The Obama Administration declared recently that the Affordable Healthcare Act’s individual mandate will be delayed until 2015 amid concerns from the private sector. Senior Adviser and Assistant to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, said that the delay is due to “listening to businesses about the healthcare law.”
It’s a constant reminder that Obamacare is more about politics than the moral imperative to provide healthcare to the uninsured. It’s about political strategy.
Then again, that moral imperative was never there. Obama gave the crafting power to a huge array of groups ranging from big PhRMA, which had the goal of creating larger profits, to the omnipotent and reactionary American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which refused to consider any kind of reform that targeted Medicare. Obama submitted himself to the will of interest groups instead of serving the public good through a wholesome approach.
At the end of the day, both of these powerful key players and big lobbyists, along with many other interest groups, shaped a confusing and ineffective piece of legislation. The law is so distant from the general public that 42 percent of Americans are “unaware” that Obamacare actually is law. It’s troubling that a huge portion of the public is oblivious to the new regulations in the healthcare industry.
Then again, in the public’s defense, they don’t know much about the law because very few things have changed. Very few things have changed for the better. Their economic situation is not getting any better under Obamacare.
Obamacare has yet to show Americans that their premiums will go down and that low income families will have a better opportunity to afford an insurance policy. According to The Wall Street Journal, some Americans may see their premiums doubling or tripling.
Even though there are popular aspects of the law, such as eliminating pre-existing conditions or allowing older children to remain on their parents’ healthcare policy, this law is turning bad again and the administration knows it. The fact that they are delaying the individual mandate, or “tax” as the Supreme Court declared it to be, reveals some grave concerns about the implementation of the law.
Even liberal columnist Ezra Klein from The Washington Post said that the Obama Administration should get rid of the mandate altogether. He titled a recent column, “Obamacare’s employer mandate shouldn’t be delayed. It should be repealed.” Please, just do it already and reform the law. Obamacare as it stands will do much more harm than good.
The law was wrong from the get-go. The mandate was manufactured to help drug companies rake in millions in profits. Obviously, if a product is mandated via a significant tax, then that guarantees a profit. Drug companies are expected to make a $35 billion profit over the next decade as a result of the punitive tax. A company that has more than 50 workers needs to provide a healthcare policy, or else it will need to comply with the IRS and pay a $2,000 tax for each uninsured employee. CNN reports that those taxes could cost a company about $40,000 a year.
This is nothing to scoff at. Ms. Jarrett and her boss are correct that this law will place additional strain on the private sector. They need to be careful, since the economic recovery is dismal. The unemployment rate keeps dropping largely because more and more Americans stopped looking for work, thus becoming exempt from the statistic itself.
I’m impressed that Obama is finally listening to businesses. It’s refreshing, in fact. Maybe we’ll see a more business-friendly presidency. Imagine an administration that taxes less and spends less money on government programs instead of truncating the engines of the free market, or an administration that understands that more burdensome regulations stifle the innovation needed from businesses to turn this country back into a producing nation rather than a consumerist animal.
That’s the main crux of this news story. The White House understands the fact that implementing Obamacare will hurt businesses and prevent them from hiring more people and developing stronger companies. If they have truly realized this, then why enforce this law at all?