It's one thing for Obamacare to fail, as many conservatives expect and we are currently witnessing. It's another to be lied to by Barack Obama, his administration and Democrats in Washington. This gap between what we were promised and reality will haunt Democrats in the 2014 election because the American people no longer feel the Democrats can be trusted.
Let's go through some of the lies we've been fed throughout the years related to healthcare.
“If you like your plan, you can keep it.”
This lie has been perpetrated for years and continues to be said by Obama and his administration to this day. They knew Americans would lose their current coverage, affecting millions of people, and yet they went forward nonetheless. This shows that they are not really serious about the effects on the American people but are driven by an ideological pursuit of big-government, socialized medicine. Amazingly, the administration seems to have been caught flat-footed by deluge of stories showing how millions of people are losing coverage. It's as if they didn't believe it would actually happen or they believed the American people would just roll over and accept it, assuming the Obama-mania media would be reluctant to report on it. Well they assumed incorrectly. So now the administration has taken a two-prong approach: Use the bully pulpit to strong-arm insurance companies into hushing up and then blaming the insurance companies themselves. Obama and Sebelius in recent days have made “substandard” insurance plans the boogie man, rather than the law that decides what coverage people need. Can't the American people decide for themselves what kind of coverage they need and what is “substandard” for their own family? As Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn said yesterday, some people drink out of red solo cups and some out of crystal stemware. Either way you are achieving the same result but how you do it is up to the individual and not the government.
“Obamacare will cut the cost of a typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year."
The actual name of the law – the Affordable Care Act – is a joke. For a vast majority of Americans, premium prices are skyrocketing. The Heritage Foundation has concluded that health insurance costs will be higher in 45 out of the 50 states. At least 10 states will see prices double for people over the age of 27. Day after day we've seen stories about those who are truly experiencing sticker shock. One of the latest examples, reported by NBC News no less, is a small business owner whose premium cost is increasing by an astounding 400%. He is not alone. The Heritage Foundation has collected stories from around America of how their current policies are being dropped because of Obamacare. This is what you get when the government forces people into plans they don't want or don't even need. Why a man must be covered for maternity care is just irrational. Forbes Magazine points out that “between 2014 and 2022, the increase in national health spending (which the Medicare actuaries specifically attribute to the law) amounts to $7,450 per family of 4.” That means there is a $10,000 swing from Obama's promise of decreasing costs by $2,500 to the reality of a $7,500 price increase. Those figures have been disputed by the Left, but the bottom line is that costs are increasing and there is no way for liberals to spin that fact.
“Now, add it all up, and the plan that I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years.”
Some Democrat focus group must have determined that $1 trillion is the magic number that is unacceptable to Americans. Therefore Obama and his team used Washington calculators and Washington math to determine that his healthcare law would cost $900 billion. What is Obama's definition of “around?” If by “around” he meant double! After the law was passed, the CBO released a more accurate assessment of the true cost of Obamacare. It is nowhere near Obama's original promise, but it is in fact double the cost: $1.8 trillion over the first decade. Senate Republicans estimate that the costs over the next ten years will be closer to $2.6 trillion. Beyond the next decade, the Government Accountability Office estimates that over the next 75 years, Obamacare will cost us $6.2 trillion! The bottom line is that Obama blatantly lied to us when he sold Obamacare with a $900 billion price tag.
Obamacare will reduce the deficit.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul calls this the “biggest whopper” told about Obamacare. In an ideal liberal world, Obamacare would use the jackboot of government to control costs while increasing taxes (and therefore revenue). But as Kevin Williamson at National Review points out, “you can believe that Obamacare will reduce the deficit if you also believe that Congress and the White House will suddenly reverse their decades-long habit of knuckling under on Medicare expenses — and that the same gaggle of geniuses that can’t manage a website with a budget of a few hundred million dollars is going to keep within a 2 percent margin of error when managing a multi-trillion-dollar entitlement over coming decades.” In other words, Obamacare would be the miracle exception to everything we've come to expect from government and entitlement programs in order for this promise to be made whole. I'm not holding my breath on this one.
The Obamacare website will be user-friendly, like Amazon or Kayak.com
Easy and user-friendly are about the last words I would use to describe Healthcare.gov. You'd be hard-pressed to even use the word “functioning.” You can choose to believe the president when we are told he was unaware that the rollout of his health exchange would be a disaster, but that doesn't change the fact that it has been an unmitigated disaster. Obama's speech writers clearly were not informed of the impending train wreck headed their way, leading Obama to look foolish when making such lofty comparisons to private companies. Perhaps the White House truly thought that everything was going to be OK, but that should make the people in the Health and Human Services Department look awfully bad. The contractors say that they warned HHS that the site wouldn't be ready by the Oct. 1 deadline. HHS has admitted that it launched Healthcare.gov without completing crucial end-to-end security testing. Sharyl Attikinson has a new report on the hundreds of test failures associated with the exchange rollout. Considering how poorly this was done, is there any way to get a refund for our $634 million we spent to build this boondoggle?
At the end of the day, it wasn't just Barack Obama who was lying to us about Obamacare. Democrats in Washington bought into idea of universal healthcare and they, too, made similar promises to the American people. The Hill chronicles some of those promises here.
Barack Obama's polls numbers are dropping yet again, and I personally believe that this Obamacare exchange train wreck has something to do with it. According to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Obama's approval rating has hit a new record low of 42% and his disapproval rating is at a record high 51%.
Obama and the Democrats will be made to own Obamacare in the eyes of the American people, and it will be an albatross around their neck as they gear up for the 2014 election.