They say it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission. Well, with the passage of Obamacare, the left didn’t really ask for permission or forgiveness. They just made lots of promises they didn’t intend to keep, and then the kind of acknowledged that maybe they overstated the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. To them, it’s still awesome and “beautiful.”
If you’re still wondering whether Obamacare has lowered health care premiums, Chris Jacobs has the scoop in his latest WSJ Think Tank blog post:
[D]uring the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised on numerous occasions that his plan would “cut costs” and “lower your premiums” by $2,500 per year for the average family. Ironically, the foundation for Mr. Obama’s promises rests in a memo released by three consultants to the 2008 campaign—one of whom, David Blumenthal, now heads the Commonwealth Fund.
Since the law was enacted, Commonwealth and other supporters, while saying that Obamacare would mitigate premium increases, have largely failed to address the earlier promise that the law would reduce them outright. Another author of the 2008 memo, David Cutler, said in 2012 that, in retrospect, Mr. Obama made “occasional misstatements” when pledging that premiums would fall by $2,500 annually. In August 2012, PolitiFact rated that premiums pledge a “promise broken.”
Supporters of the law started out saying that Obamacare would reduce premiums in absolute terms. Now, backers say that the law will lower premium increases relative to what they would have been without the law—a tougher metric to quantify and a more difficult measure of success to sell politically. This is another example of how in Washington, where one stands on an issue frequently depends upon where one sits.
A look at the polls shows Democrats aren’t motivated by Obamacare, and they don’t think it is an important issue for the upcoming 2014 midterm elections, says Aaron Blake of the Washington Post.
Democrats who consider Obamacare to be one of the most important issues in the 2014 campaign are outnumbered three to one by Republicans who say the same, according to a new Washington Post-ABC poll.
Why are Democrats feeling so blasé about Obamacare? According to Blake:
A big reason there are so few people rallying around the law is that, even among those who support it, they don’t necessarily think it’s helping or is going to help.
While support for Obamacare has generally been in the low 40s, only about half of supporters think it will actually be a net-positive over the long haul and make things better in the U.S. health-care system.
And even fewer — 14 percent — say they currently see benefits accruing.
The Union Leader reports that in New Hampshire, Obamacare may mean shorter ski seasons for some ski resorts:
Among Obamacare’s myriad negative effects on small businesses could be this: shorter ski seasons in New Hampshire.
At a forum on the Affordable Care Act held last week, Greg Goddard, general manager of Gunstock Ski Resort, said the resort might shorten its season because it cannot afford to offer health insurance to its full-time seasonal employees who work for more than 120 consecutive days, as the law requires.
Priya Abraham, a senior policy analyst for the Commonwealth Foundation, a free market think tank in Pennsylvania, is qualified to talk about Obamacare on several accounts. She is a policy analyst; she suffers from a pre-existing condition, fibromyalgia, a chronic and often debilitating pain condition; and she has bought an Obamacare plan that has failed to meet her needs.
In a recent op-ed Abraham noted:
My need to see specialists and try expensive prescriptions makes affordable health insurance crucial to softening the financial sting. This longtime uninsured, sickly gal ought to be happy.
Plaster my picture on Healthcare.gov now, right?
“We’re always worried about that,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said when asked whether he was concerned the agency could suffer similar tech problems suffered — or caused — by the Department of Health and Human Services as they worked to implement Obamacare.
The agency is gearing up for new responsibilities in implementing the health care law, which will expand during the next filing season.