Imagine a world where politicians were forced to tell the truth and forced to put their money where their mouths are. Don't laugh. What if we simply included politicians' promises about the laws they propose right into the laws themselves? These would serve as measurable conditions for the law's survival. If the promises prove to be empty, the law would automatically expire.
Now imagine applying this standard to the most consequential law of our lifetimes: Obamacare. The president's health care takeover annexed one-sixth of the U.S. economy under direct government control, which, in turn, threatens the other five-sixths. You can't escape it. Now, three years since Obamacare was signed into law, it has become simply undeniable that it was based on deception.
Here are the worst of the Obamacare lies:
Obamacare Lie: "[N]o matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period."
Good luck with that. An alarming one-third of America's doctors are planning to retire this decade, and the rate has accelerated in the Obamacare age. What's more, with the ever-decreasing reimbursement for doctors' services, an increasing number of physicians face the grim reality that if they want to keep their doors open, they have to avoid Medicare and Medicaid. It's difficult to stay in business when the government is your partner. In the end, you cannot keep your doctor if your doctor cannot keep his practice.
Obamacare Lie: "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."
Tell that to the 7 million Americans who, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), will lose their employer-based health insurance as a direct consequence of Obamacare. Perverse financial incentives in the law actually reward companies that drop health coverage for their employees and force them into government exchanges or Medicaid.
Obamacare Lie: Obamacare will "cut the cost of a typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year."
The so-called "Affordable Care Act" is neither affordable, nor do Democrats care. Administration officials now admit President Obama "misspoke" when he claimed -- repeatedly -- that his law would reduce your insurance costs by $2,500 a year. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that the least expensive of the government-sanctioned health plans will cost the average family of four $20,000 a year, an increase of more than $4,000 from before Obamacare. Insurance companies are less optimistic and warn Americans to brace for "rate shock" where premiums could double.
Obamacare Lie: "I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital-gains taxes, not any of your taxes."
Obamacare is the inception of bad laws, with tax hikes embedded within larger tax hikes. The law contains 20 new or increased taxes on everything from tanning salons to MRI machines, each of which gives lie to the president's empty promise. It's worse, though. According to the Supreme Court, the Obamacare individual mandate, the linchpin of the law, is itself a tax and therefore, despite his promise, Mr. Obama is a court-certified tax raiser.
Obamacare Lie: Obamacare "will create 4 million jobs -- 400,000 almost immediately."
Three years after former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made this wild claim, the real unemployment rate remains at a disheartening 14.3 percent. Initially, the CBO estimated that Obamacare would destroy 800,000 jobs, but this will barely scratch the surface. Perverse financial incentives will actually reward companies for reducing their workforces while burdensome new taxes and regulations encourage shipping jobs overseas.
Obamacare Lie: "I have no problem with folks saying 'Obama cares.' I do care."
No, he doesn't. No one who cares about you would lie to you so brazenly. No one who cares about your health, your finances or your job would jeopardize them all. No one who cares about you would peddle these empty promises, these lies.
Our general sense of civility compels us to avoid that word: lie. We hide behind gentle euphemisms pretending as though falsehoods are somehow innocently misspoken. Make no mistake, when politicians make false statements with the intent to deceive you, these must be called exactly what they are: lies.
The foundation of Obamacare, the justification for fundamentally remaking America along socialist lines, is a framework of undeniable lies. To call them anything less is not only a betrayal of truth, it is a betrayal of America itself.
Happy birthday, Obamacare.
Dr. Milton R. Wolf is a radiologist and a contributor to The Washington Times.
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