Now that the Affordable Care Act has been the law of the land for five years it seems reasonable for there to be an honest review to determine just how much of a nightmare Obamacare has really turned out to be. Over the debate to pass Obamacare as well as the first few years that it was law there have been a number of leading voices that have made very strong predictions on just how bad the new law would be for the country.
Here is a sampling of Obamacare Predictions:
November 19, 2009 – Glenn Beck:
“This is the end of prosperity in America forever, if this passes. This is the end of America as you know it.”
Beck also predicted health care reform was designed to grant Obama “the pieces the president needs to control every aspect of your life,” including control over whether and when people can have children.
March 2010 – Jim Cramer CNBC:
Predicted Obamacare would topple the stock market, claiming that the healthcare law was the “single biggest impediment to the stock market going higher.” (Notably, the stock market reached all-time highs in March 2015.)
October 12, 2010 – Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK):
‘There will be no insurance industry left in three years.’
January 6, 2011 – Speaker John Boehner (R-OH):
Obamacare “will bankrupt our nation, and it will ruin our economy.”
October 8, 2013 – Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA):
“It’s going to destroy our economy…It’s going to push us into a total economic collapse”
February 6, 2014 – Rush Limbaugh:
Obamacare would cost the economy ‘2.5 million jobs minimum’ and would be a ‘literal tragedy’
After doing some pretty time consuming searches we have not been able to find the instances in which the people that made these predictions ever came back to correct the record. A person might believe that to continue being a leading prognosticator on the national stage you would have to maintain a level of credibility by making corrections when you were proven wrong. That person, it seems, would be wrong.
Could it be that there were no corrections by people such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or these other leaders because they were proven correct?
Lets take a look at some of the results to see if corrections might be in order.
Actual Results From Obamacare So Far:
Here is a chart from a recent Gallup poll asking people if they have insurance:
Sure so what if fewer people say they don’t having insurance? These people must be part of Romney’s 47% that are the takers! We know from past elections that polls often need to be unskewed. What might be some real facts, and not just Americans answering survey questions?
Additional Key Performance Indicators relating to health care in the US:
- More than 11 million people signed up or renewed for health insurance on the state and federal exchanges in 2015
- When congressional Republicans predicted that private insurers would never work with “Obamacare,” and as Senator Coburn predicted that there would be no insurance industry anymore, and that the lack of participation would be a disaster for consumers, the GOP lawmakers had it backwards. There are more insurers participating in 2015 than there were in 2014!
- A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation reports: that in seven cities that have released data on 2015 health premiums, that the price of the benchmark Obamacare plan is falling.
- Medicare’s per-enrollee spending is actually going down – the reductions in projected Medicare spending for 2019 are, at this point, “greater than [what] the government is expected to spend that year on unemployment insurance, welfare and Amtrak — combined (source)
- Obamacare has not destroyed the economy. In addition to robust job growth, the deficit in 2014 plunged to its lowest level in 6 years. The deficit as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 2.8 percent, which is below the 40-year average
- At the time many Obamacare predictions were made the unemployment rate was at 10 percent. Today, the unemployment rate is under 5.5 percent
Everything it seems that the GOP and their commentators predicted about the Affordable Care Act turned out to be wrong. And yet, confronted with evidence of the system’s success, Republicans are still predicting failure.
Perhaps the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) does not suck nearly as much as it might have seemed it was going to?