ObamaCare’s Reality: American Families

27 September 2012   Senator Jon Kyl
How ObamaCare will affect American families

While running for president in 2008, then-Senator Obama promised that families making less than $250,000 a year would not see a tax increase as a result of his health-care plan. Many warned that such a promise was simply untenable – that there was no way to do what he proposed without increasing taxes on middle-income Americans. Now, the numbers are in, and they don’t look pretty for already over-taxed families.

On September 19, Congress’ nonpartisan fiscal scorekeeper – the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) – reported that approximately 6 million Americans will find themselves forced to pay a tax for refusing to participate in ObamaCare. This tax will average about $1,200 for middle-income earners and families, with more than 80 percent of those projected to get hit having an income of less than $50,000 per year. More broadly, American taxpayers will have to pay about $7 billion in new ObamaCare taxes by 2016 – a number that will rise by an additional $1 billion over the next 6 years. At a time when the median household income has declined to an all-time low, these taxes are the last thing our American families need.

Of course, that is just one of ObamaCare’s many broken promises.

President Obama also claimed that his health-care plan would extend coverage dramatically. Yet, the CBO now estimates that approximately 30 million people (as opposed to the 21 million it originally predicted) will still be left uninsured after ObamaCare is fully implemented. Moreover, because ObamaCare drives up the cost of health care in so many other ways, the number of people who choose to pay the tax instead of participating in a prohibitively expensive system is only likely grow over time. In other words, the individual mandate will fail to achieve its main goal of comprehensive coverage – and then drive up premium prices to boot.

Another of the president’s promises was that premiums would decrease by $2,500 for the average family under his health-care plan. But now, just four years later, economist Jonathan Gruber, one of President Obama’s own advisors, has reported that premiums will actually increase as a result of ObamaCare – in some states by as much as 30 percent. This should come as no surprise, since many of the ObamaCare “reforms” have already proven ineffective when tried elsewhere. Congress must learn from others’ past mistakes and avoid adopting policies that will send the market into a downward spiral.

The problem our country faces under ObamaCare boils down to a fairly simple math equation: in the years to come, the cost of implementing this law will continue to far outpace the amount of revenue collected from the taxes paid by those who refuse coverage. The result of this is fewer incentives for healthy people to opt into ObamaCare, and rising premiums for the rest.

These are just some of the effects that ObamaCare will have on our economy, job creation, and the quality of health-care here in the United States.