NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Myths and Realities of ObamaCare

April 1, 2013

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare, is a massively complex bill. With a goal of affordable, accessible and quality care, the campaign to make ObamaCare popular fails to recognize a number of myths and realities. Deconstructing these myths should lead to ObamaCare being repealed, defunded or challenged in court, says Sally Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute.

  • While some contended that ObamaCare would achieve universal coverage, the reality is that according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), there will still be 30 million uninsured in 2016.
  • Many people claimed ObamaCare would reduce cost, but the CBO estimates that costs will increase by $1.3 trillion to $2.6 trillion between 2013 and 2023.
  • Another myth held that the insurance premium for the average family would decrease by $2,500 but the CBO estimates that the premium for the average family will increase by $2,100.
  • Despite claims by the president that nothing would change if you liked your doctor before ObamaCare, roughly 7 million people will lose their employer-based coverage -- and their doctor.
  • The president also claimed that no family earning under $250,000 would see their taxes increase; in reality, there are about $1 trillion in new taxes, including a $28 billion excise tax, a 0.9 percent increase in the Medicare payroll tax for higher income individuals and couples, and a new Medicare tax of 3.8 percent.
  • Before ObamaCare was passed, it was commonly stated that individuals and small businesses would be able to purchase insurance in state-based exchanges, but federal and state governments are struggling to set up the necessary exchanges to fulfill this promise.
  • The president also promised to eliminate Medicare Advantage plans, which were "unpopular and too expensive," but instead is only cutting funding by 2.2 percent because the plans are in fact very popular. The cuts will make accessibility more difficult for seniors.
  • Proponents of ObamaCare also claimed that tax credits would be available for small business for providing insurance for their employees, but the tax credit is too weak and too confusing according to the Government Accountability Office.

With the effects of full ObamaCare implementation soon taking effect, many of the taxes associated with ObamaCare should be repealed. In addition, Medicaid expansion funding should be reduced, medical malpractice should be reformed and tax breaks should be expanded for Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts.

Source: Sally Pipes, "Myths and Realities of ObamaCare," Pacific Research Institute, March 2013.


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