Obamacare was supposed to be a big success by now, according to predictions made by liberals who railroaded it through Congress in 2010. Instead, as admitted by one of its leading architects, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, it's heading for a "train wreck" later this year.
Baucus' apt metaphor is being echoed by other Democrats because it is so obviously true. Harry Reid said, "I agree with him." Sen. Jay Rockefeller described it as "so complicated" that it's "beyond comprehension." Henry Chao, the government's chief technical officer in charge of implementing the exchanges, said, "Let's just make sure it's not a Third World experience."
The outcry over the length of the 21-page application form (with a 61-page instruction manual) resulted in a cosmetic shortening. The same nosy questions are now asked on three separate forms (of three, five and 12 pages), plus three appendices, plus a requirement that families with more than one child "make a copy of pages 4 and 5 and complete" them for each additional child.
Most states have repudiated key aspects of this misguided law, with the result that our nation is divided between about 16 "Obamacare states" and 34 states that respect individual liberty. Every state in the South, from Virginia to Texas, has rejected a central part of Obamacare by declining to increase its Medicaid rolls, despite the promise of massive federal handouts.
The official name of Obamacare is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but this law is turning out to be neither protective of patients nor affordable. The American public was promised that we could keep our insurance and physicians, but in fact, many millions will lose their health insurance and access to their own physicians.
Several Republican governors caved in to pressure by the media and the hospital industry to embrace the costly Medicaid expansion, but then they were embarrassed by their own Republican state legislatures, which rejected this boondoggle. Medicaid spends billions on administrative costs and only a small percentage on quality medical care, so this inefficient program should be trimmed, not expanded.
Obamacare is causing reductions in hours worked and paychecks for many Americans as businesses seek to reduce their Obamacare penalties by decreasing the number of employees who work 30 hours or more a week. Companies having at least 50 full-time employees must purchase expensive health insurance or else pay $2,000 or more in fines for each employee who works at least 30 hours a week.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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