Opinion: Obamacare: Going nowhere but down


Jennifer Hutchinson

Jennifer Hutchinson

March 23rd marked the fifth anniversary of Obamacare. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade columnist, Jack Kelly, wrote an excellent piece detailing how even after five years Obamacare is still failing. He also posed the question, if the plan is doing so poorly, why are Democrats still supporting it? Kelly presents a valid and enlightening question. In addition to his inquiry, I would like to also ask why young voters aren’t more concerned about this continuing failure of a law.

Most of us are aware of President Barack Obama’s desperation to hold on to his signature law that has helped shape his “legacy.” However, other than saving face, why are Democrats still supporting a plan that simply isn’t working?

So far, anything the president has promised about Obamacare has been proven to be blatantly untrue. For starters, Obama assured us, the American people, that if we liked our doctor, we could keep our doctor. However, tens of thousands of citizens — especially those enrolled in Medicare Advantage — have learned otherwise. In addition, in a survey conducted by medical HR firm Jackson & Coker, only 32 percent of 3,072 doctors said they would join the Obamacare network, according to Kelly’s article.

Oh, and does this sound familiar? Obama also stated, if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your plan. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of plans have already been canceled, with the Congressional Budget Office estimating we could eventually see 20 million plans cancelled.

Also, let’s not forget that after promising that Obamacare would lower premiums and not add any extra cost to the deficit, the plan has in fact caused non-group marketplace premiums to be 24.4 percent higher than they would have been in the absence of Obamacare, and the plan is set to raise net federal costs by 1.35 trillion dollars over the next decade according to the Congressional Budget Office, Kelly wrote.

The whole point of the plan is to help people by making sure everyone can have access to affordable healthcare. However, it seems ineffective to have fines in place for those who do not have healthcare insurance, meanwhile many people would rather pay the fines as opposed to overpriced healthcare plans.

Obamacare also devastating employment isn’t helpful to anyone either. According to Federal Reserves Banks in New York and Philadelphia, when oft-delayed employer mandates take effect, thousands more will lose their jobs.

Speaking of the job market, Obama also said that his plan would create more competition among companies. In reality, however, during the year before Obamacare went into effect, there were 1,232 carriers offering insurance. That number has now dropped to 310, as reported by the Government Accountability Office.

I understand Obamacare can be a complicated topic to tackle, and therefore, many people of our age just avoid the conversation all together. Especially when now, for a lot of us, we’re still on mom and dad’s health insurance plan. However, it is important for each one us to understand this issue and recognize that it is not only ineffective, but harmful toward us. Because soon enough, we’ll be the ones directly facing the rising premiums, the fines and the job losses. So keep this question in mind, why support a proven failure?

Jennifer Hutchinson is a sophomore political science major. Contact Jennifer Hutchinson at [email protected].