The ‘Un­af­ford­able Care Act’

Oba­macare is al­ready over­run­ning its bud­get

The Washington Times Daily - - Opinion - By Deroy Murdock

Pres­i­dent Obama’s health plan should be rechris­tened the “Un­af­ford­able Care Act.” Pre­cisely as Oba­macare’s crit­ics pre­dicted, the of­fi­cially ti­tled Af­ford­able Care Act is no bar­gain for tax­pay­ers or pa­tients.

Mr. Obama signed this mea­sure on March 23, 2010. Less than two years later, its orig­i­nal $940 bil­lion price tag for 10 years is in tat­ters. As the Con­gres­sional Bud­get Of­fice re­fore­cast Tues­day, this pro­gram will cost $1.76 tril­lion through fis­cal 2022. This is an 87 per­cent over­run not even 24 months into this boon­dog­gle. At this rate, the Un­af­ford­able Care Act may do for medicine what Bos­ton’s Big Dig tun­nel did for public works.

How did this ini­tia­tive de­te­ri­o­rate so quickly?

“The books have been se­verely cooked,” says House Bud­get Com­mit­tee Chair­man Paul Ryan, Wis­con­sin Re­pub­li­can. As de­vi­ous Democrats con­cocted Oba­macare in 2009, they de­layed its full im­ple­men­ta­tion un­til 2014. Hence, back­loaded ex­penses mainly filled the final six years of the CBO’S 10-year anal­y­sis of the bill’s costs. As they shoved Oba­macare down Amer­ica’s col­lec­tive throat, Democrats lied about how de­li­cious it was, at not quite $1 tril­lion.

CBO’S lat­est val­u­a­tion now re­flects two more fat years of this con­trap­tion in full op­er­a­tion. Gross costs for fis­cal 2021 and 2022 equal $250 bil­lion and $265 bil­lion, re­spec­tively. This clearer picture nearly dou­bles the Un­af­ford­able Care Act’s ad­ver­tised price. Soon, House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee Chair­man Dave Camp, Michi­gan Re­pub­li­can, frets, “The Democrats’ health care law is cer­tain to top more than $2 tril­lion.”

The now-de­funct Com­mu­nity Liv­ing As­sis­tance Ser­vices and Sup­ports (Class) Act is a key rea­son for the Un­af­ford­able Care Act’s un­af­ford­abil­ity.

Even be­fore it passed Congress, Se­nate Bud­get Com­mit­tee Chair­man Kent Con­rad, North Dakota Demo­crat, called this longterm-care pro­vi­sion “a Ponzi scheme of the first or­der, the kind of thing Bernie Mad­off would be proud of.” Medi­care’s chief ac­tu­ary, Richard Foster, con­cluded: “Thirty-six years of ac­tu­ar­ial ex­pe­ri­ence lead me to be­lieve that this pro­gram would col­lapse in short or­der and re­quire sig­nif­i­cant fed­eral sub­si­dies to con­tinue.”

In­deed, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion in Oc­to­ber dis­missed the Class Act as un­work­able — along with its $86 bil­lion in an­tic­i­pated deficit re­duc­tion.

The Un­af­ford­able Care Act should sicken tax­pay­ers and pa­tients, too.

“The pres­i­dent said that by en­act­ing this health care law, ev­ery fam­ily would save $2,500 per year,” Sen. Ron John­son, Wis­con­sin Re­pub­li­can, said at a March 7 Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee hear­ing. “The Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion has al­ready re­leased a study say­ing that av­er­age costs of fam­ily health care plans are up $2,200. We’re al­ready dif­fer­ent by $4,700; it’s go­ing to be hard to get us down to $2,500 cost sav­ings.”

Also, the CBO ex­pects an ad­di­tional 4 mil­lion Amer­i­cans to lose their em­ployer-pro­vided cov­er­age, as man­agers choose fines over pre­mi­ums on even costlier, Obama-ap­proved health plans. As the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee found, “This will force hard-work­ing Amer­i­cans to pur­chase gov­ern­ment-man­dated in­sur­ance in gov­ern­ment-run ex­changes or pay a penalty.”

As the Washington Ex­am­iner’s Philip Klein ob­served Tues­day, the Un­af­ford­able Care Act will drive at least 39 mil­lion peo­ple into the lov­ing arms of the state. By 2022, Mr. Klein wrote, “3 mil­lion fewer peo­ple will have health in­sur­ance through their em­ploy­ers, while 17 mil­lion Amer­i­cans will be added to Med­i­caid, and 22 mil­lion will get cov­er­age through gov­ern­ment-run ex­changes.”

Most amaz­ing, the CBO states, “More are ex­pected to be unin­sured.” While the Un­af­ford­able Care Act will cover many Amer­i­cans who lack in­sur­ance, that num­ber is shrink­ing. This law, the CBO cal­cu­lates, “will re­duce . . . the num­ber of unin­sured peo­ple by 2 mil­lion less than pre­vi­ously es­ti­mated.” For all of its profli­gacy and in­tru­sive­ness, come 2022, Oba­macare still will leave 27 mil­lion Amer­i­cans with­out health in­sur­ance.

On Nov. 6, the Amer­i­can peo­ple can jet­ti­son this rub­bish by dump­ing ev­ery avail­able Demo­crat on Capi­tol Hill who voted for it. (Con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans wisely and unan­i­mously re­jected this leg­isla­tive mal­prac­tice.) As for the con man who signed the Un­af­ford­able Care Act, Mr. Obama can­not be frog­marched back to Chicago swiftly enough.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.