On Thursday night, President Obama gave a speech to a joint session of Congress outlining his new program to stimulate the economy. There was only one small reference to ObamaCare, but it was packed with misinformation.
“But what we can’t do — what I will not do — is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades. (Applause.) I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety. I reject the argument that says for the economy to grow, we have to roll back protections that ban hidden fees by credit card companies, or rules that keep our kids from being exposed to mercury, or laws that prevent the health insurance industry from shortchanging patients.” [EA]
The laws to which the President is referring to are presumably the “medical-loss ratio” regulations which are part of ObamaCare. The laws are supposed to restrict the administrative overhead—and thus the profit—of insurance companies. Instead, this rule will drive many insurers out of business or cause them to leave certain smaller markets, driving down the quality of coverage and increasing the price. Many states are applying for waivers to delay implementation of these rules, because their insurance commissioners have said their citizens will lose access to their current insurance plans.
“President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed… Up to 3 million people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility.”
“The traditional gift for a first anniversary is paper, but ObamaCare isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. It’s bad medicine — for patients, doctors, hospitals and businesses. We hope the two parties will work together this year to actually improve health care, not break it even further.
But make no mistake: There’s no avoiding the necessity of repealing ObamaCare to prevent it from doing further damage, even as Congress takes up better, more workable solutions.”
“Faced with this growing criticism, supporters insist they can fix the law with more legislation and more regulation. We disagree. The problems with Obamacare cannot be fixed because they are woven into its fabric. The law is fundamentally and structurally flawed, and cannot be repaired or improved. It must be repealed and replaced. You simply can’t build a patient-centered health-care system on Obamacare’s foundation of bureaucracy and central planning.”
“In response to public opposition to enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), President Obama assured Americans that if they were happy with their current health insurance, nothing in the PPACA would force them to change their coverage. This promise has been broken. Not only does the PPACA itself require changes in existing coverage, but regulations issued by the Administration further undercut the ability of Americans to continue with their current insurance plans. The rules are arbitrary and confusing.”
“According to the AP, two of the central promises of President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul law are unlikely to be fulfilled, Medicare’s independent economic expert told Congress today. The landmark legislation probably won’t hold costs down, and it won’t let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it, Chief Actuary Richard Foster told the House Budget Committee. (Foster’s office is responsible for independent long-range cost estimates.)”
Establish a national, voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living assistance services and supports (CLASS program).
Award five-year demonstration grants to states to develop, implement, and evaluate alternatives to current tort litigations.
Establish the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council to develop a national strategy to improve the nation’s health
Develop a national quality improvement strategy that includes priorities to improve the delivery of health care services, patient health outcomes, and population health.