Heartland Ideas

Obamacare

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement. Passed without  a single Republican vote in 2010, it was supposed to reduce unnecessary spending on health care and expanding insurance coverage. The President promised over and over again that “if you like your current insurance plan, you can keep it.”

Health care policy experts at The Heartland Institute and those affiliated with other think tanks warned during the debate leading up to Obamacare’s passage that the law would be a disaster for patients, doctors, and taxpayers. For example, in 2009, Heartland published a series of reports documenting how Obamacare would dramatically raise insurance premiums in the following states:

Nevada
Colorado
Wisconsin
Missouri
California
Ohio
Indiana
Virginia
Kentucky
New Hampshire
Georgia
Connecticut
Maine
New York 

Also in 2009, Heartland published a Heartland Policy Study on Obamacare written by Senior Fellow Peter Ferrara titled “The Obama health Plan: Rationing, Higher Taxes, and Lower Quality Care.”  Ferrara predicted that Obamacare  “would cause millions of Americans to lose their choice of doctors and insurance coaverage, require that access to care be strictly rationed, and cause the quality of care to deteriorate. Despite all this sacrifice, nationalizing health insurance in America would require major tax increases, slow economic growth, and increase the national debt.”

In 2010, Heartland published another Heartland Policy Study by Peter Ferrara, this one a book-length appraisal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act titled The Obamacare Disaster. The book reviews the provisions of Obamacare and explains how Obamacare will lead to higher health insurance premiums and health care costs; discourages investment and innovation in health care; imposes new taxes and higher tax rates; will cause runaway government spending and sharply increase the deficit; and breaks many of the central promises made by Obama and leading Democrats used to pass it, including the promise that if you like your current health insurance you can keep it, and the promise that if you like your doctor you can keep him.

After Obamacare passed, Heartland Senior Fellow Benjamin Domenech led the successful effort to persuade states to oppose implementation by not creating insurance exchanges or expanding their Medicaid rolls. See, for example, Obamacare Exchange Scheme Could Destroy Insurance Marketplace by Kenneth Artz Obamacare Federal Exchanges Could Be Stymied by States by Benjamin Domenech.

Heartland authors have challenged the constitutionality of Obamacare. See Fourth Circuit's Factual Error Throws Obamacare Decision in Doubt  and this podcast titled Legal Severability and the Case Against Obamacare by Legal Fellow Maureen Martin.

Peter Ferrara continues to be one of the country’s most incisive and widely read critics of Obamacare. You can read two of his recent posts (from late 2013) at Forbes.com here and here.