If one has not heard about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by now, we all soon will. What has been touted by President Obama and his supporters as the answer to the prayers of the many that do not have adequate health insurance, or none at all, seems to have fallen short.
During the lead up to the vote and subsequent passing of the ACA, Obama made a series of promises to the American people that have turned out to be not quite true:
"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor". This is true if you want (or can afford) to pay your doctor out of pocket. Once the program is fully implemented, doctors will be largely reimbursed by Medicare, which is the cornerstone of the ACA.Many doctors feel they cannot afford to remain in practice at the rates Medicare pays so they are leaving the medical field, or opening private practices on a cash only basis.
“Your premiums will not increase”. Not according to the rate increase chart Prepared by House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Majority Staff, Senate Committee on Finance, Minority Staff, and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor &Pensions, Minority Staff in March 2013. A quick look at this chart indicates that premiums will increase in almost all 50 states to some degree.
“You can keep your plan”. Difficult to do when many of the current plans being offered will no longer be available because they do not meet the standards of the ACA. Also, with the creation of the “Health Exchanges”, your plan may not be offered through them forcing you to choose another, even if you are happy with your current plan.
“The Affordable Care Act will create jobs”. Well, this is somewhat true. Under the ACA, employers that have 50 or more full time employees (full time being defined as working 30 or more hours per week) must provide their employees with health insurance.
To circumvent this provision of the law, a trend has developed that companies are hiring fewer workers, or cutting their hours to less than 30 per week. Investor’s Business Daily has published a list of 300 employers that have cut jobs or hours in response to the ACA.
On the other hand, more jobs have been created, numerically speaking, because the number of part time jobs has increased according to a recent article from Reuters. Many of the full time jobs the ACA has created are government jobs with the Internal Revenue Service, responsible for insuring that all Americans have health care or face fines.
As Americans all over the nation celebrate Halloween by dressing up in spooky costumes and watching our favorite horror films, perhaps this would be a good time to reflect upon what are probably the most terrifying words ever spoken;
“We’re from the Government, and we’re here to help you”.