One year after Obamacare’s enactment,[i] a look at its implementation reveals how the legislation has failed to deliver on costs, premiums, spending, and preserving Americans’ existing coverage:
19—States where parents can no longer buy child-only insurance policies as a result of the law[ii]
30—States suing to block the law from taking effect, or requesting waivers from its requirements[iii]
51—Percentage of American workers who will lose their current health coverage by 2013, according to the Administration’s own estimates[iv]
1,270—New bureaucrats requested by the Internal Revenue Service to implement the law this year[v]
$2,100—Increase in individual insurance premiums due to Obamacare, according to the Congressional Budget Office[vi]
$2,500—Premium reduction promised by candidate Obama “by the end of my first term as President”[vii]
6,578—Pages of new regulations issued implementing Obamacare through March 14, 2011[viii]
800,000—Reduction in the American labor force due to Obamacare provisions that “will effectively increase marginal tax rates, which will also discourage work,” according to the CBO[ix]
2,624,720—Total individuals in 1,040 plans granted waivers thus far exempting them from the law’s insurance mandates; nearly half of whom participate in union plans[x]
7,400,000—Reduction in Medicare Advantage enrollment as a result of Obamacare, resulting in a loss of choice for seniors and millions of beneficiaries losing their current health plan[xi]
40,000,000—Firms subject to the health law’s new 1099 reporting requirements, which the National Federation of Independent Business called a “tremendous new paperwork compliance burden”[xii]
$118,000,000,000—New costs imposed on states to implement Obamacare—budgetary costs that will lead to reduced services for other state programs like education or to higher state taxes[xiii]
$310,800,000,000—Projected increase in health costs due to Obamacare, according to the independent Medicare actuary, who called its promise of lower costs “false, more so than true”[xiv]
$552,200,000,000—Amount of higher taxes Americans will pay if Obamacare remains in place[xv]
$1,390,000,000,000—Federal spending on new entitlements during fiscal years 2012-2021 according to the CBO, a 48 percent increase from an earlier estimate[xvi]
Even though we have seen only a few of the law’s initial provisions take effect, American families and businesses are already facing higher costs, economic uncertainty, and loss of their current coverage. How much longer will these ill effects persist before the President and Democrats in Congress admit that their legislation will harm, not help, the American people?
[i] Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), P.L. 111-148
[ii] Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Republican staff report, January 27, 2011, http://help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Child%20Only%20Insurance%20National%20Survey.pdf
[iii] List of states suing and further details available at http://www.healthcarelawsuits.org/; among those states not suing, Kentucky and New Hampshire have applied for waivers from the law’s medical loss ratio requirement; see “Maine Gets Break in Federal Health Care Overhaul” by David Sharp, Associated Press, March 8, 2011, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110309/ap_on_re_us/us_health_care_maine_2.
[iv] Interim final rule by Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services regarding grandfathered health insurance status, released June 14, 2010, http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-14488.pdf, Table 3, p. 34553
[v] “Obama’s Budget Offers Few Clues on Health Overhaul” by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press, February 22, 2011, http://www.aolnews.com/story/obamas-budget-offers-few-clues-on-health/1605467/.
[vi] Letter from CBO to Senator Bayh, November 30, 2009, http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/107xx/doc10781/11-30-Premiums.pdf
[vii] “Background Questions and Answers on Health Care Plan,” Obama for America campaign document, http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/Obama08_HealthcareFAQ.pdf; “Health Plan from Obama Spurs Debate” by Kevin Sack, New York Times July 23, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/us/23health.html?ei=5124&en=59763b2937c15bd3&ex=1374552000&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink&pagewanted=print
[viii] Includes 52 separate proposed rules, interim final rules, requests for information, notices, and other related regulatory actions related to PPACA released by federal agencies or published in the Federal Register between March 23, 2010 (the date of enactment) and March 1, 2011. Spreadsheet with citations and page counts available upon request.
[ix] “CBO: Health Law to Shrink Workforce by 800,000” by J. Lester Feder and Kate Nocera, Politico February 10, 2010, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49273.html. See also “The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update,” Congressional Budget Office, August 2010, http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/117xx/doc11705/08-18-Update.pdf Box 2-1, Effects of Recent Health Care Legislation on Labor Markets, pp. 66-67.
[x] Lists available through the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/files/approved_applications_for_waiver.html
[xii] Report to Congress: Fiscal Year 2011 Objectives, June 30, 2010, National Taxpayer Advocate, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/nta2011objectivesfinal.pdf, pp. 9-13; National Federation of Independent Business release, July 25, 2010, http://www.nfib.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=e8uuuI20Cbs%3d&tabid=1083
[xiii] Medicaid Expansion in the New Health Law: Costs to States, House Energy and Commerce Committee and Senate Finance Committee Republican staff report, March 1, 2011, http://energycommerce.house.gov/media/file/PDFs/030111MedicaidReport.pdf
[xiv] Estimate of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” as amended, memo from Richard Foster, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, April 22, 2010, http://www.cms.gov/ActuarialStudies/Downloads/PPACA_2010-04-22.pdf; Richard Foster testimony before House Budget Committee, January 26, 2011, video available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC9rhGWJA2w
[xv] Joint Committee on Taxation, revenue effects of PPACA and reconciliation bill, March 20, 2010, http://jct.gov/publications.html?func=startdown&id=3672, and Congressional Budget Office score of PPACA and reconciliation bill, March 20, 2010, http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/113xx/doc11379/AmendReconProp.pdf.
[xvi] Congressional Budget Office, score of H.R. 2, http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/120xx/doc12069/hr2.pdf. Earlier score of H.R. 3590, dated March 20, 2010, covered fiscal years 2010-2019; http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/113xx/doc11379/AmendReconProp.pdf.