“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a meeting of the National Association of Counties on March 9, 2010. Now that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is law, “what is in it” is revealed by 3,256 pages of legislative text, counting the 858 pages of the reconciliation bill (as printed at my local library).
This study is a comprehensive review of the Obamacare and an early appraisal of its likely effects. It is the second report by the author on Obamacare, the first being a critique of bills still being debated by Congress in August 2009.
Most of the bill’s provisions, except its tax increases, do not go into effect until 2014. So what follows is like a visit from the ghost of Christmas Future, shadows of what will be, but do not have to be, if we will change it. Obamacare instead could be repealed and replaced with far superior reforms … which in fact are the author’s recommendations.
Part 1 reviews the provisions of Obamacare and how they expand government’s authority over health care providers and consumers.
Part 2 explains how Obamacare will lead to higher health insurance premiums and health care costs.
Part 3 explains the comprehensive system of government health care rationing created by Obamacare, including how the Act eviscerates incentives for investment and innovation in health care.
Part 4 describes the new taxes and higher tax rates imposed by Obamacare.
Part 5 explains how Obamacare will cause runaway government spending and sharply increase the deficit, contrary to the promises and rhetoric used to pass it.
Part 6 explains how Obamacare will break 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.
To read all of Peter Ferrara's policy study for The Heartland Institute, "The Obamacare Disaster," click here (PDF).