Inherent flaws result in big problems with President Obama's health care law

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: April 16, 2013
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IF Obamacare were a product sold on the private market, its makers would already face class-action lawsuits based on the false and misleading claims used to sell it. Virtually every promise made about the law has already been broken.

In 2009, President Barack Obama famously declared that “no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period.”

But now we know the insurance plans offered through Obamacare's state exchanges will have much more limited provider networks than those offered elsewhere; doctor choices will be restricted. Also, a recent Deloitte Center for Health Solutions survey found that 62 percent of physicians believe it's “likely” that many doctors will retire earlier than planned over the next three years.

The law's perverse incentives could cause companies to drop coverage and dump employees into Medicaid or the exchange system, meaning citizens may not keep their insurance plan either. And insurance costs are rising.

Now it's been revealed that yet another Obamacare cost estimate was wrong. Federal Health and Human Services Department budget documents show the agency now expects to spend $4.4 billion by the end of this year on grants to help states set up online insurance exchanges. That's more than double last year's estimate. HHS also is seeking another $1.5 billion to help set up federally run exchanges in states that don't establish their own, including Oklahoma.

The surging cost of the exchanges is evidence Gov. Mary Fallin made the right call when deciding Oklahoma would not build its exchange for the federal government. We were among those initially supportive of a state exchange, believing it would be better if Oklahoma had some control. But Fallin concluded that Obamacare's regulations meant such exchanges would be “state-run” in name only and “would require Oklahoma resources, staff and tax dollars to implement.” Fallin wasn't alone in reaching that conclusion. Only 17 states and Washington, D.C., have been conditionally approved to run their own exchanges.

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