By Senator John Thune
In March of 2010, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi infamously stated, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it” regarding President Obama’s signature piece of legislation.
Two years later, America is indeed finding out what was in that controversial bill and the picture is not pretty. Friday, March 23rd will mark the two-year anniversary of Obamacare, and Americans are left with an array of broken promises from the president and his allies in Congress.
Rather than decreasing health insurance costs for Americans, premiums have continued to increase since Obamacare was signed into law. In 2008, then-candidate Obama said that his plan would, “lower your premiums by $2,500 per family per year.” However, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey said that between 2010 and 2011, family coverage premiums increased by nine percent.
Not only are Americans faced with higher health premiums, they will be faced with $525 billion in taxes, fees, and penalties by 2019, as a result of Obamacare. In this weak economy, the last thing people need is to be paying more of their hard-earned money to the federal government.
When pushing for the controversial legislation, the president also promised Americans that, “If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan.” Unfortunately, this too is another broken promise. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), four million fewer Americans will have employer-based coverage as a result of Obamacare and this figure is expected to rise dramatically once all provisions are enacted. Additionally, South Dakota retirees will also lose drug coverage, thanks to the new law. The Medicare Trustee’s report from August of 2010 estimated that nearly 7.5 million retirees nationally stand to lose drug coverage.
Lastly, President Obama promised Americans, “I will not sign a [health care] plan that adds one dime to our deficits, either now or in the future.” However, when budgetary gimmicks included in Obamacare are eliminated, the president’s plan actually increases the deficit by hundreds of billions in its first 10 years alone. In a recent report by CBO, the cost of Obamacare will nearly double from the Administration’s own projection of $900 billion over 10 years to $1.8 trillion over the same time frame.
Two years after Obamacare was signed into law, Americans understand what was contained in the legislation and the broken promises they were told. Rather than continue implementing this deeply flawed law, Congress should work to repeal it and replace it with common-sense reforms that actually lower costs and preserve the high quality of care we currently enjoy. I look forward to the Supreme Court’s upcoming case at the end of March that will evaluate the constitutionality of various aspects of the controversial health care law.