March 27 2013

Misnomer: Affordable Care Act

Charlotte Hays

Healthcare reform is needed urgently—now more than ever.

That’s  what they said three years ago, when Democrats, impelled by the need to make history, voted in ObamaCare. But now the health care system really needs an overhaul.

ObamaCare at three is looking so bad that even Democrats who voted for it seem to be trying to put daylight between themselves and our monstrous new health system.

 It is hard to know where to begin on this subject of just how bad ObamaCare is going to make our healthcare system.

But let’s start with this irony: the Affordable Care Act is likely to make your health insurance less affordable.  

As Katie Pavich puts it, even HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “is finally admitting that the Affordable Care Act isn't actually that affordable.” Now she tells us. Claims costs are likely to go up 32 percent. The Washington Times notes:

While some states will see medical claims costs per person decline, the report [by the Society of Actuaries] concluded the overwhelming majority will see double-digit increases in their individual health insurance markets, where people purchasehttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png coverage directly from insurers.

The disparities are striking. By 2017, the estimated increase would be 62 percent for California, about 80 percent for Ohio, more than 20 percent for Florida and 67 percent for Maryland. Much of the reason for the higher claims costs is that sicker people are expected to join the pool, the report said.

It’s not just your premiums that are likely to go up as a result of ObamaCare. The federal deficit will also rise. As the American Enterprise Institute’s Christopher Conover puts it:

It turns out President Obama was right when he said his health care law wouldn't add one dime to the federal deficit.1 Figures from the Government Accountability Office suggest that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will in fact add 62 trillion dimes over the next 75 years.2 (To give that $6.2 trillion some perspective, our national debt is currently $16.7 trillion.)

Unlike Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, ObamaCare is unlikely to become popular with the public. It is ill-conceived and not user-friendly. The question is what will reform of the reform look like.

A failure of ObamaCare could take us to a single-payer system (the payer is the government), which was the real hope of many who supported ObamaCare, even though they wanted to go further. It will depend on which party controls the branches of government. It will also depend on what kind of ideas they are able to put forward.

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