Today marks the two year anniversary of Obamacare’s enactment, and in the last two years we have learned a great deal about this bill – unfortunately, it is not good.
President Obama and his allies in Congress made a lot of promises when they attempted to sell this massive bill to the American people. Many of us said at the time that those promises were empty ones. Now, a lot of those empty promises are coming home to roost.
For one, they touted the flexibility of the Democrat health care law, claiming that people who liked their current healthcare plan were free to keep it. As it turns out, CBO reported that as many as 20 million people could lose their employer-sponsored health benefits. His law is forcing people out of health plans they like and limiting their ability to hold on to a plan that best suits their individual or family needs.
In addition, the President promised that the law would lower the costs of health care and bring down premiums by $2500 for the typical American family. The reality, however, is that the law will increase total spending on health care by $311 billion according to the Medicare actuary, and CBO says that the law will instead increase premiums for an average family plan by $2100--a swing of $4600 from what was promised. This is an unnecessary burden on the American people that will only add to their troubles amidst an unpredictable economy.
CBO recently shed light on another broken promise when it reported that Obamacare will cover 2 million fewer than the President promised. Despite its massive price tag and deep cuts to Medicare, the new law cannot even ensure coverage for all Americans. The law is forcing more than 30 million new enrollees into Medicaid, an unsustainable entitlement program in which patients are denied access to about 40 percent of physicians because reimbursements are so low.
The President made a promise to our seniors that Medicare will be there when they need it, but the current program is unsustainable. With insolvency predicted to hit as soon as 2016, the Medicare program in its current form is in dire trouble. We have an obligation and opportunity to strengthen and improve it for our nation’s seniors, and to put it on a sustainable path.
Rather than putting patients first and implementing common-sense reforms that promote choice and competition, the President’s healthcare law established an unelected, unaccountable board of bureaucrats—the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)—with the power to cut Medicare payments to doctors. Arbitrary cuts by Washington bureaucrats will threaten seniors’ access to care. In February, I, along with Senator Coburn (R-OK), introduced the Seniors’ Choice Act, a patient-focused proposal to put Medicare on a sustainable path and fulfill our promise to seniors today and in the future. Our plan will provide choice and sustainability for America’s seniors and would immediately repeal IPAB.
It is now more clear than ever that Obamacare was based on nothing but a sting of broken promises, and the time has come to repeal and replace it with meaningful health reform that will actually reduce the cost of health care and provide coverage for all Americans. It has been two years since then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi told us that we needed to pass the bill in order to see what was in it. Now we know: twice the spending, less coverage and fewer choices.