcare back in 2009 were completely sidelined. Now is the chance for the GOP to not only fight for what they don't want, but also for what they DO want. Today the Republican Study Committee is unveiling its plan to replace ObamaCare, the “American Health Care Reform Act.”
Allowing ObamaCare to go into effect would be a travesty. I wish more Republicans in Congress were willing to fight for our future.
By the way, you may enjoy this video from the Heritage Foundation, talking ObamaCare in NYC's Times Square.