When Bill Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001, he and First Lady Hillary Clinton spent a great deal of effort to push a national socialist healthcare system. It was part of the liberal agenda to force American’s into accepting a socialist government.
When Barack Obama began his campaign for the White House in 2008, he promised a national healthcare system, much like the socialist one that Hillary Clinton proposed during her husband’s tenure in the White House.
In July, 2009, the Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi introduced House Resolution (HR) 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, more affectionately known as Obamacare. However, some claim that the original bill that became HR 3962 actually originated in the Senate and not the House. The Origination Clause in the United States Constitution requires all bills resulting in new taxes or revenue must originate in the House, not the Senate. The Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Affordable Care Act, claiming it violated the Origination Clause. This became an issue when the Supreme Court, including Chief Justice John Roberts, voted to declare the penalty for not being insured to be a tax instead of a penalty of fine.
Since the enactment of Obamacare, the general public have learned of many hidden and dangerous aspects contained in the over 2,000 pages of the Affordable Care Act. The question before President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican controlled Congress is what to do with the Affordable Care Act. Do they repeal it and draft a replacement or do they just fix many of the problems contained there in?
Is it fixable?
To determine if Obamacare is fixable, one first has to identify the problems that need fixing. Here is a short list of some of the issues I see with Obamacare that could be fixed by Congress if they had the guts to fix them.
1- Congress could repeal the individual mandate and penalty tax associated with it. Millions of Americans feel compelled to pay for healthcare insurance that they cannot afford to pay, just to avoid being penalized by the IRS for not being insured. When my wife and I looked into purchasing healthcare insurance, the cheapest plan we could find would cost us $816 a month. That cheap bronze plan carried a $4,000 deductible and then would only pay 60% of ‘covered’ medical expenses, and we all know what ‘covered’ expenses means. There is no way we could afford to pay over $800 a month along with another $4,000 in deductible and then pay another $4,000 worth of $10,000 in medical expenses. I don’t know of many other families that could afford it either.
2- Congress could repeal the contraceptive mandate that requires all employers to pay for contraceptive healthcare coverage for all of their employees, regardless of the religious beliefs of the employer. Some methods of contraception, including the day-after pill are forms of chemical abortion which cause the death and expulsion of a fertilized egg also known as a developing human being. Many Christian employers believe that these and other forms of contraception are against their Christian faith and it’s a violation of the First Amendment right of freedom of religion.
3- Repeal the employer mandate. Obamacare requires every employer of 50 or more employees, to provide healthcare benefits for their employees. Many small and medium sized businesses cannot afford to pay for healthcare benefits to all of their full-time employees and still survive with their narrow profit margins. Many employers reduced the hours of their employees to less than 30 hours a week to avoid having to provide healthcare benefits. That’s a 25% cut in pay and very few Americans that I know of can afford to take a 25% cut in pay and still provide for their families. Other businesses laid of some workers to either get below the 50 employee mark or counter the cost of providing benefits to the remaining employees. Some smaller businesses simply closed their doors and went out of business and laying off all of their employees.
4- Stop penalizing employers for trying to help pay for their employees healthcare benefits. Some employers who can afford to help their workers with the cost of healthcare, are limited under Obamacare as to the amount of help they can offer. Effective July 1, 2015, Obamacare began punishing businesses who reimbursed their employees for their healthcare costs. The penalties for these companies could be hundreds of dollars per day for as long as the employer reimburses their employees for their healthcare costs.
5- Repeal the limit imposed on health savings or flexible spending accounts. Architects of America’s national socialized healthcare system inserted a provision in the thousands of pages of the Affordable Care Act referred by many as the Cadillac tax. Starting in 2018, the Cadillac tax takes effect. In reality, it’s an excise tax aimed at employers who provide healthcare plans costing $10,200 or more for an individual or $27,500 for a family plan. All costs above those limits will be subject to a 40% excise tax paid for by the employer. Many of you will think that this won’t affect you, but think again. You may only be paying $3,000 to $5,000 a year for your medical coverage but chances are your employer is paying a lot more on your behalf. One analyst thinks that the Cadillac tax will affect one out of every four employers in the nation. So how will this affect your FSA or HSA? The amount of pre-taxed income that goes into one of these accounts is considered part of the employer expense for your health plan. Consequently, many employers will look for ways to cut their healthcare expenses and one of the ways they can do this is eliminate employee FSA and HSA programs.
6- Repeal the many taxes hidden inside the huge tome of the Affordable Care Act. In addition to the penalty tax payable to the IRS for anyone not paying for healthcare coverage, there were about 20 hidden taxes contained in the Affordable Care Act. The hidden taxes in Obamacare are on medical equipment, income, etc., that could easily add up to over $2,000 in additional taxes for many Americans. If it only affected 20% of Americans, that would still generate another $125.6 billion of tax revenue. These estimates are way on the conservative side and the real tax revenue generated by Obamacare will most likely be much higher.
If Obamacare is fixable, all six of these items would have to be repealed or changed. Even then, I’m not sure the rest of Obamacare is fixable, but if it is, those fixes must start here and then continue.