An Anniversary Americans Want to Forget: ObamaCare Celebrates Year One of Broken Promises

March 23, 2011

One Year Later, ObamaCare has Increased Premiums, Raised Taxes and Destroyed Jobs


After a year of broken promises and two years of debate, Democrats’ chance to reverse public opposition to ObamaCare has long passed. Polling clearly shows that the more Americans have learned about ObamaCare, the less they like it:


RASMUSSEN SHOWS 53 PERCENT WANT LAW REPEALED: “The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the new health care law, including 43% who Strongly Favor it.  Forty-two percent (42%) oppose repeal, with 27% who are Strongly Opposed.” (“Health Care Law,” Rasmussen Reports, 3/21/2011)


GALLUP: PLURALITY EXPECTS LAW TO WORSEN HEALTHCARE: “Opinions on the impact of the healthcare law on medical care in the U.S. are divided in similar fashion to Americans’ overall reactions to the bill: 39% say it will improve medical care in the United States, while 44% say it will make it worse. Small percentages say the law won’t change anything or offer no opinion. These responses are roughly similar to attitudes seen in July 2009, as the outlines of the law were just coming into place.” (Frank Newport, “One Year Later, Americans Split on Healthcare Law,” Gallup, 3/21/2011)


EVEN THE OBAMACARE-FRIENDLY KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION SHOWS A PLURALITY OPPOSE THE LAW: “The Affordable Care Act’s first anniversary comes as a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll tells us that public opinion on the law remains pretty much where it was a year ago, with 42 percent viewing it favorably, versus 46 percent who view it unfavorably. Dems have not succeeded in selling the law to the public.” (Greg Sargent, “A Year Later, Dems Remain Unapologetic on Health Care,” The Washington Post, 3/18/2011)


Perhaps the law’s ongoing unpopularity has to do with the fact that ObamaCare has failed to live up to every one of its promises of controlling costs, not raising taxes and creating jobs.


Far from controlling costs, the law is raising them, resulting in higher premiums for workers and families:


“COSTS CONTINUE TO OUTPACE INFLATION,” WITH 7 PERCENT INCREASE IN JUST ONE YEAR: “[T]otal health care costs continue to climb to unprecedented levels, reaching an anticipated $11,176 per active employee in 2011—up from $10,387 in 2010 (Figure 6, page 5)—a 7.6% increase in gross costs over this period.” (“16th Annual Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care,” Towers Watson, March 2011)


OBAMACARE FAILING TO CONTROL COSTS: “Workers at a circuit-board factory here just saw their health insurance premiums rise 20 percent. At Buddy Zaremba’s print shop nearby, the increase was 37 percent. And for engineers at the Woodland Design Group, they rose 43 percent…


[F]or now, at many workplaces here, the rising cost of health care is prompting insurance premiums to skyrocket while coverage is shrinking.


As Congress continues to debate the new health care law, health insurance costs are still rising, particularly for small businesses.” (Robert Pear, “As Health Care Costs Soar, G.O.P. and Insurers Differ on Cause,” The New York Times, 3/4/2011)
“HEALTH INSURERS PIN RATE HIKES ON HEALTH LAW”: “Health insurers say they plan to raise premiums for some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul in coming weeks, complicating Democrats’ efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections.” (Janet Adamy, “Health Insurers Pin Rate Hikes on Health Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/7/2010)


63 PERCENT OF EMPLOYERS PLAN PREMIUM INCREASES: “The economic slowdown and the likely increase in costs due to health care reform have led many employers to use various incentives to promote greater individual responsibility… Over the last year, employers put more emphasis on increasing premium contributions (Figure 23). Nearly two-thirds of companies have increased the share employees and their dependents pay in premium contributions (versus 2010).” (“16th Annual Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care,” Towers Watson, March 2011)

The law also instituted several new taxes totaling over $570 billion:


NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES CONFIRMS OBAMACARE WORSENS UNCERTAINTY: “Small-business owners remain deeply concerned that the healthcare law costs too much and further jeopardizes the economic recovery of our nation’s job creators. In fact, more than 90 percent of them favor repeal of the new law.


