Rick Santorum
As if the stubbornly high unemployment rate and rising costs of gasoline and food weren't enough, March 23 marked the third anniversary of another direct assault on America's working families. It was that day in 2010 when President Barack Obama's biggest first-term legislative "accomplishment" was passed and Obamacare became law. Now, three years later, implementation of the law threatens American families with massive premium rate hikes and devastating job losses.

The president said he would lower insurance costs for consumers, but the opposite is happening. Health insurers are projecting that Obamacare will increase the cost of coverage by 20 to 100 percent next January, when the law really starts to kick in. Yes, that's right; for some people, health care costs will double. The CEO of Aetna went so far as to say the price hikes would cause "premium rate shock."

There is no doubt the president will blame the insurance industry, but the truth is that these stunning rate increases are driven by his crushing new taxes and excessive government interference in the insurance market.

Obamacare imposes $700 billion worth of new taxes over 10 years. One stark example of this heavy tax burden is the health insurance excise tax. The National Federation of Independent Business estimates that this tax will increase the cost of coverage by $5,000 per family by 2020 and is working hard to repeal it.

In addition to the tax burden, Americans will have to pay the heavy price of government interference. One of the touted benefits of the law is it provides coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. However, it does this by guaranteeing coverage and by making healthy customers pay as much as those who are sick. This creates an incentive for people to stop paying for insurance until they get sick, which ultimately will raise the cost for everyone. Can you imagine what house insurance would cost if you could wait until your home burned before buying a policy?

The "individual mandate" was supposed to solve this problem, but the penalty was set far below the cost of actually paying for insurance. So the destructive incentive remains, and we get the worst of both worlds -- exploding cost increases and a new tax on Americans.

It's not just rising costs Americans face. Obamacare is beginning to cost jobs, too. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare will result in an estimated 800,000 fewer U.S. jobs.


Rick Santorum

Former Senator Rick Santorum is the author of Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works.

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