Three years since approval, Dems still trying to sell Obamacare
The Louisiana Democratic Party is still trying to sell you on Obamacare, three years after Senator Mary Landrieu cast a deciding vote to impose it on you as the law of the land. Are Louisiana liberals that out of touch with our state, or just too stubborn to admit failure?
According to one recent poll the percentage of Americans who think Obamacare is working fine is a mere four percent. That must be the Obama loyalists, because nearly 60% of Americans want Obamacare “totally eliminated,” or say it “needs a major overhaul.” Makes you wonder why Louisiana Democrats still call Obamacare “a win-win.”
Millions of Americans are seeing their health insurance premiums, deductibles, and copayments rise dramatically. The Associated Press recently explained that, “Many will find they must pay up to $6,350 on top of monthly premiums before their insurance pays anything… . If they have a family, they may have to pay nearly $13,000 in an out-of-pocket ‘deductible’ before insurance starts paying.” Never mind that President Obama promised over and over again that his health care plan would “lower your premiums by up to $2,500 per family, per year.”
By now you’ve no doubt heard that the Obama assertion – “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” – has been widely branded as the lie of the year. Senator Landrieu stood on the Senate floor and echoed that very same broken promise to Louisianians. Never mind that millions of Americans have received cancellation notices from their health insurance companies. In Louisiana alone 93,000 policies are in jeopardy.
We’ve also heard claims that somehow Obamacare is lowering the nation’s overall spending on health care. That’s not true. We’re still headed for record spending on health care in 2013. But Louisiana Democrats say those costs haven’t increased as much as in the past, so their spokeswoman recently pleaded with readers to give Obamacare credit for “at least some of that.” Sorry, but that slowdown in the rise of costs began a decade ago, and health care experts and economists say it’s continued because of our weak economy and because patients are facing higher copayments, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs. In other words, the economy has left people with less to spend on health care, and the new Obamacare health care plans are hitting those same people hard in the wallet. Democrats can certainly take credit for both of those feats.
Another painful consequence of Obamacare has been a loss of full-time jobs. The Obamacare employer mandate forces businesses with at least 50 employees to provide expensive government-approved health care benefits to those who work at least 30 hours a week. Before President Obama delayed that requirement for a year, a clear shift was underway in the U.S. labor market. During the first six months of 2013 at least 75% of job creation was part-time work. The president delayed the employer mandate for a year, but there’s every reason to believe that more full-time jobs will give way to part-time jobs in January.
That’s some of what Obamacare got wrong, but there is a better way to do health care reform. As a family physician for more than 30 years I’ve seen the problems firsthand and have been advocating for patient-centered, free-market health care solutions since I came to Congress. We must increase access to portable, affordable health insurance, and do it in a way that does not give the federal government vast control over one-sixth of our economy. If you’re interested in reading one workable blueprint, then go to my website – fleming.house.gov – and read about The American Health Care Reform Act.
Dr. John Fleming is a U.S. Congressman for the 4th District.