“I think that health care, over time, is going to become more popular,” then-White House senior advisor David Axelrod promised David Gregory about Obamacare last September. That same month, the Health Information Campaign, founded by high-profile leftist activists including former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, spent $2 million on a national television ad campaign touting Obamcare’s first insurance mandates. Now, six months after Axelrod’s promise, and a full year after the bill was signed into law, the results are in: Obamacare is more unpopular than ever.
Look at any poll and you’ll see that Obamacare has only gotten less legitimate. Last year at this time Newsweek showed 40 percent of Americans supporting Obamacare and 49 percent opposing it. Today, only 37 percent support it while 56 percent oppose. According to Quinnipiac, after Obamacare passed last year, 44 percent of Americans approved of President Obama’s handling of health care while 50 percent opposed. Today, only 44 percent approve while opposition has grown to 56 percent. And according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, after Obamacare passed, 62 percent of Americans thought the law would either have no effect on them or make them worse off. Today that number is up to 69 percent.
The reason why President Obama and his liberal allies have failed to turn public opinion around is simple: The major claims made by the President in the effort to pass Obamacare have all been exposed as frauds, and the early implementation by his Administration has been a complete disaster.
- “Obamacare will bend the cost curve downward.” Not according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), whose April 22, 2010, report shows Obamacare adding more than $310 billion more in health care spending;
- “People who like their health plan can keep it.” Not according to CMS, which estimates that 14 million Americans will lose their current coverage if Obamacare is not repealed;
- “The middle class will not see tax increases.” Yes, they will. In fact, most of Obamacare’s tax increases hit the middle class.
On the implementation front, Heritage analyst Brian Blase surveys the early returns:
- Benefit Mandates Drove Up Costs. The generous benefit packages mandated by Obamacare are not free. Insurers across the country raising rates at record paces and unequivocally is part of the reason why. For example, Celtic Insurance Company in Wisconsin and North Carolina has attributed half of its 18 percent rate increase to Obamacare mandates.
- Preexisting Condition Mandates Destroyed the Child-Only Market. Just one year after Obamacare forced all insurers to sell coverage to all applicants—no matter what—insurers in 34 states have exited the market entirely, and 20 states now have no insurers that offer child-only plans.
- Shallow High-Risk Pools. The Obama Administration predicted that 375,000 previously uninsured Americans would benefit from Obamacare’s high-risk insurance pools. In reality, only 12,500 people (just 3 percent of the initial estimate) obtained coverage through this program.
And the worst of Obamacare hasn’t even been implemented yet. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told the Seattle Times yesterday: “I think as the bill is currently written and if it was going to land in 2014 under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great.” Putting some hard numbers on that prediction, International House of Pancakes franchise owner Scott Womack told Heritage’s Tina Korbe: “Our average revenue per employee is $58,000. Our typical profit per employee is $3,000 and this legislation is going to cost anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000 per employee.” America’s businesses simply cannot afford Obamacare. It is, and is going to continue to be, a huge job killer.
And our nation’s taxpayer’s can’t afford Obamacare either. Last year, our nation’s oldest entitlement program, Social Security, paid out $37 billion more in benefits than it collected in taxes. This year, it will pay out $45 billion more than it collected. Over the next 10 years, Social Security will run a $600 billion operating deficit. Instead of making our existing entitlement programs solvent, President Obama created a brand new trillion-dollar entitlement in Obamacare. This trillion dollars in new spending is paid for by half-a-trillion in higher taxes and another half-a-trillion in stolen funds from the existing Medicare program. And the CBO just upped Obamacare’s final price tag by 8.6 percent to $1.44 trillion. This is simply unsustainable.
Two hundred and thirty-six years ago, while making the case for Virginia to enter the Revolutionary War, Patrick Henry said: “Give me liberty or give me death!” After just one year, it is already clear that President Obama’s failed health care policies are a betrayal of the founding sentiment.