Rep. Lynch: ObamaCare could be a ‘gift' for GOP

ObamaCare’s plagued rollout could transform into “the gift that keeps on giving” for Republicans in 2014 and beyond, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) warned Tuesday morning in a radio appearance.

“In my opinion, [ObamaCare is] very poorly designed," Lynch told Boston Herald Radio. "I think the consequences of this will affect not only the 2014 elections, but if we don’t fix it, for the Republicans, I think this will be the gift that keeps on giving.” 

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While technical issues with HealthCare.gov and the cancellation of individual plans have dominated headlines, Lynch said the law could continue to dog Democrats even after these issues have receded.

“I always thought the getting people signed up part was the easy part. The really hard part is cost. It’s cost, and it’s access,” the democratic congressman said. 

Lynch was particularly critical of taxes that will be implemented on health insurance plans in upcoming years.

“The penalties, the taxes that will ensue in 2018, those are the more difficult parts of this, and those haven’t even emerged as issues yet. Wait ‘til people get a load of that.” 

“When you want more healthcare, you don’t tax it. You tax things you don’t want more of, like alcohol or gasoline use,” he said.

In 2014, a 2 percent tax will start being levied on all health insurance premiums. In 2018, a 40 percent excise tax will begin on generous “Cadillac” health plans worth over $10,200 per individual or $27,500 for a family. 

The tax on “Cadillac” plans has triggered opposition from labor unions, which Lynch says have begun to agree with his concerns.

“I know a lot of the unions that were critical of me initially because I voted against [the law,] they have come around now and, one by one, they’ve said ‘you were right,’ ” Lynch said. “I just tell them I had an advantage; I had read the bill.”

Lynch was one of 34 Democrats who opposed the final passage of the Affordable Card Act in 2010, arguing the bill did not amount to true reform. However, he has also opposed Republican efforts to repeal the bill, saying it should instead be reformed.