Obamacare has become an oppressive burden on our people and our economy. As a result of Obamacare, many Americans are now being forced to work 29-hour weeks and have to work two or three jobs to make ends meet. Millions of others have had their insurance rates increased or their policies canceled. This law is a principal reason that our economy is not recovering. It must not stand.
The first duty of every doctor and surgeon is to do no harm. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act – also known as “Obamacare” – has interfered with their ability to satisfy that oath and has crippled our healthcare system.
Obamacare interferes with the doctor-patient relationship, raises taxes on some things and creates new ones on others. And, most importantly, it has created such a burden on our economy that it has become one of the principal reasons the American economy remains stagnant.
More than fifty percent of Americans favor repeal of the law. They are right: it should be repealed for several big reasons.
First, Obamacare is keeping employers from hiring new employees in full-time jobs by redefining the work week. Instead of the normal workweek of 40 hours, Obamacare defines full-time employees as any who work 30 hours a week or 130 hours a month.
As too many Americans have discovered for themselves, you can’t support yourself and your family on less than 30 hours’ wages a week. Employers who are or will be covered by the Obamacare employer mandate don’t want to hire full-time employees because if you do you have to either help them pay for expensive Obamacare health insurance or pay a big penalty.
You have to get a second or even third job to make up for the loss Obamacare imposed. Too many Americans can’t find 40-hour a week jobs and Obamacare is the reason they can’t.
Almost as bad has been Obamacare’s effect on the price of healthcare insurance in America. Millions of people and their families have had their policies canceled because of Obamacare. If they can buy replacement policies, those policies come at a much higher cost. Some states, such as Florida, have seen the price of healthcare insurance premiums rise from 30%-100%. Many states have experienced the same, and some have seen expenses rise even higher.
According to Americans for Tax Reform, Obamacare contains 20 new or raised taxes including a hike in Medicare payroll taxes, taxes on medical devices and innovative drug companies and many others. It’s a drag on our economy that penalizes research and development into medicines and revolutionary medical technologies that save lives.
There may be some things we want to save from Obamacare, such as the coverage of young people on their parents’ insurance policies until they are 26 years old and the necessity of covering people with pre-existing conditions. But those things can be added to the legislation that should replace Obamacare or through state legislation.
We need an approach to healthcare that is predicated on free-market incentives. With those incentives, we need to encourage businesses to provide better healthcare benefits to their employees. This has the double benefit of employees wanting to remain in good jobs and employers given greater ability to retain good employees.
There are good ways to reform the American healthcare system. I favor the approach taken by Cong. Tom Price (R-Ga) who has repeatedly introduced bills such as his “Empowering Patients First Act,” which he offered in June 2013.
Under Price’s bill, healthcare reforms include:
- Interstate sale of insurance;
- Promotion of Association Health Plans (AHPs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs);
- Income-adjusted, “advanceable,” and refundable health insurance premium credits;
- A tax deduction for income spent on health insurance for households ineligible for premium credits;
- Malpractice and provider antitrust reform.
Under this approach, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal budget would be reduced by over $1.7 trillion over ten years.
Obamacare is a burden our people and our economy shouldn’t have to bear. It should be repealed and replaced with the sensible reforms such as those in Price’s bill.