Editor's note: posted by Leah Barkoukis
If anything (aside from substance) was missing from President Obama’s SOTU address on Tuesday evening, it was any considerable discussion of Obamacare. Since the president first stepped foot in the Oval Office, health care is almost all the public heard about. Until, of course, the 2010 elections became a referendum on the issue, showing just how widely unpopular Obamacare actually is. Even though Obama refused to believe it, analysts, advisers and even Democratic pollster, Pat Caddell, argued that though the economy was important, it was healthcare that was ultimately the decisive factor in the defeat of 63 House Democrats. But now, the mere 44 words devoted to the issue in the SOTU seems more like a strategy of silence, and it is.
With the Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) just around the corner, the wheels are turning once again to remind the American public about the truth behind Obamacare -- just what the administration wants you to forget. On Thursday, The Heritage Foundation’ held an event in DC that served as a potent reminder for what's in store for Americans as 2014 nears. The panel, consisting of Sally C. Pipes, Michael D. Tanner and Grace-Marie Turner shared key facts and insights about PPACA and how it will fundamentally transform our lives, for the worse, if it is not repealed and replaced. Here are some important (and frightening) aspects of Obamacare the panel shared:
1) The constitutionality of the central tenet of PPACA, the individual mandate, has huge implications for the future. The individual mandate is the provision of PPACA that essentially says that everyone has to buy government-approved health insurance. Straight from the CBO:
“A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”
If it has never done this before, you better believe there is good reason. But then again we all know how this legislation was "passed"... Anyway, the constitutionality of the individual mandate is huge. If it is determined to be constitutional, Pipes quipped, what are they gonna' tell us we have to buy next? A Prius? Kidding aside, freedom of choice is called into question big time, and healthcare is just the beginning.
2) "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free." Touché, P.J. O'Rourke. Yes, that's right -- Obamacare is extremely expensive. Tanner said the SOTU could be summed up in two words: "We're broke." Obamacare is not going to be any more economical for the consumer nor will it relieve any bit of the national deficit. In fact, it is estimated to cost between 2.5 and 2.7 trillion dollars, adding about 800 billion to the federal deficit. Sweet.
3) And finally, a laundry list of other random things about Obamacare to consider: It still won't be universal; you will not be able to call your doctor's office and get an appointment the same day, week or month; the quality of care you receive will likely decline; 40 percent of doctors are thinking of leaving practice in 2014; Catholic hospitals will be forced to provide preventive medicine, such as birth control, which violates their fundamental beliefs; coverage won't look much different than Medicaid coverage; private insurers will be run out of the market; lastly, your friendly and helpful HMO and government bureaucrats will be in charge of your health.
Don't be lured by the bait. The only discussions about Obamacare seem to be short snippets of the "good" in it, such as 26-year-olds staying on their parents' plan and free preventive care. But there's so much more in the 2,500 page PPACA that is not good for you or the nation. If you don't think it sounds that complex, serious or awful, take a look at the Joint Economic Committee's organization chart that maps the new mandates, regulations and government agencies Obamacare will usher in. Totally makes sense.
By 2014 this will be impossible to get rid of. Let’s get moving, people.