This was the big year. ObamaCare was going to be implemented and save the day.
The year began with grandiose promises that if you like your health insurance plan you can keep it. We were told that, while we would be subject to a penalty if we didn’t buy insurance, employers would be forced to provide it for their employees or face penalties themselves. We were assured that by October 1st those without insurance would be able to purchase insurance, at a much lower cost than ever before, on a state-of-the-art website – a health care hub of the future. There were set deadlines for each step of the process to bring transparency and allow for health insurance companies, businesses, and individuals alike to have confidence in the system – to have a plan and prepare for this wonderful new healthcare solution for all of humanity.
Then reality set it. The fact that ObamaCare began collapsing on itself wasn’t a surprise in the least. We conservatives had been sounding the alarm for years about what was about to happen. But what did surprise even those of us who foresaw this disaster was just how bad and how quickly it evidenced itself.
Millions of Americans received notices in the mail that the health insurance plan that they liked, and were repeatedly promised they could keep, was being canceled – because ObamaCare mandated that it be canceled.
Then there was what became the word of the year, “glitch.” $600,000,000 later the American people were left with a website that was down more than it was up. When people were finally able to sign up for insurance – with fines and penalties looming – their information was mangled when it got to the insurance companies. So much so, that an untold number of Americans who think they have health insurance under ObamaCare, don’t have anything.
But that’s ok, ObamaCare’s enforcement mechanism, the IRS, was too busy targeting all the people who were warning about the impending doom of ObamaCare to notice.
For a while there was a push to stop calling it ObamaCare and call it the Affordable Care Act. Yet it quickly became clear to the American people that there was nothing affordable about it, and it was no longer an “act” of Congress as the executive branch made unilateral change after exemption after waiver. It only means what President Obama cares it to mean at that moment.
Businesses were magnanimously granted a one-year waiver from the mandate – conveniently until after the 2014 election. The millions of Americans who lost their insurance, in the lie of the year, were benevolently bestowed the opportunity to buy what President Obama previously called “junk” insurance plans from “bad apple” insurers, because under his plan they were left with no insurance plan from no insurance company with a hefty penalty on the side.
Now, even the fate of President Obama’s most prized aspect of ObamaCare, the abortion-pill mandate, now lies at the Supreme Court.
Nothing about ObamaCare has worked this year. The scary thought is that every one of these failures happened before one cent was spent on a plan, before one fine was assessed by the IRS, before one attempted doctor visit, before one person loses their job because their company can’t afford to stay in business.
It’s sobering to think just how much worse it could get, and how much worse it could get is just good enough reason to keep fighting to scrap it and start over. It’s still not too late.
Matthew Clark is Associate Counsel for Government Affairs and Media Advocacy with the ACLJ. A lifelong citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he lives with his wife and three boys in Northern Virginia. Follow Matthew Clark: @_MatthewClark.