Obamacare's costs: Ignoring them is not acceptable
SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN
In one day, the Obamacare "exchanges" debut. Allegedly. The Obama administration announced last week that small businesses would not be able to buy insurance coverage on the exchanges on Oct. 1, as scheduled. The announcement was made literally while Obama was giving a speech about how great Obamacare is.
It was only the latest in a litany of problems built into the law. Yes, built into it. The idea that a nationwide system of government-run and heavily regulated "marketplaces" would be ready to use by Oct. 1, 2013, always was fantasy, as was the rest of the massive fraud known as the Affordable Care Act. As Politico reported last week, "The Obamacare that consumers will finally be able to sign up for next week is a long way from the health plan President Barack Obama first pitched to the nation."
To recap only two of the frauds:
• Obama said that if you liked your doctor or your health plan, you could keep them. But the law was structured so that it encouraged companies to drop their coverage and cut employees to part-time. That is exactly what is happening.
• Obama said it would reduce premiums. Last week the administration issued a press release claiming to show that premiums would be 16 percent lower under Obamacare than they were projected to be without it. Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute compared the administration's exchange rates to the rates people are actually paying today. He found an average increase of 97-99 percent for men and 55-62 percent for women.
Then there are the delays and amendments — more than 20 of them. The individual mandate was delayed because its on-time implementation would have been economically catastrophic.
Leaders of three of America's biggest labor unions wrote in a letter to top Democrats in Congress, "The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are causing nightmare scenarios."
None of this seems to matter to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster, who remain steadfastly supportive of the law. (Shaheen and Shea-Porter voted for it.) They champion its alleged benefits and pretend the flaws do not exist. As it raises prices and shrinks coverage options and full-time employment, they pretend that everything is just fine because it expands coverage, as if the negatives are not connected to the positive.
Yes, Obamacare ensures that more people have health insurance. But at what cost? That has always been the question. Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Kuster pretend that the costs do not exist. The people of New Hampshire know better. They are being ill-served by three members of Congress who pretend not to.