As Obamacare enters its fourth year of existence the future of the unpopular law is not looking good. Broken promises, shortcomings and outright failures have mired the bill’s reputation, confirming negative predictions held by many Americans.
Due to the law’s precarious existence many members of the public wonder if the health care law will become a permanent part of the American way of life, or if it will die and quickly be forgotten as a miserable experiment that produced a miserable failure.
For those that say Obamacare will die, here are eight reasons you are probably right…
1. Strong Public Opposition
A majority of Americans disapprove of Obamacare, the highest share since President Barack Obama‘s health care reforms became law more than four years ago, according to survey findings released Friday.
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s health care tracking poll for July revealsthat 53 percent of people view the Affordable Care Act unfavorably, a jump of 8 percentage points since June. July’s results mark the fifth time since April 2010, and the first time since January, that at least half of Americans are not supportive of the health care reform law.
The poll found that the share of people who view Obamacare favorably fell slightly, to 37 percent, marking the lowest rating the law has received since its passage. Views about the ACA remain sharply partisan.
2. Insurance Costs Continue Meteoric Rise
The Affordable Care Act was supposed to make health care more affordable, but a study of insurance policies before and after Obamacare shows that average premiums have skyrocketed, for some groups by as much as 78 percent.
Average insurance premiums in the sought-after 23-year-old demographic rose most dramatically, with men in that age group seeing an average 78.2 percent price increase before factoring in government subsidies, and women having their premiums rise 44.9 percent, according to a report by HealthPocket scheduled for release Wednesday.
The study, which was shared Tuesday with The Washington Times, examined average health insurance premiums before the implementation of Obamacare in 2013 and then afterward in 2014. The research focused on people of three ages — 23, 30 and 63 — using data for nonsmoking men and women with no spouses or children.
3. Too Many Loopholes to be Effective
Almost none of the uninsured will end up paying the ObamaCare mandate penalty, according to an updated analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, which found that 87% will be able to claim an exemption.
That exemption rate is higher than the CBO had previously thought, which not only blows a hole in its budget forecast for the law, but also increases the odds of an insurance industry “death spiral.”
According to the CBO’s latest estimate, out of the 30 million people who will still be uninsured in 2016, just 4 million will end up paying any tax penalty, despite the law’s requirement that everyone buy government-approved insurance. Two years ago, the CBO figured 6 million would pay the penalty.
Half of the 4 million now expected to pay the penalty will have incomes below $35,000, the CBO found.
4. Leaves 31 Million Uninsured by 2023
…The CBO projects that under Obamacare over the next decade, the number of uninsured will never fall below 30 million. Here are the year-by-year projections from the report:
2013 – 55,000,000
2014 – 44,000,000
2015 – 37,000,000
2016 – 31,000,000
2017 – 30,000,000
2018 – 30,000,000
2019 – 30,000,000
2020 – 30,000,000
2021 – 31,000,000
2022 – 31,000,000
2023 – 31,000,000
Despite Obamacare’s mix of requirements, mandates, subsidies, and penalties, the CBO projects that the law will never be able to decrease the number of uninsured below 11 percent of the population. During the decade projected by the CBO, the percentage of uninsured nonelderly persons decreases from 20 percent in 2013 to 11 percent by 2016, but then remains there for the rest of the ten year period. Not everything in the CBO report is similarly static, however. The “Average Exchange Subsidy per Subsidized Enrollee” increases 50 percent over the same time period, rising from $5,290 in 2014 to $7,900 in 2023.
5. Program Costs Continue to Blow Past Initial Estimates
This will only come as a surprise to President Obama’s most gullible admirers: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now claims that the president’s signature health care legislation will cost hundreds of billions of dollars more than originally predicted. So naturally, the media are running headlines claiming ObamaCare will cost less.
