A majority of Americans are now opposed to Obamacare (which has the euphemistic title of the "Affordable Care Act"), even those who supported it earlier. Once the program began, sticker shock set in.
Long before any of us heard of Obamacare, P.J. O'Rourke famously said: If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it's free.
Particularly painful to watch is a recent video of the candid reactions of employees of a small business in Pennsylvania. A TV crew captured the initial response a handful of workers had to finding out what Obamacare meant to them personally.
For most of them, the monthly premium increased dramatically. So did the deductible. How can people afford this thing? Many full-time employees are becoming part-time because of the law.
Jackie Bodnar writes, "The 'cheapest' insurance policy option on Healthcare.gov for a single 26-year-old making $35,000 annually is $1,863."
Bodnar is the Director of Communications for Freedomworks. She notes that it is Millennials (of which she is one, as a 26-year old) tapped to pay for it: "At the most basic level, ObamaCare is a cross-generational wealth transfer designed to coerce young Americans into subsidizing those older and richer, all in the name of 'spreading the pain around.'"
Another hidden problem is the deductible rates, which have also increased under Obamacare. I've heard of many middle class Americans facing deductibles of about $6,000 a year.
Of course, the president sold the plan on a promise repeated so often that maybe he even believed it: "If you like your insurance plan, you can keep your plan." And "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."
We all know now that these were blatantly untrue. Was this a big lie or just a pronoun mix-up?
In effect, Obamacare says, "If WE like your insurance plan, you can keep your plan." And "If WE like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." In other words, it's the government that decides what is approved and what is not, who is eligible and who is not.
Of course, that's not what he said. Yet in effect, isn't that what he meant? If we the government approve, then you can have it. But if we don't, forget it.
Obamacare is simply another manifestation of the nanny state. The government knows better than you do how to take care of you---including your health care.
In an incredible understatement, one of the president's former speech writers said that the "keep your health care plan" statement "didn't turn out to be as accurate as the administration planned."
The writer, Jon Lovett, spoke at a function in Washington, DC, and said that they intended well, even if the results didn't work out that way: "…it was never, ever something that was viewed as not being true but something that should be said anyway. It was viewed as something that largely described the underlying structure of this bill and that is absolutely true."
The problem with Obamacare isn't just the pronouns or the website. It's the premise. Where is it written that the government is responsible for our health care? Certainly not in the Constitution.
Certainly not in the Bible---although it is a historical fact that Christianity (without government help) gave birth to the phenomenon of the hospital, and that missionaries have provided health care virtually all over the world to those who never had it before. Even to this day, despite our society's secularization, many hospitals retain their names pointing to their Christian origins.
In Obamacare, as a nation, we are reaping what we have sown. Too many of us wanted something "free" (although that was by the sweat of our neighbor's brow) that we were willing to be duped. Government freebies don't grow on trees---they are plundered from other Americans.
Hopefully, the fiasco that is Obamacare will help us rethink our relationship with our government. Former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, now the president of the Heritage Foundation think tank, once told me in a television interview: "We have to repeal Obamacare. It is going to destroy health care in America, and it's going to bankrupt our country."
He also said, "It's another government-centric approach that believes that government can make decisions about things that are very personal in our lives of the patient/doctor relationship or how we care for the medical needs of our family."
Mr. DeMint added, "But the federal government cannot run our health care system. We've seen that with Medicaid, that has created more unhealthy people by the way it is set up. Instead of encouraging people to take better care of themselves and to learn more about health insurance and how to be personally responsible for yourself."
Is Obamacare really about making health care more affordable and more accessible to more Americans? If so, how come one of the law's provisions in the 2,600 or so page act included hiring 16,000 more IRS workers to implement the law?
As the reality of Obamacare continues to shock more and more Americans, I am reminded of Ronald Reagan's classic line: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"