NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Seven Empty Promises about ObamaCare

September 15, 2010

The president and his administration are struggling to sell ObamaCare to the public.  The problem is that so many of President Obama's claims are not likely to pay off.  Here are some of the seven empty promises made about ObamaCare, says Peter Suderman, an associate editor of Reason Magazine.

If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.

  • A "grandfathering" provision that allows employers and insurers to continue offering plans that already exist without subjecting them to new rules and regulations was included in the new law.
  • But in a draft document laying out grandfathering rules, the administration admitted that after some period of time, most plans will relinquish their grandfathered status.

It will bring down the price of insurance.

  • Health care affordability was so crucial to the president's argument that the word made it into the title of the bill: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
  • So will health care costs come down?  Not likely.  The CBO predicted that the law will cause average health insurance premium prices to rise by 10 percent to 13 percent in the individual market.

The administration claims the bill won't cut Medicare benefits, but according to the head of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) it will.  Thanks to $130 billion in planned cuts to companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans, the health care law will "reduce the extra benefits that would be made available to beneficiaries through Medicare Advantage plans," says the CBO.

Officials say it will give consumers more access and greater choice, but early signs indicate that, as a result of the law, patients and consumers will have fewer options for doctors and health insurance.

Other empty promises, says Suderman, include:

  • It will cost about $900 billion (it will actually cost well over $1 trillion).
  • Reform will be paid "mostly" by shifting around money the country is already spending.
  • The new law will put Medicare on better fiscal footing.

Source: Peter Suderman, "Seven Empty Promises About ObamaCare," Reason Magazine, September 9, 2010.

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