It is now three and one half years since Obamacare, aka The Patient Protection and Affordability Act, became the law of the land on March 23, 2010. Now is a good time to review the progress of the law to date.
But it has fallen short on affordability. Premiums have steadily risen for most Americans. And the overall direct and indirect costs – in taxes, penalties, and regulations – have exploded. Over the decade of its planned implementation, costs may be double or even triple the original cost estimate of $984 billion. Politics is the art of reaching sustainable goals from reasonable premises. In the case of Obamacare, the premises, for the moment at least, seem insufficient to meet the demands of universal coverage at an affordable price.
According to the Congressional Business Office, employers will be dropping coverage for as many as 7 million, possibly even 20 million, workers. Older doctors are retiring or seeing fewer patients. Others are quitting practice and going to work for hospitals. Others are entering concierge, retainer, or cash only practices and reducing their “panels” of patients from 2000 to 500 or so. And moe and more doctors are not accepting new Medicare or Medicaid patients.
Mitch Daniels, Indiana’s Republican governor, said it well,
Alienation of Allies and Potential Helpers