By Congressman Tim Huelskamp
If you take your car to the mechanic, and he hands you a bill for twice cost of the estimate, your reaction is one of rage. Sure, a couple of extra dollars would not have been maddening; but double what you had been quoted? That's irresponsible and, frankly, bad business.
Well, President Obama has handed the American people a bill for his health care law that is nearly twice its original cost. According to the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate, the President's health care law is now expected to cost $1.76 trillion over the next decade, compared to the $940 trillion the American people were told.
How did they lowball this estimate during considering of ObamaCare? Pure gimmickry.
Republicans who were in Congress when the law passed knew this would happen and voted against the law. But, the President certainly did not convey this expensive fact to the American people.
As The Washington Examiner appropriately noted, the cost estimate used in 2010 included only six years of ObamaCare as law because CBO only uses a 10-year window and ObamaCare does not officially kick in until 2014. Three years later, we now have a score for nine years of having ObamaCare in law, and the numbers are not pretty.
It's like your mechanic estimating your repair bill at six hours knowing that he will need ten, all the while telling you are getting ten hours worth of work for six, and then handing you a bill for twice as much when he finishes.
But the "new" bad news does not stop there.
Additionally, CBO calculated that as many as 20 million Americans could lose their employer-based health insurance as a result of the law. Surveys since ObamaCare was passed have shown that many employers plan on reducing or cutting altogether the benefits they offer their employees because of the burdens imposed by ObamaCare. It is actually cheaper for them to pay the fine for not providing health insurance than it is to offer their employees a plan that meets the ObamaCare requirements. Who can blame them?
With fewer people able to rely on their employers as a source of health insurance, more people will have to rely on Medicaid. Even though the program already under-delivers for our most vulnerable citizens, it is now expected to cover many middle-class Americans.
Underlying the revisions is the fact that the original projections banked on President Obama's economy succeeding. We all know it has not. A trillion-dollar experiment -- the President's stimulus -- was supposed to keep unemployment below 8 percent; such levels have not been seen since before the stimulus became law. CBO now anticipates that economic growth will stall, keeping wages and salaries low, and forcing more Americans to have to rely on the government for their health care coverage.
When your mechanic and his toolbox fail you, you find another garage. ObamaCare is clearly not the repair America needs -- nor wants. It is time to dump ObamaCare for a more patient-centered, market-driven health insurance system that actually delivers better health care for you.