Reality Beckons

Erick Erickson
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Posted: Jan 03, 2014 12:01 AM
Reality Beckons

Last October, President Obama in a White House speech, said, "Let me remind everybody that the Affordable Care Act is not just a website; it's much more." It is much more and far worse than most realized.

The Obama Administration has done its best to spin the number of signups to Obamacare. We know now, crossing into this new year, that many of those claims are false. The administration equated people putting a health care plan into an online shopping cart with those who actually took the next step of checking out and paying.

On March 23, 2010, Barack Obama declared, "After a century of striving, after a year of debate, after a historic vote, health care reform is no longer an unmet promise. It is the law of the land." It is a law of the land the president has singularly sought to change, amend, revise, exempt and extend. Before the law passed, the president said it was something Americans needed. Once its implementation began, the president declared employers would be exempt from their mandate. Then some individuals would not have to take up their own individual mandate. A law everyone needed, but few really wanted, became a law that some had to comply with while others got exemptions for the very hardships the law was supposed to fix.

More Americans have now lost insurance, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, than have gotten. Nonetheless, a 26-year-old, forced to suffer the indignity of no longer being considered a child under the law and having to get off his parent's insurance, can rest assured that though both healthy and male, the Affordable Care Act will charge him a premium that ensures both his pregnancy and annual gynecological checkup are covered.

He may not believe himself capable of getting pregnant or needing a gynecologist, but the Nanny State knows best. Is it any wonder the very demographic Obamacare needs to avoid bankrupting — the Republic — has decided it will not sign up? The cost of not having insurance in the jobless recovery of Obamanomics is far less than the cost of having the insurance Barack Obama said we all needed.

Therein lies the fundamental dishonesty of the Affordable Care Act.

In rhetoric, regulation and legislation, Democrats have confused and equated access to health care with access to health care insurance. The two are not the same. But in their quest to give Americans what Americans did not want, they rammed through legislation — over the objections of many — that does much of what those who objected claimed would happen. People are losing full-time work. Employers are refusing to hire. Insurance rates are going up.

Now, into this new year, the middle class will see the cost of marriage go up because of the Affordable Care Act, thanks to a marriage penalty. New taxes, penalties and fees will suddenly affect many. Those who can get the benefits of the Affordable Care Act may see the loss of their doctor or hospital, or preferred medication.

To be sure, some will benefit. No one has ever disputed this fact. The Democrats' false rhetoric that Republicans would deny people access to health care is false. Unfortunately, while the Democrats and many of their friends will go into overdrive now to highlight the handful of people who will see a positive benefit from Obamacare, the small businessman and his employees, the self-employed and the married middle class couples all suffering under higher costs will be ignored — at least until election day. Anecdotes will be confused with data until the public is confused.

On April 8, 2008, at a roundtable for working women in Harrisburg, North Carolina, Michelle Obama told the crowd, "The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."

Most Americans heard that and similar rhetoric from Mr. Obama and did not realize the number of Americans having to give up their pie would far exceed those who get pieces of this governmentally baked prune pie.