The Democrats’ Health Care Law: What We Have Learned
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Today, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before the Ways and Means Committee on the President’s FY 2013 budget proposal. While the Administration’s budget proposal calls for another $1.3 billion in spending just to implement what a majority of Americans have determined is an unconstitutional health care law, the Obama Administration seems content to ignore the fact that the law is not working.
Here’s what we have learned about what the Democrats’ health care law has led to so far: higher premiums, threats to job creation, questions of constitutionality, fear that families and retirees will lose the coverage they have and like, and billions in taxpayer dollars wasted. This is before much of the law’s mandates, tax increases, and Medicare cuts have taken effect.
- Health care costs for consumers and health care spending overall will increase drastically as a result of the Democrats’ health care law.
- 72 percent of Americans expect the Democrats’ health care law won’t make their family's health care situation better.
- Despite promises of lower costs that were repeated over and over by the President and other supporters, 75 percent of small businesses that offer health insurance to their employees do not believe the law will slow the rise in health care costs.
- Health care premiums will continue to go up, not down, despite President Obama’s promise to reduce health care premiums by $2,500. A Kaiser Family Foundation report found that health care premiums in the workplace increased 9 percent, or over $1,200, for an average American family in the year following enactment of the Democrats’ health care law.
- Employers are dropping coverage due to the health care law, destroying the ability to “keep the coverage you have and like.” Another report from the McKinsey Group found that more than 50 percent of employers with a high awareness of the law say they will stop offering health coverage.
- The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the health care law may hinder job creation. Additionally, in a 2011 letter to Congress, 200 economists wrote that the law “contains expensive mandates and penalties that create major barriers to stronger job growth.”
- Americans of all political stripes believe the requirement to purchase government-mandated health insurance even if they can’t afford it, the centerpiece of the Democrats’ health care law, is unconstitutional. In a recent Gallup poll, 72 percent of Americans said that this provision is unconstitutional, with over 50 percent of Democrats agreeing.
- As a result of the Democrats’ health care law, more than 90 percent of seniors will lose the retiree prescription drug coverage they have and like and see nearly double-digit premium increases.
- The Obama Administration continues to overpromise, overspend and underperform – all at the expense of the taxpayer. Consider these three examples:
- Despite a $5 billion price tag, the high-risk pool that was intended to cover 375,000 people has only 45,000 enrollees.
- The Obama Administration handed out more than one-half billion dollars in cut-rate loans, primarily to political allies to form cooperatives, many of whom do not appear eligible under the law.
- The Administration has already nearly exhausted $5 billion in funds for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP), which was supposed to be in place through 2014. By refusing to pay new claims, this is yet another broken promise in the Democrats’ law. However, the Obama Administration did not miss the opportunity to reward its politically favored friends – unions and state and local governments – which comprised about half of the entities receiving the federal retiree reinsurance subsidies.