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Opinion: Editorials

Examiner Editorial: Obamacare will provide less at greater cost

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Photo - Protesters outside the Supreme Court during oral arguments in the health care case. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner file photo)
Protesters outside the Supreme Court during oral arguments in the health care case. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner file photo)
Opinion,Editorial

"To say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent to the Supreme Court's June health care ruling. She attacked Chief Justice John Roberts' Obamacare decision, noting, "Judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling."

We have found a rare point of agreement here with Justice Ginsburg. No court, especially not the Supreme Court, should impose new taxes on the American people. By choosing to rewrite Obamacare, Chief Justice Roberts has done exactly that.

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office released a new cost estimate for Obamacare incorporating the Roberts opinion, which upheld the individual mandate as a tax. Previously, the CBO estimated that some 27 million Americans would pay some $54 billion in penalties through 2022, and still go without health insurance. Yesterday, the CBO updated the numbers, predicting that some 30 million Americans will pay $55 billion in taxes and still go without health insurance.

In addition to the $1 billion tax hike on some 3 million Americans, the vast majority of whom make far, far less than $200,000 a year, Roberts' decision also increased the likelihood that employers will face penalties for not complying with Obamacare's employer mandate. Previously, the CBO estimated that employers would have to pay $113 billion in Obamacare penalties through 2022. Yesterday, they raised that number to $117 billion.

All told, the CBO estimates that, thanks to Roberts, Americans will have to pay $5 billion more in taxes while providing health insurance for 3 million fewer Americans.

Taking a step back, according to CBO's new estimate, Obamacare spends $1.68 trillion over the next ten years and only manages to reduce the number of uninsured Americans from 60 million without the law, to 30 million with it. Keep that in mind the next time someone tries to convince you that Obamacare accomplished universal coverage.

And that's not all. Remember when Obama promised that Obamacare would lower your family's health insurance premiums? Thanks to costly Obamacare mandates -- like coverage for adult children up to 26 years of age and free birth control SEmD premiums shot up 9 percent in 2011, nearly three times the rate of inflation and the most since 2005. And according to the CBO, Roberts' decision only made the problem worse. It estimates his ruling will hike premiums by an additional 2 percent, or about $400 per family.

Meanwhile, CBO's estimates for Obamacare's costs have nearly doubled since the bill passed in 2010.

The mandate-regulate-tax-spend approach to health care, epitomized by Obamacare, was never right for America. There is only one way for the country to escape Obamacare's ever higher tax and spending spiral: full repeal.

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