Thursday, December 10, 2015

Obamacare Repeal Bill: More Than Mere Symbolism

It will remind voters that the Democrats don’t give a damn what they want.
The President, congressional Democrats, and their media allies have attempted to portray the partial Obamacare repeal passed by the Senate last Thursday as cynical GOP posturing. As MSNBC phrased it, “It’s not exactly a secret that when congressional Republicans vote to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act… it’s not because they intend to succeed.” The Democrats want to convince the electorate that the Senate bill is just another “symbolic” GOP repeal effort. But it isn’t. This measure will actually reach Obama’s desk, which will force him to once again tell the voters to “go to Hell.”
The Senate bill and the President’s inevitable veto will constitute a practical and timely demonstration of his party’s contempt for representative democracy. It will remind the voters that the Democrats have no intention of heeding their will on health care reform or anything else. Voter anger about Obamacare has already cost the President’s party its majorities in both houses, and it is undeniably more unpopular than ever. Yet, not only has President Obama promised to veto the repeal bill, the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee has publicly pledged to be equally unresponsive to the will of the people.
Such arrogance would be justified, according to the perverse logic of liberalism, if Obamacare was working. But only a con artist or someone with brain damage would make that claim. The Democrats promised that Obamacare would “bend the cost curve down.” But the “Affordable Care Act” has rendered health care less affordable. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that a decade-long downward trend in health care inflation came to a halt during the first year Obamacare took effect: “In 2014, U.S. health care spending increased 5.3 percent following growth of 2.9 percent in 2013.”
On a less abstract level, Obamacare has caused out-of-pocket costs for patients to skyrocket. All but a few must buy a “qualifying” plan that includes a government-mandated list of “benefits,” and individuals are forbidden to forego anything on the list. Nor may insurers sell plans that fail to include them all. Such policies are absurdly expensive, so patients must offset high premiums with higher deductibles. Thus, even people receiving subsidies face high out-of-pocket costs. And HHS is predicting more increases in deductibles for plans sold through Obamacare’s exchanges during the next enrollment period.
Read the rest of this op-ed HERE.

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