Monday, August 4, 2014

Americans Say Obamacare Is Hurting Families

My article from the July 25, 2014 issue of FrontPage magazine:

Americans Say Obamacare Is Hurting Families

By Matthew Vadum

The American people hate Obamacare and recognize the lasting damage it is inflicting, according to a new national poll.

Americans seem to recognize that the Obamacare law will boot people out of their health care plans, encourage idleness, drive wages down, increase the government’s tax take, and fail to put a dent in the number of Americans without health insurance coverage.

“Obamacare is helping some people; mostly Americans with preexisting conditions and those who are eligible for very generous subsidies,” Townhall’s Guy Benson observes. “But it’s hurting far more people. And a substantial majority oppose the law.”

Indeed, after but a wee taste of the deadly horrors of government-run health care, Americans now say by a 2-to-1 margin that it has hurt their families, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll.

When asked what impact the Obamacare law has had, 18 percent of respondents said their families were better off as a result of the law, compared to 35 percent who said Obamacare has made them worse off.

Americans continue to hate Obamacare overall, disapproving of the program by a dramatic margin of 59 percent to 40 percent.

Many Americans are finding that guaranteed access to health care insurance doesn’t actually translate to getting health care in the real world. This “access shock” is spreading, according to a surprisingly honest assessment in Politico:
Anger over limited choice of doctors and hospitals in Obamacare plans is prompting some states to require broader networks — and boiling up as yet another election year headache for the health law … It’s not just a political problem. It’s a policy conundrum. Narrow networks help contain health care costs. If state or federal regulators — or politicians — force insurers to expand the range of providers, premiums could spike. And that could create a whole new wave of political and affordability problems that can shape perceptions of Obamacare.
And to the continuing amazement of our enlightened progressive betters, Americans are stubbornly immune to the relentless onslaughts of socialist propaganda from Obama mandarins and the media that sing the praises of government-run health care.

“Obamacare was pitched as a win/win for everyone, with no trade-offs and no losers,” said Benson. “That has not been the case.”

Although illegal aliens aren’t supposed to be getting government healthcare benefits or subsidized coverage under Obamacare, the Obama administration and its minions in shadowy groups like Enroll America are pushing illegal immigrants to sign up for Obamacare. The Obamacare law also allows states and local governments to shift prisoner healthcare expenses onto federal taxpayers by dumping prison inmates in pretrial detention into the Obamacare exchanges.

It is clear that things will get much, much worse as the law takes full effect over time.

Obamacare’s “largest impact on labor markets will probably occur after 2016, once its major provisions have taken full effect and overall economic output nears its maximum sustainable level,” according to government analysts.

As the quality of health care goes down while the cost goes up, President Obama’s signature legislative monstrosity will inflict misery and completely unnecessary suffering on Americans in coming years.

Government analysts already project that Obamacare will kill 2 million full-time American jobs in 2017.
The job destruction caused by Obamacare will climb to 2.5 million in 2024, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress. “The decline in full time-equivalent employment stemming from the [Affordable Care Act] will consist of some people not being employed at all and other people working fewer hours…”

Obamacare will shrink paychecks.

Hours worked will fall by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent from 2017 to 2024 largely because some workers will opt to escape new taxes while others won’t need to work as much because they will receive subsidies from taxpayers. Lower-wage workers will be hit hardest. In the same seven-year period aggregate compensation (wages, salaries, and fringe benefits) will fall 1 percent compared to what it would have been otherwise.

In 2018, the misnamed “Affordable Care Act” begins to impose an excise tax on some of the more expensive health insurance plans. Workers will pay that tax in the form of reduced after-tax compensation. When some employers limit their exposure to the excise tax by switching to cheaper plans, employees’ wages will rise but the extra compensation will be subject to income and payroll taxes, making workers’ tax payments higher than they would have been had Obamacare not been enacted.

Americans will continue being unceremoniously removed from their employer-sponsored health insurance plans, despite President Obama’s frequently repeated promise that Americans would be able to keep their health care plans. And as a result of the law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) project that “between 6 million and 7 million fewer people will have employment-based insurance coverage each year from 2016 through 2024 than would be the case in the absence of the ACA.”

Under Obamacare, the number of uninsured people in the U.S., which Obama himself set at 30 million in September 2009, will grow. In 2024 there will be 31 million non-elderly U.S. residents without health insurance, according to CBO and the JCT.

Which makes rational people wonder what the real purpose of Obamacare is. If it can’t even cover the uninsured –the whole reason supporters say the program was created– what good is it?

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