From the first rumblings of a new healthcare law, critics have preached that the real Obamacare facts are far worse than the promises.
The real Obamacare facts include higher healthcare costs, diminished treatment quality, hidden taxes and an inflated deficit.
"Obamacare was a political nightmare for Democrats in the 2010 election. In 2014, it's shaping up to be a political tsunami," Brad Dayspring, a communications strategist for the National Republican Senatorial Committee wrote in a recent email to supporters.
Indeed, President Obama's own party is even having second thoughts.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-MT, called it a "train wreck." Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, described is as "beyond comprehension."
And, Henry Chao, the government's chief technical officer in charge of putting in place the insurance exchanges mandated by the law, was quoted in the Congressional Quarterly saying, "I'm pretty nervous...Let's just make sure it's not a third-world experience."
The president himself envisions hiccups: "Even if we do everything perfectly, there will be glitches," he told reporters April 29 at a White House news conference.
President Obama acknowledged that more than half the states are prepared to initially sit out the law's new Medicare expansion goal. As a result, millions of low income Americans won't have access to health insurance through Medicaid. Additionally, 33 states have opted against running their own insurance exchanges.
These are just two wrinkles in Obamacare. These 15 others are more shocking.
15 Obamacare Facts You Must Know
- Roughly six million of the 19 million people with individual health policies will pay more. Single adults age 21-29 will be walloped with a 46% increase.
- Three million people will lose their insurance altogether, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects.
- Six million will have to pay the individual tax mandate penalty in 2016 because they don't want or won't be able to afford coverage.
- People that have insurance via an employer could have their plan dropped as a result of increasing rates. By 2019 (five years into Obamacare), an estimated 12 million people who would have had an offer of employment-based coverage under prior law will lose their offer, the CBO reports.
- Health insurers will need to increase premiums between 1% and 9%.
- Premiums for families will increase by roughly $2,100.
- Premiums plus out-of-pocket costs are forecast to increase 12.4%.
- Obamacare will increase the long-term federal deficit by $6.2 trillion, according to the Government Accountability Office.
- Some $1 trillion middle income tax increases are buried under Obamacare, including the 0.9% payroll tax and the new 3.8% tax on investment income.
- Obamacare drains $716 billion out of Medicare, leaving it to grow at only half the rate of health care in the rest of the country. The outcome: one out of seven hospitals will leave Medicare over the next seven years.
- With 30 million new people entering the healthcare system, expect limited access to health care, longer patient wait times, fewer face-to-face doctor visits, and more doctor refusal of patients.
- Emergency rooms will become more overcrowded. As more people attain coverage, they will be less afraid of going to the ER for even minor ailments.
- Doctor shortages will worsen. A recent Physicians Foundation survey of 13,575 doctors found 77% are pessimistic about medicine's future under Obamacare. Many are prepared to sell their practice and take early retirement.
- Businesses will cut employees and employee hours in order to comply with the law. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says 10 million involuntarily underemployed part-timers will be affected.
- Obamacare kills small business. "If [employees] are thrown out of their medical plans now, where they're covered in a good plan and thrown under the bus, they're going to be destroyed," The Home Depot Inc (NYSE: HD) co-founder Bernie Marcus said on Newsmax TV. "If, in fact, they don't stay as full-time employees but go to part-time employees, they're going to be destroyed. People have to understand that the villain is not their employer; the villain is the U.S. government. Obamacare is the capper. That's the bullet to the temple."
For more Obamacare facts, we talked to author Betsy McCaughey, PhD, who wrote "Beating Obamacare: Your Handbook for the New Healthcare Law." Check out her answers to our biggest Obamacare questions - and ask some of your own - here.
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Obamacare Reality: Doctor Shortage on the Way:
The Washington Times:
"Obamacare' health care reform ALREADY forcing doctors to close practices
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Real Clear Politics:
Home Depot Co-Founder: Obamacare Will "Kill-Off' Small Business