As more of the 2009 healthcare reform law becomes reality, Americans are learning the hard way that many of the biggest Obamacare promises were Obamacare lies.
In retailing, they call this sort of thing "bait-and-switch," and it's against the law.
In Washington, it's called "business as usual."
During his first campaign for the highest elected office in the land, and later as he sought to push the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through Congress, U.S. President Barack Obama made a lot of enticing promises.
Some of these claims were true – under Obamacare, people can't be refused coverage for pre-existing conditions, for example – but many were assurances to the average American that no matter what, healthcare reform was almost all positive with few or no negatives.
Now we know that most of those assurances were Obamacare lies.
The Biggest Obamacare Lies
Obamacare Lie #1: "If you like your healthcare plan, you'll be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what."
President Obama said this often. But for many Americans, that promise will be broken. This week, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report in which it estimated that by 2022, Obamacare will cause 7 million Americans to lose their employer-based health insurance. That's because many of the Obamacare benefits will make many plans more expensive, prompting employers to drop coverage. Ironically, this broken promise could affect millions of workers in unions, which campaigned hard to get President Obama elected.
Obamacare Lie #2: "Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase."
Here at Money Morning, we told you about numerous Obamacare taxes, hidden and not-so-hidden, that will hit the middle class. In addition to the notorious "mandate tax," middle-class Americans will get hit by taxes levied on businesses that will get passed through to consumers, particularly the 2.4% tax that covers any medical device that cost $100 or more. Other Obamacare taxes affecting the middle class include a 10% tax on tanning services and a doubled penalty on withdrawals made from Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for non-medical purposes.
Obamacare Lie #3: "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future."
This week, the CBO again raised its estimate on what Obamacare will cost over the next decade, from $814 billion to $1.047 trillion. While President Obama has claimed the ACA will actually reduce deficits due to all the money raised from taxes, penalties and fees, critics say much of the "savings" result from accounting tricks and double-counting. And with Obamacare's estimated costs rising rapidly, it's more a question of when, not if, the law will begin contributing to the federal budget deficit.
Obamacare Lie #4: Obamacare will "cut the cost of a typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year."
Sorry, the "Affordable Care Act" will in fact make healthcare insurance far less affordable. On Jan. 30 the IRS released new regulations regarding Obamacare – remember that the IRS is in charge of penalizing you should you fail to purchase the mandated insurance – that included cost estimates for the plans the government will offer. For a family of four, the cheapest plan – dubbed Bronze in Obamacare-speak – will cost $20,000 a year in 2016. That's an increase of more than $4,000 from the average of $15,745 such families paid in 2012.
Obamacare Lie #5: The new healthcare law will improve, not hurt, the quality of American healthcare.
We don't have proof of this yet, but given that more people (Obamacare provides coverage to millions of people who do not now have it) will be using the same amount of healthcare resources, it stands to reason that quality will decline. Here's what Dr. Adam Frederic Dorin said in a recent article in The Washington Times: "Most doctors will not be able to afford to see patients with an Obamacare card. This means that patients will be increasingly relegated to longer lines in publicly funded clinics…. More patients will be denied access to advanced, cutting-edge drugs like chemotherapeutics."
Obamacare Lie #6: It's not a government takeover: "I don't believe that government can or should run healthcare."
Although Obamacare doesn't seize total control of the U.S. healthcare system, it extends the tendrils of government deep into it and gives the Department of Health and Human Services broad powers. One particularly troubling example is the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which will have the power to lower payment rates for Medicare treatments, which could reduce the care available to seniors.
Obamacare Lie #7: The state health insurance exchanges will open on time.
One of the keys to fully implementing Obamacare is launching the so-called health insurance exchanges in each state, where people will be able to shop for health plans using tax credits. The CBO this week contradicted assurances from the Obama administration that the exchanges will be ready later this year. The CBO report said the exchanges are unlikely to open in October, as promised, because they won't have enough plan options, and people will be reluctant to use something untested and unfamiliar.
Related Articles and News:
- Money Morning:
Warning: Hidden Obamacare Taxes Will Cost You More Than You Think
- Money Morning:
National Conventions: It's My Party and I'll Lie If I Want To
- The Washington Times:
Timely truths about Obamacare – and tips to navigate the treacherous waters ahead
- Investor's Business Daily:
ObamaCare Exchange Subsidy Cost Hiked By $233 Billion
- Heritage Foundation:
Obamacare's Top 5 Broken Promises
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.