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    Happy Anniversary ObamaCare!

    09/23/2010

    Today marks the 6 month anniversary of the signing of President Obama's healthcare reform overhaul. So, in order to celebrate, I thought that it would be a good idea to examine some of the great achievements that the President's legislation has accomplished.

    1. Just like President Obama promised, Americans who like the insurance that they had before the reform bill became law will be able to keep their plans now that the legislation has passed.

    Oh wait, no they won't. As I noted last December (before ObamaCare became law), a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) states:

    We estimate that between 9 million and 10 million other people who would be covered by an employment-based plan under current law would not have an offer of such coverage under [the healthcare reform legislation].

    Then, in May I pointed out that consolidated practices and salaried doctors are providing fewer options for patients because of new regulations and road blocks put in place by the ObamaCare law. I went on to show that caps on the amount that insurance companies can spend on expenses are causing many companies to adjust the plans that they sell to individuals.

    And, yesterday the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that next year, 1.2 million seniors will be forced out of the Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug plan that they currently enjoy. Additionally, American National Insurance Company will no longer offer health insurance to early retirees, self-employed workers, and small businesses because of the Democrats reform.

    2. Well even if individuals can't keep the insurance that they like, at least they'll be able to keep the doctors that they like, right?

    Wrong. With massive cuts to the Medicare program on the horizon, doctors have been fleeing the system. In fact, more than 300 primary care physicians in Texas have stopped seeing seniors over the past two years. And, with hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts coming over the next 10 years, the same can be expected from physicians around the country. As Max Pappas and I noted last winter, these Medicare cuts will include:

    • $436 billion of the total cost is set to come from cuts in Medicare.
    • $192 billion of that $436 billion will come from reductions in non-doctor payment rates which may lead to a lower quality of care for seniors.
    • $118 billion will come from cuts in the popular Medicare Advantage plan which offers one out of every five senior citizens more benefits than traditional Medicare.
    • $43 billion will come from cuts in Medicare payments to hospitals that are already struggling to serve low-income patients.
    • $83 billion will come from additional cuts.

    3. Wait, so Americans are unable to keep the insurance that they like and unable to see the doctors like? Please tell me that insurance costs are going down.

    Sorry, no luck here either. As Max and I predicted last winter, the President's healthcare reform is causing health insurance prices to skyrocket. At that time, we wrote:

    States that have implemented plans similar to the Reid bill have seen dramatic increases in the cost of health insurance premiums. Massachusetts, the state with insurance regulations that most resemble Reid's proposal, has by far the highest insurance prices of any state in the country. The Reid plan will incorporate these same failed reform efforts, driving consumer prices up and affordability down.

    Now, our words are coming true. On September 7th, the Wall Street Journal's Janet Adamy reported that ObamaCare is causing insurance rates to increase by as much as 20 percent for some Americans. In Connecticut, for example, rates are increasing by 18 percent for small businesses and 14.2 percent for the self-employed, early retirees, and others who buy their own coverage as of October 1, 2010.

    4. If insurance costs are going up, taxes can't be going up too, can they?

    Indeed they can. According to Ryan Ellis at Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), ObamaCare will raise taxes on working families by over $500 billion. Here is a list of the expected working class tax increases (to see each increase defined click here):

    1. Individual Mandate Excise Tax
    2. Employer Mandate Tax
    3. Surtax on Investment Income
    4. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans
    5. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax
    6. Medicine Cabinet Tax
    7. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike
    8. Flexible Spending Account Cap
    9. Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers
    10. Raise "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI
    11. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services
    12. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D
    13. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike
    14. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals
    15. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies
    16. Tax on Health Insurers
    17. $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives
    18. Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2
    19. Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting
    20. “Black liquor” tax hike
    21. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine"

    5. Well at least the American public is in favor of the bill that the President and his Democratic allies rammed through Congress.

    Simply put, the American people do not ObamaCare. We did not want it when it was enacted; two days after ObamaCare was signed into law, Rasmussen Reports polling showed that 55 percent of the American public supported its repeal. Now that same poll shows that 61 percent of the American public supports the repeal of ObamaCare.

    It has been six months since the enactment of the President's healthcare reform bill and there is one thing worth celebrating: Americans have not given up the fight against ObamaCare.

    We flooded town hall meetings in August of 2009 and we were ignored. We attended Tea Party rallies across the country and we were ignored. We showed up on the steps of the United States Capitol and pleaded with our elected officials and we were ignored. But come November, we will no longer be ignored. Come November, we will have elected representatives who are ready to repeal and replace the nightmare known as ObamaCare.

    Now is the time to get to work. We can do this. We can elect the right people. We can take America back.