At the one-year anniversary of ObamaCare, states need to stand up and reject big government
By Ed Hassell
Well it’s been one year since the big day—how do you feel?
On March 23, 2010, the sweeping national health care reform now known as ObamaCare was signed into law. One year later, we’ve already seen its many horrible habits in the unforgiving light of day. To describe the law as an unhappy marriage with the plurality of people in the United States is an understatement, which opinion polls have continually shown since the beginning.
Our struggling states, facing a collective $175 billion shortfall, are still suffering through horrible economic woes—yet they continue to take federal money to implement ObamaCare (sort of like the woman in denial who continues to take a beating from her husband in the name of love or some other excuse). United States Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has even bragged that over 48 states have taken at least one million to begin setting up state exchanges—that includes Republicans.
Until the issue of the law’s constitutionality is resolved in the Supreme Court, states may argue that they have to take the much-needed money now necessary to implement the law with all of its costly mandates, but that will prove to be a costly mistake down the line. In return they’ll be stuck with billions more in debt for 2014 (when most of the law goes into effect) and beyond—not to mention state exchanges completely controlled by the federal government, which ultimately decides all the governing rules.
As pointed out by National Review writer Michael Cannon in his article, “ObamaCare Can’t Be Fixed”: “Affordable plans will disappear because ObamaCare requires all purchasers to buy whatever coverage Kathleen Sebelius mandates as ‘essential,’ a definition that will grow even broader.”
In sum, the administration’s socialist goal of a single payer system appears more likely with every million passed out to the states. The more financial help the states take from the administration, the harder it will be to undo this law and start over with something that actually works—which sounds like the ‘pimp-like’ plan of the administration all along. Make them dependent on public assistance and, like a crack addict, they will be broken and subsumed into their habit.
This is why it is so important to get the Supreme Court to hear the issue of constitutionality of this law sooner than later. And also why states must take a stand now and return ObamaCare monies before it is too late.
Then there’s the matter of Pelosi’s “poison pill”: Congressional Democrats tucked away billions in self-funding provisions hidden in ObamaCare that we’re only beginning to learn the horrible details about—details that will bankrupt states and add trillions to our already unsustainable 14 trillion in debt.
Plenty of people who have followed ObamaCare have offered their top 10 failures of the law on this anniversary. It’s worth noting some of the common problems.
Instead of rosy administration forecasts that the law will decrease the deficit—the Congressional Budget Office says that it will actually increase it by $260 billion through 2019. Not what we need right now. Pelosi et al also said it would create jobs—where are those hiding? Instead employers are being forced to cut jobs or move full-timers into part-time positions that are not mandated to get health insurance; note: the CBO also predicts 800,000 jobs will be lost.
And what about those state costs already mentioned? Medicare accounts for 22 percent of state budget and ObamaCare creates a massive expansion that will cost states $118 billion through 2023. Say goodbye to whatever shoddy education and law enforcement you already had—and hello, complete ignorance and lawlessness. What about Medicaid mandates: New York State alone would be forced to shell out $66 billion over the first ten years, according to Cannon.
“Every new bureaucracy is itself a constituency for more government,” wrote Cannon and he couldn’t be more correct.
But at least we’ll save money on premiums, right? Um . . . not exactly. The CBO estimates the average American family will pay $2,100 more when the law is fully implemented (10% to 13% increase). And the list of lies and failures goes on and on.
ObamaCare is such a complex failure that it simply can’t be fixed as it is written. Now is the time to fully repeal it and start over with a responsible plan. Providing health coverage to more Americans and fixing our broken health care system can be done without bankrupting the country. But it needs to start with states taking a stand on principle and returning their ObamaCare money. As a wise man once said, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”