10 Problems with Obamacare
Obamacare includes many disastrous consequences for America’s health care system. Contributing to the impending mess are these 10 provisions that clearly elude common sense.
- Expanding a program that one in three doctors won’t accept. Obamacare expands a broken Medicaid program that already faces a severe access problem: One out of three Medicaid doctors will not accept new Medicaid patients. If the Obama Administration has its way and every state expands Medicaid, 17 million Americans will be added to the rolls—5.6 million of whom will join the other Medicaid patients who can’t find a doctor.
- Giving Medicaid doctors a pay raise—for two years. Obamacare increases the payment rate for Medicaid primary care doctors up to Medicare payment levels in 2013 and 2014. After those two years, Medicaid doctors will face about a 22 percent payment cut.
- Giving more government money to low-income Americans in the exchanges than to those in Medicaid. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that every low-income individual who chooses to enroll in the new exchanges instead of Medicaid will increase federal spending by roughly $3,000 in 2022, because exchange subsidies will be more generous than the cost of coverage in Medicaid.
- Using Medicare money to pay for Obamacare. Medicare’s finances are in serious trouble, facing a long-term unfunded obligation of $37 trillion and a bankrupt trust fund by 2024. Despite these facts, Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion and then uses that money to pay for new spending rather than putting the money back into a struggling Medicare program.
- Forcing religious organizations to provide birth control coverage. The Obama Administration refuses to exempt all religious employers from its mandate to provide coverage and pay for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs despite religious or moral objections to doing so.
- Spending $1.68 trillion on a health care law that will leave 30 million Americans uninsured. Obamacare’s coverage expansion provisions alone will cost $1.68 trillion over the next 10 years, but even after all that additional health spending, 30 million Americans will be uninsured.
- Overpricing premiums for young adults—so the government can subsidize them. Obamacare’s age rating system forces insurers to charge unnaturally high premiums for younger adults. This will result in more subsidies going to healthy young people in the exchanges than would otherwise be necessary if insurers were allowed to continue charging lower premiums that more accurately reflect younger adults’ lower health care costs.
- Fixed revenue from a tax. Obamacare’s annual fee on health insurers acts like a traditional excise tax—with one unique difference: The revenue collected from the fee will be fixed in any given year, meaning the amount going to the government will remain the same with no relation to how many consumers are actually purchasing coverage, totaling over $100 billion from 2014–2022. Thus, the fewer people that buy insurance, the higher the tax rate will be for those who do.
- Obamacare gives $3.8 billion to fund CO-OPs—an insurer that is designed to fail. It is uncertain whether any CO-OP insurers will actually be created, because there is no obvious market demand, the statute imposes restrictions that make it difficult to establish and operate one, and the law prohibits the most likely and sensible path to setting one up—a divestiture or conversion by an existing health insurer.
- Obamacare has two types of health exchanges—the law just didn’t describe the second one. It includes the American Health Benefit (AHB) and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). For the AHB exchange, the law contains requirements for structure, functions, and operations. The law provides no such detail for the SHOP exchange, and thus it is irrelevant—yet it’s in the law.
Finally, creating a new entitlement when America’s existing entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) are in desperate need of reform, and the country is running annual trillion-dollar budget deficits, doesn’t make much sense.