| September 17, 2013

Obamacare continues to fail

Last week Oklahomans received the news that Obamacare will increase premiums in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak made the announcement after insurance companies filed their policy rates to be offered in the federal exchange.

Staunch advocates of Obamacare have been upset with the facts. While the news released by Commissioner Doak and the Insurance Department doesn’t fit their narrative, this increase in premiums should not be a surprise. The previous insurance commissioner, Kim Holland, and numerous others warned of the flaws in Obamacare that were going to result in these sorts of premium increases. Even Barack Obama’s own administration has admitted some will see premium increases because of Obamacare. In a moment of candor, Democratic Senator Max Baucus proclaimed his fear that Obamacare was possibly headed toward a “train wreck.” Though those special interests committed to Obamacare regardless of the facts may not appreciate it, there certainly are many Oklahomans who are grateful that Commissioner John Doak and the Oklahoma Insurance Department shared the truth about another failure of Obamacare.

Obamacare is fatally flawed with numerous failings, delays, exemptions, and changes. This is not surprising, considering that we had to “pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.” For example:

  • Failure and repeal of the CLASS ACT, designed to assist in long-term care insurance, due to vast underestimation of costs.
  • Failure of the insurance mandate for allowing pre-existing conditions in children’s policies, resulting in child-only policies no longer available in numerous states — causing many to go without health insurance, including my family.
  • Failure to adequately assess the cost of the early retirement insurance program, a program that had to be prematurely closed and capped as a result.
  • Failure to adequately assess the cost of Obamacare's pre-existing condition insurance pools, the program that had to be prematurely closed and capped as a result.
  • Failure of Obama’s key promise that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” Many individual and group plans will not achieve “grandfathered” status because of HHS restrictions.
  • Failure of the employer mandate that has led to employment reductions and reduced work hours for employees.
  • Failure of the administration to meet approximately half of Obamacare’s deadlines.
  • Failure in many poorly designed features of the law, resulting in at least 19 instances in which portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)/Obamacare have been successfully changed, rescinded, repealed, or delayed.

With Obamacare’s horrible track record, only desperate advocates wearing rose-colored glasses could be shocked that premiums are set to rise. These advocates now assert that somehow subsidies lower the cost of a product. This is the same kind of insanity that led to soaring food prices due to ethanol subsidies, the $1 trillion dollar student loan crisis due to massive government subsidizing of loans and higher education and associated cost increases, and a host of other instances when prices were driven up by government intervention. The real problem with health care is its cost. This can only be fixed by rejecting Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, reforming Medicaid, removing inappropriate government intrusions into health care, pursuing reforms to better manage and coordinate care and, most importantly, promoting and expanding medical price transparency.

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