When Nancy Pelosi said of the Health Care Reform Bill, "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it," it was a rare instance of literal truth from the Speaker of the House. Now that ObamaCare has been passed and signed, we are starting to find out exactly what is in it now that it is the law of the land.
For those of you ready to sign up for free/subsidized health insurance, sorry, that doesn't start until 2014. Looking to get accepted into a plan with your pre-existing condition? Nope, again you'll have to wait until 2014. (Including children, although Congress plans to "explain" to insurance companies that since they really meant to include that in the 2,700-page bill, everyone should just pretend that it's in there.)
As Republicans warned, the benefits of this law were postponed for years, while the taxes and cuts were started right away, in order to make ObamaCare seem like it breaks even, rather than running $200-plus billion dollar deficits every year from the start. Two changes that do go into effect this year are a lifting of lifetime payout caps, and extending the time children can stay on a parent's plan, both paid for by an increase in everyone's insurance. Taxes on medical equipment and health insurance plans start right away, which will only increase costs of health care more rapidly. This law has ensured that the annual double-digit increases in your health insurance premiums will only get worse.
For those on Medicare and Medicaid already having trouble finding health care providers willing to accept those patients, they can expect the problem to get even worse as the government pays Medicare and Medicaid providers even less. The good news is that Congress may well lack the political will to make those cuts, and prefer to add to the $1.5 trillion and growing deficit instead. The bad news is for those seniors who utilize Medicare Advantage to obtain better access to providers, because Democrats in Congress are committed to eliminate that program.
Still, according to the Congressional Research Service, the law does require Congress to be treated like the rest of us. They are prohibited from using their existing Federal plan and must obtain insurance from the Health Insurance Exchanges, that won't be created for four years. (Do you really think it is smart to trust these people with your health care?)
But what will ObamaCare look like once all its provisions are enacted?
President Obama often points to the health care system enacted in Massachusetts as an example of the direction he wants to go in. What has been the result of health care reform in Massachusetts? The highest health insurance rates in the nation, much higher state expenditures on health care than budgeted, and a higher number of uninsured than projected. Like Obamacare, insurance is mandatory, and as will eventually be the case nationally, people are gaming the system. Thousands already have figured out that it is cheaper to pay small fines than purchase expensive health insurance, especially when you can wait and sign up only for those periods when you need medical care. As a result, the health insurance companies (many of them non-profits) are suing the state in order to drastically raise their rates, or go out of business.
Republicans have warned all along that this law is not reform, it is a disaster.
This "reform" not only makes the existing problems with our health care system worse, when it goes fully into effect it will quickly destroy the system completely. That is why it was passed without a single Republican vote in the House and Senate. The good news is that there is still time to repeal this mess (before thousands of IRS agents are hired to make sure you've sent in your monthly health insurance payment). By electing Republicans to a majority in the House and Senate this November, we can stop this madness.