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March 22 2013

ObamaCare: An UnHappy Third Birthday

Charlotte Hays

Remember how urgent overhaul the health care system was three years ago?

It was so urgent that legislators passed the behemoth, 2,000-plus page Patient Protection and Affordable Care bill that President Obama signed into law three years ago this weekend without bothering to read it.

Impelled by the fierce urgency of now, a Democrat-controlled Congress passed one of the most monstrous bills in American history on a party-line vote.

The irony is that now we really need health care reform. We need reform now even more than we did three years ago.

ObamaCare is both massively more expensive and far less user-friendly than what we had before vain Democrats decided that it was given to them to "make history."

Even liberals are critical of about ObamaCare now. As Bethany Mandel puts it in a blog post headlined “Three Years Too Late, Finally Some Honesty on ObamaCare:”

Now that the bill is safely passed and its namesake has been reelected, the Times small business section has come to a shocking realization: Obamacare is going to very seriously, and very negatively, impact small businesses. In two separate stories on their homepage the picture is clear: business owners are facing tough decisions regarding their compliance and most of the possible scenarios will end up hurting the employees that the healthcare law was supposed to be protecting.

Mandel cites two New York Times stories, one on a bakery that could lose as much as half its profits because of ObamaCare, and the other, published late last year about small businesses that are holding off on expansion because they fear the impact of ObamaCare.

It was a jerrybuilt piece of legislation. Several parts of it were found to be unworkable before it even went into effect: the CLASS Act, an unfunded mandate to establish long-term care for the functionally disabled already has been repealed, while the Senate just voted to repeal a tax on medical-devices. Yep, ObamaCare was going to help patients by making pacemakers more expensive!

Senator Mitch McConnell’s so-called Red Tape Tower “became an instant hit on social-media sites after McConnell’s press office tweeted a photo on March 12 (hashtag: #redtapetower) of all 20,000-plus pages of regulations that the administration has released since Obamacare became law.”

The creation of the state health insurance exchanges is lagging, and, “It’s almost certain that the rollout of the exchanges will be choppy” partly because the application process is going to be “Byzantine.” An opinion piece in USA Today estimates that the rules will add 40 million hours a year of paperwork for companies that could otherwise expand in productive ways.

Many worry that ObamaCare is here to stay. They say that once put in place it will be like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, however, are popular programs.

ObamaCare isn’t popular today and will be even more unpopular as it unfolds.

The challenge for the GOP is to make sure that this time, when reform happens, it is the right reform.

Democrats will want to use the inevitable failure of ObamaCare to create a single-payer (government) system. The GOP will have another opportunity.

Like the Democrats three years ago, the Republicans eventually will have an unparalleled opportunity when ObamaCare makes all our lives miserable.

But will they be up to seizing it?

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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