Finley: Obamacare lies keep coming
Democrats lied to Americans to get Obamacare passed, and they’re still lying about it today.
Only worse, because now their whoppers are aimed at keeping Republicans from cleaning up the rock-hard mess Democrats made of the health insurance market.
The current big lie is that the GOP’s Obamacare fix, passed by the House last week, would strip millions of America’s most vulnerable citizens of health insurance and drive up premiums for those who manage to keep coverage.
Obamacare is already doing that, thanks to the economic naivety of the Democrats who crafted the law.
In 11 states last year, average premiums rose by 40 percent or more. Obamacare exchanges across the country are in crisis because insurers are bailing out, burned by the unfulfilled promises of the Affordable Care Act. Unchecked Medicaid expansion is ravaging state budgets.
Deductibles and co-pays are so high they’ve made insurance policies useless for much of the middle class. Money that might have fattened paychecks is being diverted by employers into rapidly rising health insurance premiums.
Democrats and their media chorus are pushing the canard that heartless Republicans are ending protection for the sickest Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions. The GOP plan doesn’t do that.
Mandates remain in place for guaranteed coverage, and for controlling premium prices for those most at risk. It does allow states to seek waivers if they believe they can craft better plans for less money, but only if they agree to tap into a $100 billion high-risk pool.
That pool will shift the burden of subsidizing the sickest policyholders from their healthier neighbors to the federal government, which promises to both lower premiums and end the unsavory practice of insurers filtering out the costliest customers with onerous co-pays and deductibles. It could fix a major Obamacare cost driver.
Democrats, on the other hand, offer nothing than a demand to “spend more money.”
Cost of Obamacare to federal taxpayers rose to $110 billion in 2016. What are they getting for that money? President Barack Obama sold Obamacare on the promise that it would provide coverage to the 45 million, or 15 percent, of Americans who lacked it in 2009.
Not even close. Seven years later, 28.4 million people, or roughly 10 percent of the population, remain uninsured, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
So Obamacare upended the insurance market for all Americans, and sharply drove up their health care costs, to reduce the number of uninsured by 5 percentage points, or just under 17 million people. We could have let the market be and given all of the uninsured vouchers for private plans and produced a better outcome.
House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi predicts Republicans will pay a high price at the ballot box for trying to relieve taxpayers of the Obamacare burden, saying this bill will be a “tattoo” on their foreheads.
She knows something about that. The Affordable Care Act she championed has tattooed “Loser” on scores of Democrats over the past three election cycles, and cost the party control of Congress and the White House.
Their GOP replacements were sent to Washington by voters who are tired of being lied to, and want what they were promised: Affordable, effective health insurance.
Republicans must tune out the hysteria and give it to them.