It’s been five years since the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, was passed and signed into law. This week, the White House is touting the legislation as a huge success and claiming the country is better off.
“FACT: We’ve seen the largest drop in the uninsured rate in decades since the ACA became law. #BetterWithObamacare,” the official White House Twitter feed sent out Sunday.
“More than 16 million Americans have gained health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. #BetterWithObamacare,” another tweet said.
This wasn’t the case in decades past. Times — and the law — have changed. The government criminalized the decision not to purchase healthcare, and the IRS has been tapped with enforcing the requirement. More people have health insurance because they’ve been forced into the system, not because they want insurance or because they have easier access.
Second, let’s review how ObamaCare was passed in 2010. It happened in the middle of the night through a change in Senate rules and without a single Republican vote. Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is now infamous for saying, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”
She also wasn’t shy about the tactics used to get the legislation through Congress. “We will go through the gate and if the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get healthcare reform passed for the American people for their own personal health and economic security and for the important role that it will play in reducing the deficit,” Pelosi said in January 2010.
Although ObamaCare is still highly controversial, as Pelosi once admitted, its negative impact is clearer.
For example, having health insurance is not the same thing as having access to medical care or affordable coverage. The costs of health insurance premiums and deductibles have significantly increased, leaving families in even more dire financial situations. According to research from the Manhattan Institute, health insurance premiums for people living in a number of states across the country have gone up by more than 100 percent.
Overall, costs to the taxpayer have been enormous, with $2 billion spent on HealthCare.gov, which didn’t work properly for a year, and an estimated $2 trillion in addition to enforce ObamaCare over the next 10 years. Data from a Government Accountability Office report released in 2013 has been cited showing ObamaCare adds $6.2 trillion to the long-term U.S. deficit, a far cry from liberal claims that deficits would be reduced as a result of the law.
Further, and most detrimental, is the mass retirement of doctors. According to a 2013 study from Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, 62 percent of physicians will retire early with 55 percent limiting their work hours due to new rules and regulations. Not to mention the millions of people who lost their doctors and coverage because of ObamaCare, despite the president repeatedly promising that would never happen.
“I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their healthcare coverage — they like their plan and they value their relationship with their doctor. And that means that no matter how we reform healthcare, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. My view is that healthcare reform should be guided by a simple principle: fix what’s broken and build on what works,” Obama said during a 2009 speech to the American Medical Association. “If we do that, we can build a healthcare system that allows you to be physicians instead of administrators and accountants; a system that gives Americans the best care at the lowest cost; a system that eases up the pressure on businesses and unleashes the promise of our economy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, making take-home wages thousands of dollars higher, and growing our economy by tens of billions more every year.”
The House has voted nearly 60 times to repeal ObamaCare in some fashion, whether it’s stripping out mandates or defunding the legislation altogether. Those efforts should continue. GOP presidential candidates will run on the promise of repealing the disastrous law, and if elected, they should follow through on those promises from the Oval Office.
The kind of healthcare and insurance ObamaCare claims to provide isn’t affordable, isn’t quality and it certainly hasn’t made the country better.
Pavlich is the news editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.