Obamacare can still be stopped
Barring some catastrophe – perhaps involving Iran or North Korea – the biggest challenge we Americans will face during 2014 will be one we allowed to be created.
It is the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, of course.
Already, even before the law’s most onerous regulations kick in, millions of Americans have learned Obamacare is going to be bad for our financial, and possibly our physical, health. Millions more will be getting bad news later this year.
Yet President Barack Obama insists the takeover is the law of the land and cannot be rescinded. Liberals in Congress vow to back him on that.
Incredibly, even some conservative lawmakers appear to have surrendered. Some now say it is too late to eliminate Obamacare and try something better.
It is not too late.
Some provisions of the law already have gone into effect and would be difficult to repeal. The expansion of Medicaid may be an example. With millions of potential voters added to the program, the political cost of changing it back might be too high.
Some liberals say rescinding Obamacare would add dramatically to the national debt, because of new programs such as the expanded Medicaid.
That also is not true, according to analysts. Repealing the law would cost the federal government $109 million during the next decade. That is chicken feed in Washington.
Leaving Obamacare in place will mean millions more Americans will lose the health care insurance they have now, through their employers.
It will result in millions more paying more for their health insurance, because they will be forced to buy government-approved policies rather than the economical ones they had previously.
Millions of those people will pay more for health care out of their own pockets. That is because the base, or “bronze” level coverage provided through Obamacare has enormous deductibles. One study by a nonpartisan health care think tank estimates the average deductible for an Obamacare policy will be between $5,000 and $6,000.
Then there are the penalties for those who chose not to buy insurance as required under Obamacare. Defenders of the program insist the penalties – actually new taxes – are not that bad. Why, the per-person tax is just $95 a year, they claim.
Again, not true. The law sets the per-person penalty at $95 a year or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater. By 2016, the amount goes up to 2.5 percent of taxable income.
It already is clear to millions of people that Obamacare is among the worst disasters government has ever inflicted upon the American people. Again, later this year that assessment will be adopted by millions more.
Why, then, are so many in Congress willing to let it happen?
Here, then, is an excellent New Year’s resolution if you are a registered voter: Resolve that when you go to the polls in November, you will vote for members of Congress ready to repeal Obamacare.