No serious policy person ever believed the original CBO gross cost projection of $938 billion (over 10 years) made when the bill was rammed through Congress in March of 2010. Working to achieve an acceptable CBO “score” (i.e., cost projection) is just part of the game Washington plays with legislation—and the American people.
To begin with, the costs in the legislation were back-loaded: Many of the costs won’t emerge until the latter half of the initial 10-year projection, ending in 2019. And sure enough, when the CBO issued its update in March 2011 the 10-year gross cost projection through 2021 jumped to $1.44 trillion. The just-released 2012 projection tags the gross cost at $1.76 trillion through 2022—nearly twice the original cost. Surprise!
6. The Program is Run by Government
Liberal supporters of the Affordable Care Act specifically, and big government in general, are quick with excuses for all the problems that Obamacare has been experiencing in these early days. We have heard: they did not have enough time, it’s complicated, it’s the insurance companies’ fault, we just need to make a few adjustments, and on and on. Do not believe any of these excuses; this is what happens when the government tries to substitute its wisdom for the market.
The failed website has received the most attention, but the problems in implementing this ultra complex law began long before the catastrophic launch of healthcare.gov. Beginning almost as soon as the law was signed by President Obama, the administration has been struggling to make changes and adjustments in attempts both to fix flaws in the law and to appease special interest groups that support Democrats.
Since almost immediately after passage, union groups and some large employers have been applying for waivers from various facets of the law. Hundreds of waivers have been granted. The latest and broadest waiver is the one year delay in the employer mandate that would have gone into effect on January 1.
7. States Reject the Bill
Connecticut is the most recent state to reject President Obama’s plan to “fix” his signature health-care law after millions of Americas received policy cancellation notices — a trend that suggests the president’s proposed solution will have little impact on the issue.
At least eight others states — California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — have rejected the president’s Nov. 14 proposal that insurance companies offer plans that don’t comply with ObamaCare requirements for at least a year. Connecticut decided Friday.
Though ObamaCare is federal law, governors and insurance commissioners must allow providers to make the exceptions because insurance is regulated differently in each state.
8. Negative Employee Repercussions
Obamacare’s October 1 launch date finally arrived. Ever since its passage, supporters of the law have made countless attempts to convince the American people of its viability, dismissing predictions of lost jobs, decreased hours, and rising costs, among others.
Yet from major corporations to local mom-and-pop shops, from entire states to tiny school districts, a wide range of companies and institutions have seen Obamacare’s negative impact on their workers, budgets, and production. Here are 100 examples of how Obamacare is falling short of what was promised.
Earlier this month, the computer giant, once famed for its paternalism, announced it would remove 110,000 of its Medicare-eligible retirees from the company’s health insurance and give them subsidies to purchase coverage through the Obamacare exchanges. Retirees fear that they will not get the level of coverage they are used to, and that the options will be bewildering.
2. Delta Air
Lines In a letter to employees, Delta Air Lines revealed that the company’s health-care costs will rise about $100 million next year alone, in large part because of Obamacare. The airline said that in addition to several other changes, it would have to drop its specially crafted insurance plans for pilots because the “Cadillac tax” on luxurious health plans has made them too expensive.
Fifteen thousand employees’ spouses will no longer be able to use UPS’s health-care plan because they have access to coverage elsewhere. The “costs associated with the Affordable Care Act have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost,” the delivery giant said in a company memo. The move is expected to save the company $60 million next year.
4. Caterpillar Inc.
In the law’s first year, the machinery manufacturer estimated before its passage, Obamacare would add more than $100 million in health-care costs. “We can ill afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors,” a Caterpillar executive wrote lawmakers, saying that the law would not meet the goal of providing good, inexpensive health care for all Americans.
SeaWorld used to let part-time employees work up to 32 hours per week, but the company is dropping the limit to 28 hours to keep them under the 30-hour threshold at which it would be required to provide health insurance under Obamacare. More than 80 percent of the company’s thousands of employees are part-time and/or seasonal.
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