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Obamacare hails disaster for our national economy

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released a fatal report about the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the economy. According to this report, the comprehensive healthcare reform bill will result in a decline of working hours equating to the loss of 2.3 million jobs by 2021. Additionally, the CBO reports that by 2024, this country will still have 31 million nonelderly uninsured.

This bill represents nearly everything that can go wrong in our republic, and its passage, content, and implementation are not only making the middle class incredibly worse off, but are also threatening the very fabric of the government that by and large has worked for us throughout American history.

Let’s start at the stage of passage. This bill was jammed through Congress on a completely party-line vote in just about a week. Several members of Congress hadn’t even read the bill, and a few were bought out by the administration, in particular Louisiana and Nebraska senators, who saw their states receive extra federal money or other benefits in exchange for their votes for the bill.

Minority leader of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi famously said, “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” Aside from all of this shadiness, former senator Scott Brown (R–Mass.) won a Senate election in deep blue Massachusetts campaigning as “Scott Brown 41,” to represent that he’d be the 41st vote to sustain a filibuster against the bill. However, the bill was passed — using a technique called budget reconciliation that’s not meant for this type of bill — before Scott Brown could take office.

The passage of this bill is a perfect representation of tyranny in the majority that our founders feared. In the Federalist papers, James Madison spoke of our party system as a way to guard against the “superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.”

This isn’t democracy. This isn’t the will of the people. According to RealClearPolitics.com, the ACA’s disapproval rating has always been higher than its approval rating.

Now let’s look at its implementation. Aside from a completely mismanaged rollout that required a Bain Capital executive to fix, the ACA was sold to the American people on false promises. At several points throughout his candidacy and this debate, President Barack Obama promised that the ACA would lower the average family’s premium by $2,500 a year, lower the country’s overall expenditure on healthcare, not raise taxes on the middle class, allow patients to keep their health plans if they like them, allow patients to keep their doctors if they like them, and not add a penny to the deficit.

The ACA breaks all of these promises. According to the recent CBO report, the ACA will raise federal revenues by $1.058 trillion over the next 10 years. Seventy percent of this revenue will come from couples earning less than $250,000 a year and individuals earning less than $200,000 a year. Since Obama took office, the average family’s premium rose by nearly $3,000 per year — a far cry from a $2,500 reduction.

Additionally, government actuaries in Obama’s own administration have found the act will increase healthcare spending in the country by $621 billion over the next 10 years, according to cms.gov. Again, these facts are a far cry from Obama’s claims that the ACA will bend the cost curve down and lower our country’s overall spending on healthcare.

On to Obama’s most famous promise, that those who liked their health insurance could keep it. It’s been well chronicled that, because of the ACA’s minimum standards for coverage, people whose plans didn’t cover all 10 ludicrous areas of coverage saw their plans cancelled.

We’re down to the final two points. Because the cost of covering all 10 areas of minimum coverage are so high, insurers have narrowed the network of healthcare providers that patients can see in order to reduce costs, which has caused tons of people to lose access to the doctors they liked and had relationships with. Even people with cancer or other serious chronic medical issues are losing access to specialists who were familiar with their circumstances.

Finally, as far as adding to the deficit, the CBO’s recent report indicates that the ACA will spur anemic economic growth, as we will have fewer people working than we do now. Because of this growth, deficits are projected to rise at a rate faster than they have in recent years, and will greatly exceed the deficits we have now or have had during Obama’s term by the end of the CBO’s projection period of 10 years.

As much as I love being right, I really wish I wasn’t. Sure, you can tout benefits of the act like free birth control, but we all know that it isn’t actually free. We’re just paying for it through the cost of higher premiums. This bill takes away all consumer choice, and any economist will tell you that the way to make people better off is to increase the options they have.

If these effects weren’t enough, the way that the ACA has been handled by the Obama administration has broken our system of government. Obama has amended the law by executive order so much that another president opposed to the law could just take office and on day one amend the bill into extinction.

Additionally, what nobody is talking about are the effects that this bill has had on our democratic process. Republicans looking at an immigration reform compromise entailing a path to amnesty for immigrants that are here, in addition to increased border security, are skeptical of their plan actually coming to fruition.

They believe that if they pass a bill, a path to amnesty will be created — but Obama could just write out the increased border security via executive order.

This atmosphere is breaking our already dysfunctional government and sowing the seeds of mistrust amongst our people. Historians will not look back on Obama as a president that united a people and made our government work. His will be remembered as the presidency that started the slow unraveling of our government through deceit and a willful nonchalance toward the Constitution.