Commentary Magazine

ObamaCare’s Many False Promises

To the Editor:

To Tevi Troy’s excellent “The Three Failed Promises of ObamaCare” [December 2013], I would add a fourth: In 2009, President Obama promised Representative Bart Stupak and Senator Ben Nelson, among others, that he would, via executive order, make sure that ObamaCare would not use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. By doing this he gained the support of several moderate and some conservative Democrats, and got the Affordable Care Act passed. However, despite his executive order, abortion funding is alive and well in ObamaCare. All insurance plans are now required to fund, among other controversial items, abortifacients such as the “morning after pill” at no cost to plan participants or face major penalties as high as millions of dollars. Hobby Lobby, among other companies, has filed suit in protest, and it is currently under review by the Supreme Court. Even if Hobby Lobby and others win, they still lose because of legal fees and the long courtroom drama that could have been prevented had President Obama kept his promise.

Even Americans who (unfortunately for society at large) find themselves pro-choice should at least agree that taxpayer funding of political causes is immoral. Tax dollars should either be spent on items for the public good, such as the military, roads, bridges, power plants, etc., or used to pay down the monstrous national debt that has doubled under Obama—or otherwise be refunded to workers in the form of a tax credit.

Using tax dollars to fund abortions is akin to using tax dollars to fund a mosque. While we recognize the separation of church and state in this nation, we have drifted so far from the principles in the Constitution by which all other government and laws are endued with their power, that tax dollars are being used to fund anti-church initiatives. It is no secret that a majority of Christians either oppose abortion or treat it as an ethical dilemma.

Perhaps had there not been a decimation of the millennial generation due to abortion (among other factors), Baby Boomers might find more young people signing up for ObamaCare. Young people can’t pay premiums for health insurance, let alone pay into a struggling Social Security Trust Fund, if they don’t exist.

Nate Clute
Fort Dodge, Iowa

To the Editor:

Based on the president’s campaign promises, ObamaCare was a failure on day one. He promised coverage for 30 million uninsured. If employers and their employees can eat a 50 percent increase in their insurance premiums, due to the recession and layoffs, we can indeed expect 30 million uninsured. If workers and their employers cannot sustain these costs, the number of uninsured will go up. If the young “invincibles” do not sign up, as current surveys show, we will have higher costs, and more uninsured. So Tevi Troy is certainly correct in his assertions.

But unmentioned is tort reform, a topic Obama did not want to touch. There is no cap on attorneys’ feeding on doctors and hospitals, which various experts state is responsible for a third of all medical costs, due to defensive medicine.

ObamaCare is much more than a health-insurance plan; it is a reordering of American society. Bishops must pay for their employees’ abortions, and doctors will be supplicants to government bureaucrats for reimbursements. ObamaCare is a reordering of power, toward the central government. These characteristics were not sold to the American voter. The electorate has been suckered.

R.L. Hails Sr.
Address withheld

To the Editor:

I applaud the closing paragraph of Tevi Troy’s article. He is right that getting bogged down in ObamaCare’s numerous glitches is counterproductive. Many conservatives are still missing the key factor that led to two election losses to Obama and a failure to stop the implementation of ObamaCare. For the true believer on the left, execution is of little concern. What matters is the ideological argument. Once that is won, they don’t really care whether the plan actually works or not.

Hoping the ObamaCare train wreck will be sufficiently catastrophic to overcome this is one possible solution, but certainly not the best. Winning the ideological argument is the better choice, and that is not achieved by pointing out that the execution was flawed. While Republicans celebrate the recent polling that shows 52 percent of young Obama supporters disapprove of him now, they ignore the fact that 48 percent, despite the train wreck, still approve.

The drum to start beating is this: Let’s stop asking who will pay for the $100,000 trip to the hospital and start asking why a trip to the hospital costs $100,000. This will resonate with younger, lower-income voters and can demonstrate why the Democrats were completely misguided in their attempt to solve the problem from the insurance side of the equation. The right argument will make insurance-side economics look foolish. Thanks to the government’s “help,” young voters are now saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans and unable to even hope for home ownership. That’s an ideology I can do without. The Republicans need to figure out how to explain that to the American voters.

Stephen Neetz
Succasunna, New Jersey

To the Editor:

After reading Tevi Troy’s article, I wondered, how can Congress enact a law affecting one-sixth of the American economy without far-reaching and intensive congressional hearings? Remember the snail darter, the two-inch-long fish that was the focus of weeks and months of hearings because of a proposed dam that would affect its habitat? Why, then, does our system of health-care delivery not warrant the same amount of attention?

Alan Hubbard
Weldon Spring, Missouri

Tevi Troy writes:

Thank you to Nate Clute and Stephen Neetz for their kind words about my piece. Both they and R.L. Hails Sr. mention other problems with ObamaCare, above and beyond the three issues that I highlight in my article. Mr. Clute raises the question of abortion funding, Mr. Hails talks about tax reform, and Mr. Neetz talks about the astronomical costs of hospital visits. All are worthy of further discussion. In my piece, however, I intentionally focused on the three issues of cost, coverage, and the ability to keep one’s coverage because these were the three issues President Obama and his allies highlighted above all others in making their case for the health law. As I state in my piece, “This analysis has looked at ObamaCare solely on its proponents’ terms.” There are, without a doubt, a host of other problems with the law, but my goal was to establish three metrics that everyone, on both sides of the aisle, can agree are the metrics by which it can and should be judged.

As for Alan Hubbard’s point that Congress should not have rushed through a flawed piece of legislation without additional hearings and consideration, I agree.

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