“For the average American out there, for the 85 and 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing’s already happened. And their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better and more secure than it was before. Full stop. That’s it. They don’t have to worry about anything else.”
This is a quote from President Obama, and it’s also incorrect. One might even suggest it’s a lie, but let’s deal in facts here: President Obama is making claims he can’t back up with facts and even friendly publications like the Washington Post are calling him out on it.
Obama, in his comments, suggested that only a small segment of the population – those with no insurance or poor insurance – will have to worry about the impact of implementation. But there are a variety of studies and reports that suggest that, beyond those groups, some 10 million people face the prospect of losing their current healthcare.
WaPo awarded President Obama 2 Pinocchios (their friendly way of saying bs) for his effort to gloss over these studies. But before anyone claims that studies are a dime a dozen, pay attention to who WaPo cites for its conclusions.
According to the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent estimate, by 2018, after the law is fully implemented, 8 million people will be dropped from their employer health plans and 3 million will shift out of private plans.
The CBO was the rallying cry of Obamacare supporters in 2009 & 2010. Using the CBO’s own rules to prevent it from scoring the entire cost of the bill at once, Obama and his allies manipulated the numbers to make the healthcare bill more palatable to the public. But those tricks clearly weren’t capable of lasting as the wheels come off the cart and American healthcare has trouble looming.
In fact, tens of millions will be added to Medicaid or be forced to participate in health care exchanges because of the increased costs for both employers and providers under the new law. As much as 25% premium increases in some cases. All of the claims that you can “keep your current health plan” are becoming painfully obviously false.
Part of the reason is that employers are starting to look to part time employees as a way to lower the costs by dropping workers below the current hourly maximum allowed without offering health insurance. Some business owners, myself included, have taken to only hiring people on a contract or freelance basis to avoid potential responsibility that the business’ cash flow can’t support. I’m sure eventually the growing number of self-employed will be pointed to by Democrats as an example of increased entrepreneurship in the economy. In reality it’s people trying to figure out how to survive in a climate that is hostile to profitability and cash flow and is making it more and more difficult for companies to absorb the costs associated with a full time employee.
But this hasn’t stopped the left from gleefully jumping on board with demonizing any employer faced with rising costs against a back drop over lower revenue who decides to try and diminish the negative impact. The idea that profitability and cash flow are vital to having the ability to pay workers is being beaten back with class warfare and accusations of greed.
In spite of all this bad news, I’d wager that things are working precisely as Obama and his ideological brethren had hoped. Let’s not forget that prior to running for president, Barack Obama was more than happy to acknowledge his wish for universal government-run healthcare. Some of Obamacare’s supporters even slipped up and mentioned that the health care law was simply a stepping stone towards such a system.
That going this stepping stone route temporarily puts employers in a position of having to drop coverage produces a happy side effect for big government advocates by allowing a whole litany of examples of “corporate greed” that Democrats can use to win elections. And while they scream about “obscene” profits, we drift closer and closer to a system where the government has total control over all health decisions.
The only thing that is standing in the way is a free and open press informing the public of the truth. It’s good to see WaPo contributing to that effort with honest fact checking. We’ll see how long it lasts.