By Jake Hayutin
President Obama continues to point fingers at his subordinates, plead ignorance and stand behind policies that have clearly failed. Lois Lerner was nudged to resign after the IRS scandal was uncovered this summer. Eric Holder was blamed for the Fast and Furious scandal, which involved over 2,000 American firearms being placed in the hands of Mexican drug cartels between 2006 and 2011. And that obscure filmmaker who allegedly provoked the terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, resulting in four American deaths, including that of Ambassador Christopher Stevens? This time Obama has blamed Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, for the poor development of the health insurance website healthcare.gov.
Working with a bureaucracy as excessive as ours, it’s understandable that any president cannot micromanage everything, so we let some things slide – but we most certainly cannot sit calmly as we let our President lie through his teeth. The following are four foundational promises made by Obama while campaigning for the Affordable Care Act that have already been proven false. (Facts and figure adopted from an article in Stanford’s Hoover Digest 2013 No.3 by Professor Paul R. Gregory.)
1. “If you like your current insurance plan you can keep it.”
No you can’t! ObamaCare officials project that employers will be paying $135 billion in fines to opt out of providing insurance under these new rules for their employees. This means these companies project the burden of ObamaCare to be significantly more, or else they would not submit to these fines. Furthermore, as of now roughly 12% of employees will be forced into inferior plans. Some of these workers will lose their Medicaid benefits. Medicaid is the federal health program for the poor.
2. “If you like your doctor, you can keep him or her.”
No you can’t! The Obama administration has projected that Medicare part A (basic medical services and check-up for the elderly) will lose 15% profitability, encouraging many doctors to retire early. So, although there will be no direct administrative rearrangement (so far as we know) the unintended consequences of the ACA may require you to find a new doctor.
3. “The ten-year cost of ObamaCare will be less than $1 trillion.”
No it won’t! Suffice it to say, after the subprime mortgage crisis in 2006, I have absolutely no confidence in federal economic projections. The only people who saw that coming were elite private hedge fund managers, who are now all much richer because of it. Regardless, new projections are between 1.3 and 1.9 trillion, depending on how lucrative the new taxes and penalties are for those who opt out.
4. “ObamaCare will not add a dime to the deficit.”
No it won’t! The only way this promise has any hope is if $1.3 trillion dollars can be cut from Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). For the last seven years running, Congress has overridden reductions in payments to Medicare physicians, including an $80 billion annual cut to Medicare alone.
Bonus: Keep an eye out for an article on Austrian economics in our next issue!