10 Years of ACA Obamacare: What Have We Done?
What have we done? ACA was signed and marked as the crowning achievement of President Obama‘s legacy, but what were the actual results over the last 10 years? The failure of Obama’s ACA has led millions of citizens off their health insurance to force them to pick another plan and pay exorbitant rates. It is time for patients, their physicians, employers, and all society to rise for an organic, free-market to grow naturally.
PPACA, the misnamed “Patient protection and affordable care act,” was jammed through the Senate in the wee hours of Christmas Eve 2009. Vice President Joe Biden, serving as Senate chair, announced the vote. After three more months of political maneuvering and bypassing of rules, the House and Senate passed the final version in March 2010. In order to pull a fast one on gullible voters and Americans, his advisor Jonathan Gruber admitted, President Obama famously claimed, more than two dozen times, “You can keep your insurance. You can keep your doctor. Each family will save $2500 per year,” he promised.
ACA was signed and marked as the crowning achievement of President Obama‘s legacy, but what were the actual results over the last 10 years? One failure after another.
Perhaps the most prominent failure: “PolitiFact has named ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,’the Lie of the Year for 2013. Readers in a separate online poll overwhelmingly agreed with the choice…”
‘Why did readers agree? Because more than 4 million received cancellation letters from their insurance plan.”
So, what about control of healthcare? President Obama and those of his party, again and again, reassured the public that this wasn’t a Healthcare take over. But, to the contrary, Obamacare ACA redefined health insurance as a high-deductible plan with an astronomically high premium. In a rational world, high-deductibles are supposed to lower premiums.
Obamacare cost taxpayers and our children trillions of dollars to save us millions. Just one facet of ACA, subsidies on individual coverage cost $341 billion dollars from 2014 to 2016 and increased coverage by only 1.7 million people. That is $200,000 per person, reports Linda Gorman. It has funneled money to government cronies like insurance companies, hospital health systems, and other deep pocketed special interests. The result? Patients are now further divorced not only from their physicians, but now from their money and savings.
What’s more? Through a government-invented definition of insurance and “healthcare marketplace,“ even the website was a $678 million dollar “SNAFU” that didn’t work on opening day. It was outsourced to a Canadian company, run by the first lady Michelle Obama’s college roommate, Tori Townes.
Those repairs apparently didn’t work so the now infamous Andy Slavit from the C-suite of United Healthcare was brought in to “fix” it.
That was only the beginning of the cost spiral. Currently, our office healthcare insurance is a high deductible plan with an HSA, that has doubled in cost over the last decade and has gone up by 24% in the last year alone, from $1200 per month to $1500.
So, what about keeping your plan and diversity of healthcare insurance choices? In the state of New Jersey, the Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate offered 144 different plans for employers and individuals to choose prior to ACA passage in 2009. In 2010, the insurance offerings dwindled down to a dozen plans from this major insurer. Because the government ACA “marketplace,” and community rating (guaranteed issue, the famed pre-existing condition clause) eliminated the state risk pools, the individual policy market was destroyed and insurance choice was decimated. Even in major markets, there were only 1 to 3 different insurance plans on the ACA Obamacare exchange, hardly a market and hardly a choice remained.
What about the “co-op” plans that were predicted to be popular choices and created in lieu of a public option? All but three have closed up shop. The big insurance companies made sure the rules were written so co-ops would fail.
So, did ACA simplify healthcare and its financing? The 2,800 page ACA bill called for the creation of dozens and dozens of boards and commissions. This included the dreaded, and omnipresent, IPAB, the independent payment advisory board.
What would IPAB do? Take away payment “for critical health care that may be needed to save your life,” explains former general counsel for the American Civil Rights Union Peter Ferrara. More simply put it was a rationing board, composed of unelected bureaucrats, that would decide what care would be available to patients and what care would not. Its decisions would be made “independent of Congress, independent of the president, independent of the judiciary, and independent of the will of the people,” warns the CATO Institute. Thankfully President Trump signed the repeal of IPAB in February 2018. Good riddance.
So, what about keeping your physician? ACA Obamacare pushed insurers to implement “narrow networks.” This eliminated many physicians, hospitals, and many other care opportunities as choices for patients. Many patients could not keep their trusted physician either. Narrow networks are traditionally found in plans offered to Medicaid enrollees and are now a feature of ACA plans, that guess what, are often run by the same companies that run Medicaid.
So, what did it accomplish? ACA Obamacare did manage to kick millions of employed, self employed, and unemployed citizens off their health insurance only to force them to buy bloated cost, junk plans on the Government exchange. In this way, it also forced millions on to Medicaid government dependence, forcing states taxpayers to pick up the tab ad infinitum. The bottom line is that citizens were kicked off their insurance, forced to pick another plan, and pay exorbitant rates to subsidize others. In other words a government sanctioned bait and switch. We can thank President Trump again for seeing that some of the penalties, like the Individual mandate tax, have been sent to the scrap heap of failed health care financing policy.
Overall, the only phrase that sums up ACA Obamacare is #EpicFail. It is so dismal that even the Democrats who passed it, without knowing what was in it, are now calling for single payer government health care, euphemistically called Medicare for all. Or was that the plan all along? If you think ACA is bad just wait until you see the single payer disaster. It is time for patients, their physicians, employers and all of society to stop the vicious cycle of government control, rise and allow an organic, free-market to grow naturally. This is the path to abundance, serving the needs of all involved parties, and fostering the unique choices of individual patients, instead of filling the pockets of government cronies.
Lie of the Year: ‘If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it’, published December 12, 2013, www.politifact.com.
Obama’s “Keep your plan” promise labeled “Lie of the year,” published December 13, 2018, www.cbsnews.com.
Obama is gone, but his fiscal waste is still befouling American health care, published April 3, 2018, www.thehill.com.
Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is executive at company that built Obamacare website, published October 25, 2013, www.thedailycaller.com.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board: PPACA’s Anti‐Constitutional and Authoritarian Super‐Legislature, published June 14, 2012, www.cato.org.