Lincoln * Institute

Beth Anne Mumford

Beth Anne Mumford

Pennsylvania State Director,
Americans for Prosperity


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Mumford Op Ed

Obamacare Turns Six

by Beth Anne Mumford

This month we celebrated an anniversary that no one really wanted.

It's been six years since President Obama signed into law the signature achievement of his presidency: Obamacare. And, now that we're in the last year of the Obama presidency, it's worth taking a look back at the claims about this law that turned out to be false.

Claim #1: "If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan." Remember this? This has turned out to be the most infamous guarantee President Obama made to the American people. He and his allies did so dozens and dozens of times, attempting to calm the concerns of the vast majority of Americans who were content with their healthcare plans.

But millions of Americans have had their health plans cancelled, some more than once. And the Obama administration knew this would happen.

Politifact called it 2013's "Lie of the Year."

Worse? The Obama administration knew as early as 2010 that millions of people would not be able to keep their plans. They knowingly lied to the American people.

CLAIM #2: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

Obama promised the American people that his law would not disrupt their ability to access the doctor they know and trust.

But, as a result of Obamacare's narrow provider networks, millions of Americans are unable to see their own doctor and have had to find a new one.

CLAIM # 3: "We're going to lower your premiums by up to $2500 per family per year."

Boy, this sounded good!

But, the truth is not even close. Millions of families have seen their premiums increase by double-digits every year since the law passed.

In 2016, 49 states saw average premiums rise, including an average of 14% in Pennsylvania. Premiums are rising faster than they did before the law was passed, health spending is up overall, and millions of families across the country are paying more because of Obamacare.

CLAIM #4: "No family making less than $250,000 a year will see their taxes increase."

Running as a champion of working-class families, the President promised that the only people who would see tax increases were businesses and the very wealthy.

He claimed that Obamacare would help millions of poor and middle-class Americans save money on their healthcare costs without increasing taxes on anyone besides the rich.

That's not really how the federal takeover of our healthcare works. There aren't enough rich people in American to fund it.

That's why Obamacare contains 18 new or increased taxes, many of which hit the middle class, raising taxes by $500 billion in its first ten years. More government, higher taxes and lower economic growth impacts everyone, not just those Obama said he would gauge.

Oh, and by the way, 30 million Americans are still without healthcare coverage.

President Obama insists that the law is working "better than expected," and that the debate is over.

Are these broken promises his idea of a law working better than expected? Have you had to change doctors or coverage in the last six years? Are your premiums higher or your choices fewer now that before Congress passed Obamacare over the objections of a majority of Americans?

That is the legacy of Obamacare. It's not an anniversary to celebrate, but one to change. We should be advocating for free market solutions that empower consumers to select the health insurance that works best for them and gives patients and their doctor's choices in the marketplace.