By Pat Hughes
ObamaCare went live on October 1, 2013.
This is bad news for America. ObamaCare is a bad program, based on a badly drafted law. It is ill-conceived, poorly executed. It is already destroying jobs, and pushing employees into part-time employment when they need full-time hours. ObamaCare is putting huge additional financial burdens on people who can’t afford it, making them pay more for insurance they don’t want or need. It is destroying consumer choice, forcing many insurers to stop offering coverage to individuals and families. ObamaCare puts peoples’ private medical records and financial information at risk of exposure. On top of all that, ObamaCare is likely to lead to out of control costs in the years ahead. Not surprisingly, the politically connected and powerful have managed to get waivers, or have their mandate kicked down the road for a year.
The public has shown increasing discontent with ObamaCare. According to opinion polls, a substantial majority of Americans want ObamaCare repealed. Some of its early supporters, including labor unions, have turned against it. If a referendum were held on ObamaCare today, it would be defeated soundly.
Thus, the grassroots opposition to ObamaCare is not, as some critics have claimed, motivated by pointless malice. The problems mentioned above are real and serious. The worries about the impact of ObamaCare are genuine.
Here in Illinois, our failed political class has embraced ObamaCare. The ObamaCare exchange in Illinois offers less choice, and requires Illinoisans to purchase federally determined lists of benefits, which translates to more insurance, at greater costs, than people need or want. Since ObamaCare was signed into law, Illinois employers have slashed the hours of Illinois’ already hard-pressed workforce to avoid penalties under ObamaCare. The plans will be more expensive than comparable plans previously available. Some people will be eligible for subsidies to reduce those costs, at the taxpayer’s expense, but the rest of us will end up paying more. Governor Quinn’s office and the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services have been sanitizing the information they provide to the public, presumably because they understand that the more the public knows about ObamaCare’s implementation, the less they will like it. Put simply, ObamaCare is simply not a good deal for most people.
Still, the only way that we will rid ourselves of ObamaCare is if a superior alternative is offered, and persistently and forcefully promoted by people who want to see genuine reform to how health care in America is delivered. It’s been done at the state level, where Medicaid reform in some states can show the rest of us the way. Alternatives exist but only in pieces: tax free Health Savings Accounts, permitting insurers to sell policies across state lines, medical malpractice reform, and fraud reduction plans.
Because you can’t beat something with nothing. The proponents of ObamaCare have only had to fend off criticisms and delay tactics. They have not had to say why their plan is better than a seriously presented alternative. Until they do, ObamaCare will remain the only game in town.
We need to make sure that dynamic changes in the months ahead.