Will Obamacare’s litany of failures define Obama’s legacy?
WASHINGTON, May 10, 2015 – Last November, Republicans assured themselves a landslide midterm election victory by running on a popular platform of repealing Obamacare. While they so far have failed to live up to that promise, the overwhelming evidence indicates they were correct to take that position.
The events in Ferguson and Baltimore, along with the 2016 presidential election campaigns, may have stolen the headlines over the last couple of years, but the reality of Obamacare’s numerous shortcomings are still very real to many people.
Everyone knows about the disastrous roll-out that eventually cost Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius her job. Even after the technical “glitches” were worked out, the actual legislation has been a disaster.
Democrats initially touted Obamacare as an amazing political achievement that would lower premiums and make healthcare affordable for all. That didn’t happen. In fact, premiums for most people are significantly higher under Obamacare. Instead of the lower premiums promised by Obama, premiums went up 24 percent for those who did not qualify for federal (i.e., taxpayer-funded) subsidies.
Not all participants qualify for subsidies, leaving about six million people to face rising premiums due to Obamacare.
President Obama made a concerted effort to convince the American people that Obamacare allowed individuals to keep their plans and keep their doctors if they were happy with them.
That turned out to be the most egregious deception of the Affordable Care Act. Turns out, millions of people who liked their plans had them cancelled in the immediate aftermath of Obamacare’s implementation.
The state exchanges instituted by the ACA that were supposed to provide the consumer with affordable healthcare options and provide federal subsidies for states that opted in failed miserably. The government initially doled out $2.1 billion in grants to 37 states so that they could set up exchanges. Only 17 states actually set up the exchanges. Two of the state exchanges went bankrupt within a year.
Vermont, Minnesota, Hawaii, Maryland and several other states have lost millions of dollars in taxpayer money setting up their exchanges.
Even states like California that are often referred to as Obamacare “success stories” have next to nothing substantial to show for the billion dollars spent on healthcare costs. The incompetent nature of Obamacare’s implementation is undeniable in California’s case.
Sharyl Attkisson wrote a crippling expose laying out the rampant misuse of over a billion dollars in taxpayer money by the federal government related to healthcare implementation. Attkisson discovered mass confusion, enrollment exaggerations and the termination of employees who spoke out against internal issues. She quoted numerous former Covered California officials as saying that everyone knew before the roll-out that they weren’t ready for prime time, but they moved forward anyway.
The most unbelievable example of incompetence took place in Oregon, where, after receiving over $300 million in taxpayer money, the state couldn’t figure out a way to even create a functional website. As a result, not one single person was able to sign up online. Things got so bad in Oregon, the state eventually gave up and dissolved the exchange.
ER visits were supposed to go down under Obamacare. They didn’t. In fact, 75 percent of doctors questioned in a recent poll say that they have seen a rise in ER patients since the implementation of the law.
All but 5 percent of those doctors also said they were not capable of handling that influx properly.
The administration claims to have signed 8 million people up for health insurance. There is a lot of debate as to whether or not that number is accurate, but even if it is, 1.1 million of those have already dropped the plan.
Out of all the people in California who signed up in 2014, only 65 percent re-enrolled in 2015.
The point of calling out all of Obamacare’s problems, and there are many more than can be discussed in one sitting, is that it puts President Obama’s two terms in office in perspective. This legislation will go down in history as President Obama’s greatest achievement in the minds of those who support his policies. The question is, how can a program with this many flaws, that has cost this much money, with so many complications, be considered President Obama’s greatest achievement?
If this law, wrought with so many mistakes, is the best thing the president will do in his eight years, it’s hard to imagine how his legacy will be anything besides mediocre.