Examiner Editorial: Prescription on Obamacare - Don’t get sick 

Economic experts from President Barack Obama’s own Health and Human Services Department have released a devastating report noting that Obamacare “will increase national health care spending by $311 billion from 2010-2019,” according to The Associated Press. Even worse, “Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15 percent of hospitals into the red and ‘possibly jeopardizing access’ to care for seniors.”

In other words, to recall a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, Congress had to pass the bill before we could begin discovering what’s in it. And what we are finding is frequently the opposite of what Obama, Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic advocates told us.

For instance, Obamacare does not require insurers to cover children with expensive pre-existing medical conditions. The White House instead merely extracted a promise from insurers that they would “do the right thing.” And state governments are no longer required just to guarantee payment for indigent patients’ care under Medicaid. Under Obamacare, they also must guarantee treatment for the poor, whatever the extra cost might be. And thanks to the “Cornhusker Kickback” — the special Nebraska provision that was extended to every state in the final version of the bill — taxpayers now have to pay for 90 percent of such costs.

You will want to avoid getting sick if at all possible once Obamacare is fully in effect because you’ll no longer be able to deduct a big portion of major medical expenses from your taxes. Before Obamacare, if your expenses equaled or exceeded 7.5 percent of your income, they were deductible. But under Obamacare, the threshold will be increased to 10 percent in 2013 for younger taxpayers and in 2017 for older ones. As The Hill reported, that’s the equivalent of a tax hike of $15.2 billion assessed on 15 million very-sick people, 99 percent of whom make less than $200,000 per year.

How did it come to this? Simple. The president’s hyperpartisan dismissal of criticism has led to the passage of a bad law. Republicans such as Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan drew attention to the egregious errors in the bill, only to be labeled obstructionists.

This is not the first time we’ve seen this. When Obama pushed the stimulus, he promised it would prevent unemployment from passing 8 percent. A year later, it stands at 9.7 percent.

It’s time for the president and his Democratic allies in Congress to level with the American people and deliver on their promises.

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