ObamaCare architect and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber’s remarks about the "stupidity" of the American voter and the passage of ObamaCare is bad enough. What is even more disturbing are his comments about the bill’s deliberate lack of transparency. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s denials Thursday were also absurd.
The arrogance and condescension that has too often characterized the Obama administration’s policies have put the American public in the unfortunate position of having to learn about the health care changes the hard way, on their own.
Here are three crucial changes that the president clearly didn’t want you to know about:
1. HUGE DEFICITS AND NEW TAXES. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the latest projections for the net cost of ObamaCare over the next ten years are just over $1.4 trillion. Whereas President Obama promised in 2009 that it would cost less than $1 trillion over ten years. In order to partially pay for this, ObamaCare has added more than 20 new taxes totaling over $500 billion.
2. BUREAUCRACY. Speaking of Orwellian politics, ObamaCare includes 159 new boards and agencies to restrict and govern your health care choices.
3. STILL MORE BUREAUCRACY. Dysfunctional state exchanges with high deductible policies, narrow doctor networks, including federally-run exchanges in 36 states which may not be allowable under the law (SCOTUS currently considering this case).
Here are three new things coming up in 2015 that you aren’t going to like:
1. PENALTIES WILL RISE – INDIVIDUAL MANDATE. In 2014, people are facing a penalty of $95 per person or 1% of income.
In 2015, the penalty will more than triple to $325 per person or 2% of income, whichever is higher.
If an American failed to get coverage this year, the penalty will be taken out of their tax refund in early 2015.
2. SERIOUS RATE HIKES FOR CHEAPER OBAMACARE PLANS. According to Investor’s Business Daily, the lowest cost bronze plan will increase an average of 7 % in many cases, the lowest cost silver plan by 9%, and the lowest priced catastrophic policy will climb 18 percent on average. Double digit rate hikes are anticipated in several southern and Midwestern states including Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa, and Virginia.
Subsidies will continue to be a huge part of the program. In 2014, subsidies provided ¾ of the premiums for the federally-run exchanges.
3. EMPLOYER MANDATE WILL TAKE EFFECT. After being delayed for a year, large businesses (100 or more employees in 2015, 50 or more in 2016) will be required to offer affordable (and subsidized) health plans to at least 70 percent of their full time employees or face a $2,000-$3,000 penalty per employee.
This mandate will lead to fewer full time employees being hired.
The latest Kaiser Family Foundation poll in July revealed that 53 percent of those surveyed had an unfavorable view of ObamaCare.
I expect this number to rise as more of ObamaCare’s “bells and whistles” are rolled out. Americans are experiencing ObamaCare as a cancer of the health care system. -- The more it grows, the more it infiltrates and destroys healthy tissue.
Marc Siegel, M.D. is a professor of medicine and medical director of Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Medical Center. He has been a medical analyst and reporter for Fox News since 2008.