ObamaCare: In Two Deep
The President can blow out the candles on ObamaCare’s birthday, but he can’t put out the fire over his signature policy. When ObamaCare turns two today, White House officials will still be churning out propaganda to promote the policy–but with little to show for it, pollsters say. According to the latest Washington Post/ABC News survey, ObamaCare may be older, but Americans don’t believe it’s wiser. Despite a 24-month adjustment period, only a quarter of voters think the Supreme Court should uphold the health care law (26%). The unpopular opinion is sure to grow once the news from the Congressional Budget Office sinks in that the cost of the law is double the President’s $900 billion estimate (and climbing!) over the next 10 years.
Of course, the greatest cost to Americans will be in human life, since the law now makes taxpayers unwilling accomplices in the abortion of millions of unborn children. As long as ObamaCare is celebrating birthdays, plenty of innocent babies won’t. Under rules just finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services, anyone enrolled with an insurance company that covers abortion will be reaching into their own pockets to help pay for it.
The next greatest casualty is religious liberty, which seems to be caught underfoot in the President’s stampede toward federally-funded abortion. As part of this colossal, 2,700-page mistake, the President who promised to “honor conscience” invented the leeway to violate everyone else’s. Now that he has ordered faith-based groups to finance medicine they morally oppose, what other rights will be open to this administration’s interpretation? Today, Americans in 140 cities demand to know the answer. Thousands are gathering across the country in protest of contraception-abortion drug mandate, including FRC’s own Cathy Ruse, Peter Sprigg, and Jeanne Monahan–who are speaking at rallies from Philadelphia to Baltimore.
The White House, meanwhile, isn’t exactly icing the champagne for ObamaCare’s second anniversary. Compared to last year’s bonanza, the mood is decidedly quiet on Pennsylvania Avenue. Press Secretary Jay Carney insists the President isn’t ignoring the date, but is focused, rather “on helping our economy grow and create jobs”–both of which are nearly impossible under the crushing debt of the health care bill. If the President declines to make a case for ObamaCare today, he won’t fail to on Monday, when the Supreme Court hears its first oral arguments on the law.
In advance of that historic event, FRC will be hosting a prayer meeting at Christ Our Shepherd Church on Sunday, March 25 at 2:00 p.m., followed at 3:00 p.m. by the city-wide “Encircling the Court in Prayer” event outside the Court. If you aren’t in the Washington area, you can still set aside time to pray for the wisdom of America’s Justices. Whether we’re in Congress, in Court, or on our knees, FRC will do everything it can to repeal ObamaCare in hopes that this anniversary will be the law’s last.
Much of what was contained in Obamacare was hatched behind closed doors where not even the slightest ray of light could find its way in. Even the men and women in Congress who were entrusted to represent the people cast their votes blindly, not knowing what lay in store. As even then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) famously admitted, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.”
The American people have already spoken, however. They want this law repealed and tossed out, as we have seen in poll after poll for the past two years. None of the activities being planned by the White House to gussy up this law will likely make a dent on the unpopularity of Obamacare.
Though even today, two years later, much of Obamacare remains to be written by unelected bureaucrats in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), we know some of what’s contained in the law and the ramifications for the American people. Most broadly, Obamacare rips vast powers from the hands of individual patients and their families, and it vests control in Washington bureaucrats. And the costs are far greater than the Administration claim — heading as high as $2.134 trillion with millions Americans dependent on government for their health care.
Last week, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that under the President’s health care law, 20 million Americans could lose their employer-sponsored health benefits and the individual and employer penalties related to the mandates could hit $221 billion. At the time of passage, many people warned as much.
But wait, there’s more.
For the last two years, Heritage has continued to dissect Obamacare and its poisonous side effects. Like a virulent disease spiraling out of control, Obamacare inflicts harm on all that it touches.
Seniors will suffer as Obamacare robs savings from Medicare in order to fund new government spending while threatening seniors’ access to care and ending Medicare as we know it. On top of that, as Heritage’s Alyene Senger writes, Obamacare makes extreme cuts to Medicare Advantage, which allows seniors to receive their Medicare benefits through a private health care plan of their choice. And it puts a group of 15 unelected officials in charge of finding cuts in Medicare to meet new spending limits.
Young Americans will suffer as well. Though the President brags that his law allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26, they ultimately will face higher premiums, perverse incentives to stay uninsured, and the burden of paying the extraordinary costs that the law brings with it.
There are even more consequences under Obamacare: families will pay higher taxes; businesses will face new mandates and costs; investment income will get hit with new taxes, discouraging investment and harming economic growth; Americans who purchase medicine with Health Savings Account or Flexible Savings Accounts will face new limitations; those who purchase medical devices will face higher taxes; and marriage is penalized as a result of the new subsidy scheme.
There are significant moral implications, too. Heritage’s Sarah Torre wrote yesterday of news about an abortion surcharge, which follows the HHS mandate that insurance plans must cover on abortion-inducing drugs and contraception:
These episodes are rapidly becoming the status quo of Obamacare implementation, with a familiar and predictable plot line: an unaccountable bureaucracy releases complicated rules on morally fraught healthcare decisions, runs roughshod over Americans’ moral concerns and personal freedom, and then tries to obscure the flaws of the legislation with accounting legerdemain and limited disclosure.
Today at noon Americans will rally in 140 locations across the country to protest Obamacare’s trampling of religious liberty. In Washington, D.C., they’ll gather right in front of HHS and demand that the moral compass for personal health decisions be pried out of the hands of unelected bureaucrats and put back in the hands of the people.
And on Monday, the Supreme Court will begin hearing three days of oral arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare’s controversial individual mandate, which for the first time ever forces Americans to buy a product — health care — against their will. This provision is the core of the President’s health care law, and it is a direct attack on individual liberty. Unless the Court strikes down Obamacare in its entirety, Congress must stand ready to finish the job. The American people should continue to make their voices heard, demand a repeal of Obamacare, and insist on real health care reform that increases access without forcing Americans to fall under government control.
Join Heritage in voicing your support for this cause, raise your voices against this intolerable act, take a stand to defend liberty, and sign our Repeal Obamacare petition today.
Liberty and ObamaCare
With the Supreme Court gearing up to hear arguments about ObamaCare, many analysts are considering the truly historic precedences the case will set forth for years to come. At its core, the ObamaCare law claims that the power of our federal government is unlimited, and the results of the case will either send us down a slippery slope towards total government control over personal liberty, or will finally set in place rigid limits on just how far the government can go to control our choices. Now, even the Administration itself is recognizing the constitutional gamble of their health care law, despite several occasions when they said that they didn’t really consider the health care bill’s constitutionality as they were passing it. For more about what’s at stake as the Supreme Court takes on ObamaCare, turn to this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal: Wall Street Journal
2 Years, 2 Million More People to Lose Insurance
Many people who aren’t aware of the specifics of ObamaCare were surprised by the latest statistics that as many as 5 million people are expected to lose their coverage thanks to its provisions. Wasn’t ObamaCare supposed to expand, not destroy coverage? Weren’t we supposed to be able to keep our insurance if we like it? Unfortunately, ObamaCare’s provisions make health care so expensive, that many employers would rather pay the penalty fine for not covering their employees than take on the law’s crippling mandates and taxes. It gets worse from there-the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has admitted that “there is clearly a tremendous amount of uncertainty about how employers and employees will respond to…that legislation.” In other words, we’re already at 5 million people losing their coverage…but there could be more. The Weekly Standard