The Supreme Court will be issuing its decision on the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act any day now. The decision will dictate whether Obama’s far-reaching legislation will remain in place or be overturned. It’s no secret that we think ObamaCare should be overturned, especially given its adverse affects on health care costs and consumer choice. We’re certainly not alone here, as millions of people are calling for the intrusive legislation to be overturned. In fact, these sentiments are echoed by Robert Samuelson in today’s Washington Post.
Samuelson actually takes it a step further, arguing that “President Obama committed a colossal error of judgment in making health-care ‘reform’ a centerpiece of his first term.” In part because attempting to achieve such a massive overhaul weakens our recovery from an already shaky economy. For example, ObamaCare increases uncertainty in the health insurance market. Consumers lack confidence in the legislation, and are unsure what the future holds. Where will their insurance come from, and how much will it cost? With health insurers dropping out of the market, and employers dropping employees from subsidized health insurance rolls, it’s yet another grim situation for the American public.
Samuelson also notes that ObamaCare discourages job creation by raising the price of hiring new employees. This makes sense. If health care laws impose greater costs on employers to cover the health expenses of their employees, then either fewer will do it. Or fewer will hire at all. And because the employer mandate exempts firms with fewer than 50 workers, there’s a big incentive for companies to cap their employees at 49.
What’s even worse is the cost increases and strains on the federal budget. By the government’s latest projections, total health spending will rise from 17.9 percent of the economy in 2010 to 19.6 percent in 2021. As a matter of reference, health care was only nine percent of GDP in 1980. And between this year and 2022, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the program will increase federal spending by more than $1.7 trillion. Where will the money come from to pay for these increased expenses? There’s no way that much can be gleaned from reducing waste and making cuts to Medicare, so expect the deficit to keep increasing at an alarming rate.
If Obama had focused on cost control from the beginning, the Affordable Care Act probably would have been less overreaching, less polarizing and easier to implement. But instead he focused on universal coverage, and it’s become a cost and logistical nightmare.
We’ll be here to weigh in with our thoughts once the Supreme Court gives its decision, so please stay tuned.