Verne Strickland USA DOT COM May 1, 2013
Max Baucus (D-MT): “I just see a huge train wreck coming down”Posted by Bill Smith AARA News Service
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Asked at President Obama's news conference about Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) saying “I just see a huge train wreck coming down” on the implementation of Obamacare, President Obama didn’t give a very convincing defense of his unpopular health care law. “Well, I think that any time you’re implementing something big there’s gonna be people who are nervous, anxious about is it gonna get done until it’s actually done,” he said. The president added, “For the average American out there, for the 85 and 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing’s already happened. And their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better and more secure than it was before. Full stop. That’s it. They don’t have to worry about anything else."
That’s hard to believe for numerous reasons, starting with a new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, which finds that only 35% of Americans have a favorable view of Obamacare. Politico writes that “just 35 percent of Americans view Obamacare ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ favorably, down 8 points since Election Day. Only once since the law passed has support run lower, when 34 percent took a favorable view of the law in October 2011.” Indeed, “Obamacare’s popularity has plunged steadily since November, according to monthly polling released this morning by the Kaiser Family Foundation. In fact, it’s statistically tied with its lowest level of support since it passed in March 2010.”
Meanwhile, more and more problems with the law continue to be reported on. Reuters reports today, “State and local governments can expect ever-widening budget gaps through 2060, as rising healthcare costs for both citizens and public employees surpass recent improvements in their revenue, the Government Accountability Office said on Monday. . . . [R]ising medical costs will consume more of states’ dollars, through the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor and public employees and retirees, GAO said. . . . The office has warned before that rising medical costs will bust state and local budgets, but this year it noted that the healthcare reform law known as Obamacare - which includes extra funds for Medicaid - has primarily created uncertainty for the state and local fiscal outlook.”
At The Washington Examiner, Philip Klein notes, “After receiving an avalanche of criticism for the complexity of its original 21-page application for individuals to purchase health insurance on new exchanges, the Department of Health and Human Services has released a new, simplified, three page form. HHS has also streamlined the family application, which is now between seven and 11 pages (depending on the specific situation of the applicant).”
In an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal today, the Hoover Institution’s Daniel Kessler explains the price shocks many Americans can expect due to the mandates and regulations in Obamacare. He writes, “Start with people who have individual and small-group health insurance. These policies are most affected by ObamaCare’s community-rating regulations, which require insurers to accept everyone but limit or ban them from varying premiums based on age or health. The law also mandates ‘essential’ benefits that are far more generous than those currently offered. According to consultants from Oliver Wyman (who wrote on the issue in the January issue of Contingencies, the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries), around six million of the 19 million people with individual health policies are going to have to pay more—and this even after accounting for the government subsidies offered under the law. . . . In addition, according to Congressional Budget Office projections in July and September 2012, three million people will lose their insurance altogether in 2014 due to the law, and six million will have to pay the individual-mandate tax penalty in 2016 because they don’t want or won’t be able to afford coverage, even with the subsidies. None of this counts the people whose employment opportunities will suffer because of disincentives under ObamaCare. Some, whose employers have to pay a tax penalty because their policies do not carry sufficiently generous insurance, will see their wages fall. Others will lose their jobs or see their hours reduced.”
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