It has been two years since President Obama's takeover of our nation's health care system was enacted into law. Though time has passed, concerns over the law's costs and increasing government encroachment on Americans' health decisions remain as strong as ever.
Despite rosy predictions of lower health costs, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now projects that the law's new benefit mandates will force premiums in the individual market to rise by $2,100 per family. In addition to rising costs for American workers and their families, the law will also impose a massive cost on our economy. In March, the CBO released an estimate showing that the health care overhaul will cost nearly $1.8 trillion over the next decade. That cost is expected to soar above $2 trillion once the law's expansion of Medicaid and taxpayer-funded health insurance subsidies are fully implemented.
As for the President's pledge that those who like their health care plan would be able to keep it? You can chalk that up as yet another broken promise. According to the CBO, the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will actually force millions of Americans to lose their current health coverage. The budget office estimates that by 2016, five million Americans will lose the health insurance they have through their employer, a number that could reach as high as 20 million. Even the Obama Administration itself has estimated that the law's regulations and mandates will force up to 80% of our country's small businesses to drop their current plans.
Americans are rightfully concerned about ObamaCare because it kills jobs, raises taxes, expands government control, and increases the cost of health care. Specifically, the health care law slaps Americans and small businesses with $569 billion in new taxes. Americans who already have private health insurance will have their plans taxed under the new Washington-run health care system. Those who do not have health insurance and do not want it will also be forced to pay a tax.
Instead of government mandates and regulations, we need reforms that promote patient choice. This includes allowing insurance to be sold across state lines and allowing employees to retain their health coverage when they leave their jobs. Medical liability reform and allowing small businesses to pool their resources to provide health insurance to their employees are also key elements of future health reform that would come at a minimal cost to the government. As the Supreme Court continues to deliberate the fate of Obamacare, I will continue to work in Congress to defund and repeal this government intrusion into Americans' health care choices and promote free-market solutions that will bring down health care costs and ensure that personal health decisions remain in the hands of doctors and patients.