Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Affordable Care Act May Crumble Under Its Own Weight


BOHEMIA, NY, Apr 12 – “As the experts turn the pages of President Obama’s health care mega-law, they learn only one thing for certain: it is a baffling behemoth of a bill that causes consternation and concern,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.  “In fact,” he said, “the law may crumble under its own weight.”

Even the president’s chief health care surrogate Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, expressed frustration at the slow pace of Obamacare’s implementation.

As she put it Monday night at a Harvard University event: “There was some hope that once the Supreme Court ruled in July, and then once an election occurred there would be a sense that, ‘This is the law of the land, let’s get on board, let’s make this work.’ And yet we find ourselves having state-by-state political battles.”

Weber pointed out that Sebelius “of course, lays blame for the creeping failure of the law on political opposition.  But it’s the confusing complexity of the law, which might as well have been together by Rube Goldberg, himself, that’s causing all the pain and suffering.”

Fortune Magazine’s Washington columnist Nina Easton pointed out during a televised panel discussion this week that the administration promoted the most popular provisions of the law.  At first, they were telling the public that Obamacare would not impact your current health care coverage and that, in addition, your kids could remain on your family insurance plans until they turn 26, Weber explained.
 “However, things did not turn out exactly as planned.  Sure, your kids can utilize your family coverage, but there is growing fear that big companies will eventually opt out of providing insurance coverage and settle for paying the penalties instead.  Then both the consumer and their kids would be left without coverage.”

It’s a confusing law, at best, and, at worst, an onerous piece of legislation, particularly for the elderly, Weber said.

He cited this week’s “debacle” at a Long Island, NY cancer treatment facility where 5,000 patients were told that they would no longer be treated at that facility due to Federal Medicare cuts.

Meanwhile, the law is beginning to have serious economic implications.  A new Chamber of Commerce survey of small businesses shows that business owners list Obamacare as their number one concern, with 71% saying that the law makes it harder for them to hire new workers.  At least a third of the respondents in the survey said that they will likely be forced them to reduce the hours of current employees because of the law’s insurance mandate.

Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming put it this way: “It’s time for President Obama to finally admit that his health care law is dragging down the American economy.”

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