Editorial: Obamacare's bill quickly adds up
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously promised that after the far-reaching, 2,500-plus page bill was passed, we'd know more about it. True enough. On March 23 when President Barack Obama signed the law, 53 percent of voters already were opposed to it, according to Rasmussen Reports. After six months of familiarity, that's grown to 61 percent.
These improvements, of course, could be achieved without overhauling the nation's entire health care system. They certainly would have been easier to implement if other costly mandates were removed. Instead, Obamacare piles on these along with numerous other new mandated costs, regulations, taxes and burdens, belying the law's euphemistic title.
"It is going to cost somebody something," said Greg Thorson, a University of Redlands health care policy expert.
After six months, the bills are beginning to arrive.
Contrary to the president's claim that health care will be more affordable, premium increases up to 9 percent are planned by Aetna, Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and others, "to pay for extra benefits required under the law," the Wall Street Journal recently reported.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency, now reports Obamacare will increase health care spending, contradicting the president's promise the law would cover more people at less cost. Despite another promise that Obamacare would reduce the deficit, some now estimate its nearly $2.7 trillion cost over a decade will add hundreds of billions to the national debt.
In March, Americans were promised they could keep coverage and doctors they liked. Now Health and Human Services says as many as 67 percent of individual policies and 80 percent of small business policies will be forced to change. Meanwhile, studies predict Obamacare's massive expansion of Medicaid, which pays 56 percent compared to private sector fees, combined with other requirements and restrictions will result in a 300,000-nurse, 100,000-doctor shortage by 2020, says the conservative Heritage Foundation.
We don't need another six months of Obamacare. Congress' first order of business should be to repeal it.