Topics: Obamacare

The best way to make health care better and more affordable is to repeal Obamacare

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Opinion,Op-Eds,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Phil Gingrey,State of the Union

In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama told Congress, “let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you.”

It's been three years, and after countless empty claims from administration officials about the readiness and safety of Obamacare's implementation, leading to the disastrous launch of healthcare.gov, there is one idea the president should embrace: Repeal Obamacare.

Plain and simple.

The president's government takeover of the health care industry threatens tens of thousands of private practices with the very real possibility they could have to close their doors, leaving their long-time patients without a place to turn.

Even for the doctors lucky enough to keep their practices afloat under the weight of new overhead costs and costly regulations, they are losing their patients due to being dropped from their provider networks and not being able to provide treatment under inadequate Medicare reimbursement rates.

Just the other day, Moody’s credit rating agency announced it was downgrading the outlook for health insurers on the exchanges from “stable” to “negative” reporting that “the ongoing unstable and evolving environment [created by Obamacare] is a key factor for our outlook change.”

The entire solvency of the system created by the president was built on the delusional notion that younger, healthier people would account for 40 percent of enrollment and allow premiums to be kept “affordable.”

Essentially, the administration gambled on young Americans overpaying for coverage they don’t even need. On top of that, a new study revealed that it’s actually cheaper for 86 percent of this demographic to pay the individual mandate penalty than to buy into the Obamacare exchanges.

Not surprisingly, only 24 percent of enrollees are between the ages of 18 and 34 – well short of the administration’s 40-percent target.

What does this mean for everyone else left trapped in this system? Your premiums will go up. The cost of care will go up while your access to care will go down.

In short, the entire funding model of Obamacare is nothing more than a scheme that’s already been exposed.

Ironically enough, the liberal premise behind the president’s health care plan was to provide health insurance to the uninsured. However, early data has shown that nine in 10 people enrolled in Obamacare were already insured.

A new survey released last week revealed that health care costs in 2014 would be “somewhat challenging” or “highly challenging” for nearly 90 percent of American businesses.

From seniors to younger Americans, small businesses and the uninsured, working families and job creators – we’ve seen the costs of implementing Obamacare, but where are the benefits?

What about all of those promises?

• “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

• “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

• “Premiums will be reduced by $2,500 for the typical family.”

Does anyone really believe that the same government that spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on a website that didn’t work will be able to administer your health care?

At the end of the day, the State of the Union is an opportunity for a president to have a leadership moment. The course we are on right now under President Obama is one that will result in higher premiums for working families, less access to affordable quality care and a tremendous amount of waste and fraud in this government-run health care system.

Obama has a duty to the American people to stand by his word, and to work to improve the American health care system. The most responsible thing to do is to admit that his plan isn’t salvageable and put in place reforms that emphasize consumer-driven, free-market principles that take power away from faceless federal bureaucrats and put it back in the hands of doctors and patients.

Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., is chairman of the GOP Doctors Caucus and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions for editorials, available at this link.
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