“The healthcare law actually makes things worse for small business and will lead to continued economic uncertainty…


“New, Expensive Taxes:New taxes mean less money being re-invested into the business, into employees and into growing and expanding. Small businesses already pay 66 percent more in tax compliance than larger businesses. This law levies $570 billion in new taxes…” (“Small Business Looks to the New Congress to Repeal the Healthcare Law,” National Federation of Independent Business, Accessed 3/21/2011)


WIDE-RANGING TAX INCREASES UNDER HEALTH LAW: “But far-reaching these measures are, like a 10 percent tax for visiting a tanning salon (it took effect last July) and a first-time Medicare bite on investment income (coming in two years). A 40 percent tax on high-value health coverage begins in 2018.


“Financial planners are already ruminating about how the changes may affect clients’ strategies.” (Robert D. Hershey Jr., “Health Care and Taxes: A Pause Before Impact,”The New York Times, 2/12/2011)


Even Doug Elmendorf, Director of Obama’s Congressional Budget Office conceded that White House claims that ObamaCare will create jobs are untrue, arguing instead that it will destroy 800,000 jobs:




Chairman [Paul] Ryan: “[I]t’s been argued…that the new health care law will create jobs and increase labor force participation. But if I recall from your analysis, it was quite the opposite. Is that not the case?”


Director [Douglas] Elmendorf : “Yes.”…


Rep. [John] Campbell: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, we’ll — and Dr. Elmendorf — and we’ll continue this conversation right now. First on health care, before I get to — before I get to broader issues, you just mentioned that you believe — or that in your estimate, that the health care law would reduce the labor used in the economy by about 1/2 of 1 percent, given that, I believe you say, there’s 160 million full-time people working in ’20-’21.  That means that, in your estimation, the health care law would reduce employment by 800,000 in ’20-’21. Is that correct?


“Director ElmendorfYes. The way I would put it is that we do estimate, as you said, that…employment will be about 160 million by the end of the decade.  Half a percent of that is 800,000.” (Jeffrey H. Anderson, “CBO Director Says ObamaCare Would Reduce Employment by 800,000 Workers,” The Weekly Standard, 2/10/2011)


Meanwhile, businesses continue to suffer under the weight of the administrative burden created by the 2,000 page healthcare law:


NEW PAPERWORK BURDEN FOR PHARMACIES THAT “DRIVES UP THE COST OF HEALTHCARE”: “Patients are demanding doctors’ orders for over-the-counter products because of a provision in the health-care overhaul that slipped past nearly everyone’s radar. It says people who want a tax break to buy such items with what’s known as flexible-spending accounts need to get a prescription first.


“The result is that Americans are visiting their doctors before making a trip to the drugstore, hoping their physician will help them out by writing the prescription.The new requirements create not only an added burden for doctors, but also new complications for retailers and pharmacies.


“‘It drives up the cost of health care as opposed to reducing it,’ says Dr. [Sandy] Chung, who rejected much of a 10-item request from a mother of four that included pain relievers and children’s cold medicine.” (Janet Adamy, “In Health Law, Rx for Trouble,” Wall Street Journal, 3/9/2011)


81 PERCENT OF EMPLOYERS REPORT INCREASED ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN: “[M]ore than 80% of companies indicate that health care reform has increased the administrative burden on their HR departments.” (“16th Annual Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care,” Towers Watson, March 2011)


AND 30 MILLION SMALL BUSINESSES “STARE IN HORROR” TOWARDS 1099 MANDATES: “Meanwhile, small businesses are staring in horror toward 2013, when the 1099 mandate will hit more than 30 million of them. Currently businesses only have to tell the IRS the value of services they purchase from vendors and the like. Under the new rules, they’ll have to report the value of goods and merchandise they purchase as well, adding vast accounting and paperwork costs.


“Think about a midsized trucking company. The back office would have to collect hundreds of thousands of receipts from every gas station where its drivers filled up and figure out where it spent more than $600 that year. Then it would also need to match those payments to the stations’ corporate parents.” (Editorial Board, “Review & Outlook: The 1099 Insurrection,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/15/2010)


The bottom line is that as Americans are paying the price for ObamaCare, Democrats continue to oppose efforts to repeal their job-destroying experiment in government-run healthcare:


ONLY 3 DEMS JOIN GOP ON OBAMACARE REPEAL: Final Vote: 245-189 (House Vote #14, 1/19/2011)