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Three years since congress passed ObamaCare so the public could find out what was in it; its impacts are still being discovered. Everyday somewhere in America someone is just now finding out how this law is going to effect them, and usually the news is not good. Here is but a smidgen of what the healthcare law has meant to Americans (so far!).
1. RESTRICTED ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE FOR SENIORS
ObamaCare’s sole purpose was to increase access to healthcare, that was unless you are part of the population that needs it the most. Obama famously said it might be better for grandma to go home and take a pill than seek treatment. The truth is grandma is increasingly having a hard time finding a doctor at all. With decreasing reimbursements to physicians fewer are opting to take on Medicare patients. With its Sustainable Growth Rate formula ObamaCare is scheduled to accelerate that trend. No fear though, the administration has paid the University of California to come up with a questionnaire and tests to determine those with average life span of ten years or less. Apparently restricting healthcare options for these folks is one of the ways the government plans on dealing with the situation. (and you thought talk of death panels was over)
2. THOUSANDS OF EMPLOYEES FORCED TO WORK PART-TIME
Across the economy but concentrated in the food services industry, employers are reducing their exposure to mandatory healthcare cost for full-time employees by changing millions to part-time. Olive Garden, Papa John’s Pizza Applebees and Denny’s are but a few of the big names going to a mostly part-time workforce. These are people who can least afford drops in their paychecks but for employers in extremely competitive industries like food service the choice is go part-time or go out of business. On the bright side Obama is keeping his promise to spread the wealth around, now in place of ten full-time workers companies will hire fifteen part-time ones!
3. HEALTHCARE COST SKYROCKETING
ObamaCare was suppose to provide more for less. Cover more people for more things at a lower cost. Similar to the Great Wizard in the land of Oz, Obama was pulling media levers and making grandiose sounds and gestures behind a curtain of lies to make such a miracle sound plausible. Of course also like the wizard the ObamaCare claims are being shown to be a fraud.
Obama claimed health insurance would go down about $2,500 over his first term but they actually have went up an average of $3,000 dollars plus. Major insurer Aetna is predicting by the end of 2014 some people will be paying double what they are now. Even Blue Cross/Blue shield that supported ObamaCare is now asking for substantial rate increases citing ObamaCare as the major reason why.
4. MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURING BEING REDUCED WITH SOME COMPANIES GOING OUT OF BUSINESS
The United States has historically been the world leader in devices for the healthcare industry. There are millions of people today that owe their very existence in some way or another to this industry and millions more for whom living a normal life would of been impossible without them. A lot of this innovation comes from the fact the industry is so competitive; facing competition not just from within the country but from overseas as well. This competition also means profit margins are often minimal.
ObamaCare is now putting this all at risk by its ill conceived tax on the industry. A tax deemed essential in the negotiations leading up to the passage of ObamaCare but is now seen as an industry killer. The tax that is likely to kill jobs, companies and patients by stifling innovation. The Senate recently passed a symbolic repeal of the tax but any actual repeal is unlikely.
5. DOCTORS RETIRING EARLY AND LEAVING PRIVATE PRACTICE
“If you like your Doctor you will be able to keep him or her,” was another one of Obama’s empty promises on ObamaCare. The fact is many are going to be dumped off their current insurance plans (something he said would not happen) and even for those that don’t the odds of keeping their doctor are decreasing by the week. That is because of a disturbing trend, that of Doctors retiring early or leaving private practice.
The fact is up to 60% of doctors seem to be looking at early retirement rather than continue to work in system they do not recognize, nor agree with, one moment longer than necessary. Others, as much as a 1/3 are thinking to works elsewhere while many will leave private practice for the world of corporate medicine in a large hospital. If one mixes in these trends with the one of new doctors avoiding general medicine due to lack of tort reform, and one gets a future where the family physician might be going the way of house calls. In fact do not be surprised if sometime soon when you go for a check-up you hear ‘the nurse will see you now,’ that is if there is enough of them to go around as well.
6. SLOWING OF THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY
As the economy was burning the Democrats and President Obama were fiddling with ObamaCare. Their excuse was that healthcare reform was essential to economic recovery. Of course like most of the snake oil being sold by congressional Democrats at the time this claim rang hollow. What few understood is not only was Obama’s magic elixir not helpful to the economy it was in fact poison.
Almost immediately businesses pulled back on expansion plans as they tried to get their hands around the massive implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A pullback that is still effecting the economy.
7. SMALL BUSINESS PARALYZED DUE TO LACK OF CLARITY
As bad as ObamaCare has been for the economy as a whole, the effect has been magnified in the area of small businesses. The reason is for the disproportionally large impact on America’s primary employers is resources. A small business simply does not have the resources to dedicate to understanding the massive and constantly changing landscape of ObamaCare.
The average small business makes decisions based on short, medium and long term planning. Planning that is totally dependent on being able to know what future cost are. With ObamaCare, future cost are now a unknowable quantity making planning impossible.
8. OBAMACARE ADDS TO THE DEFICIT
Obama famously said that ObamaCare was deficit neutral for its first 10 years. Like a messiah he was going to add millions to the healthcare roles and it would not cost the taxpayer or add to the deficit. The taxpayer lie was first exposed by the Supreme Court decision. The deficit claim was equally dubious. Obama’s magic math was a mixture of gimmicks and lies that can be broken down to three strategies: First under count how much healthcare would cost. Than front load revenues but delay implementation of key benefits (pay for today’s hamburger next Tuesday) and finally reduce the ‘planned’ expenditures on Medicare and use these ‘savings’ to fund ObamaCare. This last item is what is most significant. The 716 billion in supposed savings used to fund ObamaCare that if fully implemented would bankrupt hospitals and make taking Medicare patients a charitible act for Dr.s (which for the most part it already is). The fact is some of these cuts will and are taking place but in the long run everyone knows they are not sustainable.
The truth is the GAO has estimated that ObamaCare will add another 6.2 trillion to the already out of control deficit. A figure that is still far lower than what the real number is likely to be. A number that will break the U.S. and its economy.
9. IT UNDERMINES RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
The fact is this item could and probably should be number one. For the first time a college student’s desire to have sex trumps religious conscious in the Land of the Free. The healthcare mandates written into ObamaCare regulations have been implemented with absolutely no regard for religious liberty or of conscious at all. ObamaCare’s refusal to even acknowledge the need to protect religious liberty is quite astounding. No piece of legislation in the history of the United States has so flagrantly disregarded the U.S. constitution. Mandating coverages for birth control violates the religious tenants of the Catholic church and the abortion pill inclusion makes it abominable to many Christian faiths was well.
The key underlying principle is that anti-discrimination mandates trump the constitution. Something that is both totally absurd and historically true at the same time. The fact is the courts have been using anti-discrimination as a basis to slowly erode peoples personal freedom for some time. While that might be unfortunately true it is also wrong. In the case of ObamaCare’s undermining of religious liberty it has definitely gone too far. Recent changes to the regulations have done little to change this
10. OBAMACARE REGULATIONS HAVE GROWN TO FILL 20,000 PAGES AND SHOWS NO SIGNS OF SLOWING THAT RATE OF GROWTH ANYTIME SOON
If this list is a tad bit frightening be glad it is not a top 100 list. The truth is although the Patient Affordable Care Act of 2010 may of been passed in 2010 it is still expanding. A monstrosity that is growing at an unimaginable rate and likely will be for some time to come. It’s regulatory tentacles will touch every part of peoples lives in ways far beyond anyone’s imagination. Thanks to Representative Pelosi and her comrades we will be finding out what is in it for sometime to come if it is not stopped.
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