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PAUL: A union cloud over Obamacare as broken promises infuriate the president’s base
“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
— President Obama, July 2009
As the details of Obamacare become more known, Americans become more concerned, and for good reason. President Obama promised that if you were happy with your health care, you could keep it. As with so many other government promises, this, too, turns out to be an empty one.
Even people you think would be solid Obama supporters are waking up to the more damaging aspects of the Affordable Care Act.
The Teamsters and two other major unions sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi this week, writing: “When you and the president sought our support for the Affordable Care Act, you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat.”
The union letter continued: “The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios: First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly.”
The letter concludes: “The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.”
In 2010, Mrs. Pelosi, then House speaker, famously said of Obamacare, “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” As Americans find out what’s in it, even significant parts of the Democrats’ base don’t like it one bit.
Government intervention ends up causing higher taxes or the costs of regulation being passed on to the consumer. Obamacare is no different, and as a result many employees no longer will be able to keep their current health care.
Those of us who champion the free market and understand how it works knew this would happen, even as the president promised it wouldn’t. Now Americans happy with their health care are seeing it threatened.
That is just one aspect of this highly problematic law. We know that Obamacare will cost more than any of its authors predicted, and many individuals will begin to see their premiums go up significantly. Even the White House is afraid of what will happen. Their delay of the employer mandate will delay the pain for some, but won’t help the millions of individuals still subject to the mandate.
Not surprisingly, a recent Fox News poll showed that 56 percent of Americans wanted to be rid of Obamacare. The same poll showed that 55 percent of Americans younger than 35 want the same. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these numbers rise in the weeks and months to come.
Perhaps Mrs. Pelosi should have read this bill beforehand.
There are many significant and even tragic faults with America’s health care system, but Obamacare was never the answer. It is telling that this week some of the largest unions in the country have expressed the same sentiment.
As many problems as we have with health care — and there are many — Obamacare now promises to do even worse damage. That is about the only promise concerning this law we can count on.
About the Author
Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Homeland Security committees.
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