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July 21 2010

Information Congress Shouldn't Ignore

Hadley Heath

Add this to the must-read list for Congress.  Michael Tanner's report "Bad Medicine: A Guide to the Real Costs and Consequences of the New Health Care Law" describes in detail the many reasons Obamacare will be bad for America:

  • While the new law will increase the number of Americans with insurance coverage, it falls significantly short of universal coverage. By 2019, roughly 21 million Americans will still be uninsured.
  • The legislation will cost far more than advertised, more than $2.7 trillion over 10 years of full implementation, and will add $352 billion to the national debt over that period.
  • Most American workers and businesses will see little or no change in their skyrocketing insurance costs, while millions of others, including younger and healthier workers and those who buy insurance on their own through the non-group market, will actually see their premiums go up faster.
  • The new law will increase taxes by more than $669 billion between now and 2019, and the burdens it places on business will significantly reduce economic growth and employment.
  • While the law contains few direct provisions for rationing care, it nonetheless sets the stage for government rationing and interference with how doctors practice medicine.
  • Millions of Americans who are happy with their current health insurance will not be able to keep it.

His report is so well-researched and convincing, I find it hard to believe that Congress can ignore it.  But then again, they've been ignoring similar arguments-and the pleas of the American people-throughout the health care debate.   

The public, however, is paying attention to this kind of information, and becoming even more convinced that this is the wrong path for American medicine. When Obamacare was passed in March 2010, 55% of voters wanted an immediate repeal.  But this summer public opinion has been even more negative, with as many as 63% of American voters favoring repeal.

Tanner writes:

Health care reform was designed to accomplish three goals: (1) provide health insurance coverage for all Americans, (2) reduce insurance costs for individuals, businesses, and government, and (3) increase the quality of health care and the value received for each dollar of health care spending. Judged by these goals, the new law should be considered a colossal failure. The president and the law's supporters in Congress also promised that the legislation would not increase the federal budget deficit or unduly burden the economy. And, of course, we were repeatedly promised that "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what." On these grounds too, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act fails to come close to living up to its promises.

Those Americans who cheered the passage of Obamacare (41% of voters favored the legislation in March 2010) likely believed the reform would accomplish the goals Tanner mentions above.  But when they see that this act will be a "colossal failure," they may be joining the ranks calling for repeal.  It's time for members of Congress to start listening. 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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