Why Obamacare Must Be Repealed
The PPACA must be repealed for five major reasons:
1) Obamacare Explodes the Federal Debt
When President Obama presented the PPACA to the American people, he claimed it would cost $789 billion, bring healthcare spending under control, and reduce the deficit by $143 billion*. However, these numbers assumed deceptively optimistic projections about future savings and hid major portions of healthcare spending.
For example, these numbers required ten years of taxes to cover six years of spending. Because the Congressional Budget Office uses a ten-year calculation, the cost appeared much lower than it actually was. A second example is the bill calls for a $575 billion cut to Medicare. A third example is the bill anticipates a cut of an additional $298 billion to physicians caring for patients on Medicare.
A fourth example is the section of the PPACA known as the CLASS Act (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act). This section of the legislation created a government-backed, long-term care insurance program. CLASS “reduced the deficit” by requiring patients to make five years of payments before the government began distributing benefits.
However, rather than saving these premiums for future CLASS expenses, Congress planned on using the money to pay for the PPACA. While illegal for any private insurance company, this scheme accounted for $70 billion (nearly half) of the PPACA’s “savings.**
Congressman Paul Ryan, then House Budget Committee’s Ranking Member, estimated the true, ten-year cost of the bill at approximately $2.3 trillion.*** When stripped of its accounting gimmicks, President Obama’s healthcare legislation significantly adds to our national debt—it does not “reduce the deficit.”
2) Obamacare Transfers Excessive Power to Washington
When the 2,700 pages of legislation are examined closely, much of the bill does not detail how the new healthcare law will actually work; it simply transfers power to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). As a result, the Washington bureaucracy has already written over 20,000 of pages of additional regulation—with more to come.
This much regulation not only centralizes power in Washington, it injects tremendous uncertainty into the business community. This uncertainty makes it impossible for business owners to anticipate their future expenses and stifles job creation.
3) Obamacare Expands Healthcare Coverage by Placing them in a Program that is Already Unsustainable
Half of the people that gain insurance through the PPACA do so by enrolling into Medicaid. For many states this means the size of their Medicaid programs will increase by 50 percent. The marked expansion of Medicaid under the PPACA will exacerbate both federal and state budget shortfalls and force states to cut Medicaid reimbursement to physicians even further.
In many states Medicaid already reimburses less than the cost of delivering care. This means most of these “newly insured” patients will have “healthcare coverage,” but will not be able to secure a primary care physician. When low reimbursement is combined with abusive government oversight, having Medicaid coverage can be worse than remaining uninsured. The Government Accountability Office recently reported that children on Medicaid have worse access to physicians than children with no insurance at all.****
4) Obamacare Ends the Traditional Patient / Physician Relationship
The PPACA fundamentally changes what it means to be a physician. Even more, it fundamentally changes what it means to be a patient. For example, Section 3007 of the PPACA gives the Secretary of HHS extraordinary power to review physicians’ medical decision-making and grants the Secretary power to financially punish physicians who do not comply with the “cost effectiveness” standards set by the Secretary. Physicians who do not comply risk being regulated out of private practice.
5) Obamacare Kills Job Growth
Jobs, the economy, and healthcare are three of the most important issues facing America today. All are inextricably linked. Burdened by the skyrocketing cost of health insurance, American companies struggle to compete on the world stage; the uncertainty of the new healthcare legislation makes American businesses reluctant to hire. Unless the U.S. contains healthcare costs, economic recovery will remain exceedingly difficult. This represents perhaps the most compelling reason why we must lay out a clear, fiscally responsible alternative for healthcare reform.
Most Americans and business owners are overwhelmed with the complexity of President Obama’s healthcare reform plan, and understandably so. The 2,700 pages of the President’s signature legislation have already created chaos, and most of the law’s worst provisions have yet to be enacted. Even national healthcare policy experts do not fully understand what the future will bring. Indeed, the ultimate outcome of the legislation lies not with the patient, nor even with Congress, it rests on whims of the Secretary of HHS and the Independent Payment Advisory Board.
*CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, “PRELIMINARY ESTIMATE OF RECONCILIATION LEGISLATION COMBINED WITH H.R. 3590 AS PASSED BY THE SENATE,” MARCH 20, 2010
**UNITED STATES CONGRESS-REPUBLICAN POLICY COMMITTEE, “CLASS’ UNTOLD STORY: TAXPAYERS, EMPLOYERS, AND STATES ON THE HOOK FOR FLAWED ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM,” CHAIRMAN JOHN THUNE, P. 1, SEPTEMBER, 2011.
***Paul Ryan, Wall Street Journal, Opinion, “Dissecting the Real Cost of Obamacare,” March 4, 2010.
****U.S. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE, “MEDICAID AND CHIP: MOST PHYSICIANS SERVE COVERED CHILDREN BUT HAVE DIFFICULTY REFERRING THEM FOR SPECIALTY CARE,” GAO-11-624 JUNE 30, 2011.