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Why Obamacare Must Be Repealed

Obamacare must be repealed.  A majority of Americans never supported it because it places the government in control of our healthcare, which encompasses one-fifth of our economy. Many predicted Obamacare would fail for the reasons experts are now declaring it to be in a death spiral.

The three primary goals for Obamacare were to cover everyone, lower healthcare costs, and reduce our national deficit:

1. Obamacare has not covered everyone:  One of Obamacare’s biggest problems is that not enough young healthy people are buying health insurance to cover the cost of sick people on the Exchanges.  While it currently has increased insurance coverage for 20 million Americans (9 million on Exchanges and 11.1 million on Medicaid), almost 7 million lost their healthcare plans because their plans did not provide all of the 19 government mandated coverages.  While Medicaid recipients are covered, they frequently have a difficult time finding a doctor accepting Medicaid patients due to the government’s low reimbursement rates. This could explain why Medicaid recipients have not reduced their usage of Emergency Rooms under Obamacare.

2.  Obamacare has not lowered healthcare costs:  Many middle class Americans are struggling under Obamacare.   Premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed.  Some are paying monthly premiums exceeding $1,000. They are deferring medical treatments due to deductibles exceeding $6,000. Many have lost their jobs or had their hours cut due to costs incurred by small businesses struggling to survive under Obamacare’s complex rules and regulations. This is unfortunate since most middle class Americans work for small businesses. Middle class Americans are paying the Obamacare bill for the nation. They pay the Obamacare taxes directly or indirectly as businesses pass Obamacare costs on to customers by raising prices.

Before Obamacare, roughly 70% of doctors owned their own businesses. As a result of the high costs of complying with Obamacare’s rules and regulations, this has dropped to around 30%. Doctors are joining hospitals or large medical groups.   Hospitals are growing because Obamacare pays them more than private practices.  Doctors predict this increased reliance on hospitals will cause further increases in healthcare costs. Anyone who has paid $1.50 for one Tylenol tablet at a hospital will probably agree.

3.  Obamacare has not reduced the national deficit.  In 2009, politicians told us Obamacare wouldn’t cost a penny more than $900 billion from 2014 to 2020.  Currently, its cost is projected to be $2.6 trillion.  Overhead costs (the bureaucrats supporting Obamacare, its administration, rules, regulations, and compliance) are eating 22% of its budget.  To date, 17 of 23 Obamacare co-ops have failed. Many state-run exchanges funded by Obamacare folded before opening or shortly afterwards.  A recent audit indicated none of the remaining 14 state-run exchanges is fully functional. There is little hope the government will recover the $3.9 billion invested in these co-ops and state exchanges.

Insurance companies lost billions on the Exchanges because they based their initial premiums on everyone purchasing health insurance. They soon discovered many young people paid the penalty instead of buying their expensive insurance.  Conversely, many people buying their insurance had chronic illnesses requiring extensive medical services. The government spent over $3.0 billion for bailouts in 2014 and 2015 to reimburse insurance companies for losses. Losses continued in 2016.  However, a third bailout was impossible.  Companies began pulling out of the Exchanges—leaving customers frantically searching for coverage. In 2017, many states have only 2-3 insurance companies servicing their Exchanges. One third of American counties have only one.  The approved insurance rates for 2017 increased 20-90% in all but a handful of states. If losses continue, more companies will abandon the Exchanges–resulting in higher premiums and deductibles in 2018.   

In closing, Obamacare has failed to fulfill most of the false promises made to get it passed. It has caused healthcare costs to skyrocket.  Middle class Americans cannot afford it.  Our country cannot afford it.  Obamacare must be repealed.

~Joy Putnam

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