When President Obama and Congressional Democrats rammed ObamaCare through Congress in a series of late night votes, the majority of Americans were rightly skeptical of the law.
At the time, President Obama claimed the law was the answer to our health care problems and that skeptics would be proven wrong. And for the last six years he’s held strong to that argument. Even as the ObamaCare horror stories unfold, President Obama and his allies continue to insist that ObamaCare is a success story
But ObamaCare isn’t a success. It’s been one problem after another. The broken promises continue to stack up and the law is beginning to buckle. Even top Democrats who formerly championed the law have recently taken to criticizing its impacts on Americans.
But as bad as seems now, things haven’t hit rock bottom yet. And if Congress doesn’t take action soon, it will get worse.
President Obama told the American people “if you like your plan, you can keep it”—something many have learned isn’t true. More than 10 million plans have been cancelled and the number continues to grow. And in that same infamous speech President Obama said ObamaCare would give people more choices by allowing them to compare the prices and quality of their healthcare plans. The reality? Half of plans on the federal exchanges have extremely narrow networks.
President Obama promised ObamaCare would lower costs and make health care more affordable for everyone, but just last week his administration confirmed premiums will increase by an average of 25 percent next year. That means health care for a family of six in Little Rock, Arkansas could cost as much as $32,000 next year—more expensive than a new BMW—when you combine the premiums with the annual deductible.
Today, the entire ObamaCare exchange system is on the verge of collapse as insurance companies flee the exchanges. Consumer enrollment is less than half of the administration’s projection. Almost all insurance companies have found that offering insurance through the exchanges is unprofitable.As a result, insurance companies are fleeing the exchanges in droves.
Next year there will be only one insurer offering coverage in nearly 700 counties nationwide – an increase of more than 300 percent from the prior year. As costs climb, we can expect more insurers to leave the exchanges.
President Obama and his allies ignore the devastating impact of this law on hard-working Americans and they continue to use sweeping language and inflated numbers in an effort to protect the Obamacare legacy. When the Obama administration cites statistics about more Americans achieving coverage under ACA, they are largely referring to Medicaid coverage, not private coverage.
Fewer Americans have private insurance than in 2007, and Medicaid provides sub-standard care at an unsustainable cost to State governments. If the goal of Obamacare was merely to expand Medicaid – regardless of the merits of that goal - that could have been accomplished without destroying the individual insurance market.
Unfortunately, their ObamaCare’s problems get worse. Families across the country will face a massive tax penalty simply because they can't afford the high cost of coverage.
This tax will be a devastating blow. Instead of saving for retirement and contributing to a child’s college fund, nearly ten-million Americans will pay a massive fine in exchange for nothing. They are being taxed for being unable to afford what ObamaCare has rendered unaffordable.
President Obama needs an ObamaCare reality check. This law has been a disaster. Our worst fears about this unworkable law have come true—and even some we didn’t predict.
That’s why Congress should pass the ObamaCare Tax Relief and Consumer Choice Act when we return in November. This bill would suspend the ObamaCare tax when health insurance premiums rise and provide relief to people who can't afford ObamaCare deductibles.
We must provide Arkansans and all Americans a reprieve from the law's worst effects and ensure they aren’t crushed under it’s broken promises.
Republican Tom Cotton represents Arkansas in the United States Senate.