A little more than three years ago, the controversial health-care law known as Obamacare to some and the Affordable Care Act to others was signed into law.
Just three years in, the law is over budget, under-delivering and full of broken promises.
Remember when President Obama promised that, “if you like your current health-care plan, you will be able to keep it?” Seven million Americans will lose their job-based health insurance, according to a new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
How about President Obama’s pledge that his health-care reforms would decrease premiums by $2,500? The independent Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the average family’s health premium has increased by more than $3,000. More than 30 studies have found that the law will make health-care premiums even more unaffordable when the law fully kicks in next year.
Don’t forget one of President Obama’s favorites, which he continues to use today: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits.” Unfortunately for us all, the Government Accountability Office projects that Obamacare will end up adding $6.2 trillion to the deficit in the long term under the most realistic scenario.
That is 62 trillion dimes, if you’re counting.
The worst part of it all is that, despite further indebting future generations to countries like China, the law is doing nothing to control health-care costs. Standard and Poor’s Financial Services found that insurers like Medicare paid 5.8 percent more per capita for health-care services in the past year, and that spending increased in every category.
Obamacare is a missed opportunity that represents a failure of vision and a broken system in Washington. Rather than uniting our country around making health care more accessible, affordable and patient-centered, President Obama, then-Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid pursued a legislative strategy that shut out opposing views. Instead, they brokered back-room deals with special-interest payoffs.
The result was a massive new bureaucracy that fails to address the underlying problems of our health-care system.
The process that created Obamacare left many good ideas on the cutting-room floor. Medical-liability reform could bring down costs by $200 billion each year by reducing defensive medicine. Allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines would increase competition and provide more choice in health care without costing taxpayers a dime. The list goes on.
I continue the fight to repeal and replace Obamacare because it is failing the American people. Let’s come together to replace it with a dose of the right medicine.
Kingston, R-Ga., a Republican from Savannah, serves the 1st Congressional District of Georgia, which includes Liberty and Long counties.