OPINION EDITORIAL – The “Terrible Twos” isn’t just for toddlers anymore. It also applies to Obamacare, the President’s unconstitutional $2.6 trillion health law which just turned two years old.
So how terrible is Obamacare? It is so bad that, unlike the health law’s one-year anniversary, even the White House isn’t celebrating.
Even so, the President’s decision to run away from his “signature achievement” in the run-up to the November election is hardly surprising – not when the U.S. Supreme Court is examining the legality of the legislation and a new Gallup poll shows 72 percent of Americans, including 56 percent of Democrats, believe the law’s mandate to force them to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.
Alas, as Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote, “the best laid plans … of men go often awry.” That is certainly the case with Obamacare, the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. When the President signed the bill into law, he and his liberal allies were sure that the American people, once they understood the law, would love it and thank them for it.
Well, the verdict is in. According to a Rasmussen poll released last week, more than half of Americans want Obamacare repealed. Just as they rejected Obamacare before it became law, they are refusing to embrace it afterward. They do, however, share one thing in common with the President: They don’t feel like celebrating.
How could they?
Obamacare’s $2.6 trillion in new federal spending is nothing to cheer about when our country is more than $15 trillion in debt. It doesn’t help that, at a time of more than 8 percent national unemployment, the health law will result in 800,000 fewer jobs and 48 percent of U.S. businesses are so worried about the cost of the new healthcare regulations that they are not hiring.
If those numbers aren’t alarming enough, there’s more. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found the law will raise premiums on American families forced to buy their own health insurance by $2,100. It will also impose a $60 billion tax hike on health insurance plans, which will result in up to a $400 yearly increase in premiums for hardworking families and entrepreneurs.
In lobbying for Obamacare, the President promised Americans that those who liked their health plans could keep them. The reality is that, according to the CBO, as many as 20 million Americans could lose their employer-based coverage. By the Administration’s own estimates, the law will force up to 80 percent of small businesses to give up their current coverage by 2013.
As a result, more Utahns and other Americans will be pushed into government-run programs like Medicaid, which is already facing major challenges. And senior citizens won’t be able to rest easy when $529 billion is being raided from Medicare, which is already nearly bankrupt, to fund new entitlements. And let’s not forget the health law’s Independent Payment Advisory Board – made up of bureaucrats who are unelected and accountable to no one — that will come between patients and their doctors by rationing their care and service.
Simply put, Obamacare is an unprecedented and unconstitutional expansion of the federal power. Any way you look at it or crunch the numbers, it adds up to a disaster. That is why I introduced the American Liberty Restoration Act, which would repeal the individual mandate. It is why I, along with 42 colleagues, filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court explaining why it is unconstitutional.
Even though our nation’s highest court is hearing arguments on the health law, it is important for Congress to act now to repeal it. Like legislators and justices, Utahns and other Americans take the Constitution seriously. They know this law is unconstitutional and has to go. I look forward to working with them and likeminded colleagues to show Obamacare the door.
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah