Mandate forcing people to opt out, disregard the law

The more we learn about ObamaCare, the more threatening we find it. We really did have to pass the law to “find out what is in it.” We are now learning that at least an estimated 23 million Americans will remain uninsured in this “universal” coverage law. We also are witnessing healthcare costs rising faster than they did prior to the law’s passage. Through ObamaCare, individuals and employers are poised to become a nation of lawbreakers.

First, consider the effect of ObamaCare on healthcare costs to individuals. In 2010, the year that ObamaCare passed, the average annual family premium for employer-sponsored health insurance was $13,770. The following year, in 2011, as ObamaCare began to be implemented, healthcare costs rose $1,300 a year — a 9 percent increase. But unfortunately, this trend continues. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that by 2016, when ObamaCare is fully implemented, the average American family will pay $20,000 a year for their health insurance. For many Americans, this is far greater than their rent or annual mortgage payments. I remember when President Obama promised that the average family would save $2,500 a year on health insurance by this year, 2012. What happened to that promise?

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With the cost of health insurance rising so fast, what’s to prevent millions of Americans from saying, “Why should I pay for health insurance when I can just pay a fine and buy coverage only if I need it? If someone in my family gets sick, we’ll just buy a policy because health insurance companies are required by law to sell us a policy — even if we wait until we get sick to buy it. After all, under ObamaCare, I can’t be turned down and my premium cannot be any higher than it would have been had I paid for insurance all along.”

Individuals are not the only ones enticed to break the law under ObamaCare. Studies show that employers are already signaling their intention to violate federal law under the healthcare mandate. Business owners across the country with more than 50 employees (the designated number in ObamaCare that requires an employer to provide healthcare) have an incentive to pay ObamaCare’s fine of $2,000 to $3,000 per employee rather than pay for government-mandated health insurance, which could cost several times that amount. Furthermore, ObamaCare requires the employer to collect invasive information from the employee about their household income when determining the employee’s share of their health insurance premium. A survey by McKinsey and Co. found that 50 percent of employers say they will definitely or probably pursue alternatives to their current health insurance plan, suggesting that 78 million Americans could lose their employer health coverage. 

Incentives for individuals and employers to break the law aside, ObamaCare already has begun its destruction of the most sought-after healthcare system in the world. Here’s just a few examples: Seniors are finding it more and more difficult to find a physician, Medicare is facing $500 billion in cuts, states are facing up to $115 billion in additional costs over the next 10 years to implement ObamaCare and up to 40 percent of physicians are seriously considering leaving medicine rather than practicing under government’s strict rules. And just now we’re finding the Obama administration trying to force religious institutions to pay for contraceptives and drugs that cause early abortions, even if it violates their conscience.

But the deluge is yet to come. ObamaCare sets us up to become a nation of lawbreakers as individuals, and employers attempt to protect themselves from its crushing cost and endless regulation. Unless the law is ruled unconstitutional or repealed in its entirety, it will lay waste to the hope of economic recovery and preservation of our fine healthcare system. The sickest, poorest and oldest will be abandoned. In the end, the very moral fiber of our nation will be violated as we turn from being a civil society to one in which the rule of law is no longer the backbone of our democratic nation.

Bachmann serves on the House Financial Services Committee.