As they followed one another off the political cliff in voting for the health-care overhaul, Democratic senators and representatives comforted themselves with their own self-created myth that, although ObamaCare was horribly unpopular as a bill, it would prove to be quite fetching as a law. Furthermore, this transformation, this change they could believe in, would take place sooner rather than later — as voters would reward rather than punish them for passing ObamaCare in clear and open defiance of popular will.
In the two months since, President Obama has pulled out all the stops, aggressively trying to sell the overhaul while also rolling out ostensibly popular provisions ahead of schedule. These provisions include a federal mandate that insurers cover all “children” up to the age of 26 on their mom’s and dad’s policies, with costs being borne through somewhat higher premiums for all families; and a tax credit for small businesses, but only — or at least mostly — for very small businesses (those with nine or fewer workers) with very low-paid full-time employees (those averaging less than $25,000 in annual income).
Unfortunately (from the perspective of ObamaCare supporters), a steady stream of revelations of previously undiscovered horrors buried in the bowels of ObamaCare appears to have more than negated any gains that the administration might otherwise have made. Since passage, reports have revealed that ObamaCare would cost over $1 trillion by any standard, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), not “merely” $940 billion as previously reported (while its total costs in its real first decade, 2014 to 2023, would continue to be well over $2 trillion); that ObamaCare has prompted major corporations to discuss dropping their employer-provided health-care plans; that businesses would have to file 1099s not only for every person to whom they pay $600 in wages but for every vendor with whom they do $600 in business, thereby imposing a paperwork nightmare and incentivizing companies to avoid doing business with a myriad of small firms rather than a handful of big ones; that ObamaCare would create 159 new federal agencies, offices, or programs; that the Obama administration’s Medicare Chief Actuary says ObamaCare would raise U.S. health costs by $311 billion in relation to current law and would shift about 14 million people off of employer-provided insurance — and some of them onto Medicaid; that ObamaCare’s would discourage employment, as — for example — hiring a 25th worker would cost a business $5,600 in addition to wages and benefits; that ObamaCare would impose a severe marriage penalty, offering additional subsidies as high as $10,425 a year if couples merely avoid marriage; that a lone provision in ObamaCare, which would penalize employers if their employees spend more than 9.5 percent of their household income on insurance premiums, would cut the net income of businesses like White Castle by more than half; that even though ObamaCare was supposed to get people out of emergency rooms and into doctors’ offices, those who build emergency rooms say the effect will be just the opposite and that they are gearing up for increased business; that doctors shortages are looming and would be accentuated by ObamaCare, both because more people would seek care (otherwise, what would the $2 trillion be buying?) and because fewer people would likely enter a demanding profession that would now promise greater restrictions and lower pay; and that President Obama’s nominee to head Medicare and Medicaid under ObamaCare is an open advocate of the British National Health Services’ NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) and its methods of rationing care.