Human Events Blog

How ObamaCare busts the budget

One of the many things Barack Obama really needs you to forget about, in order to facilitate his re-election, is the promise that ObamaCare would be deficit-neutral.  In fact, at one point, the con artists who pushed it on the American public were claiming it would reduce the deficit.  That sounds hilariously funny now, but they pushed that notion heavily, back in the day.

We now know ObamaCare will pile over a trillion dollars onto the national debt over the next few years, with much more to come.  The Heritage Foundation took a look at the three biggest budget-busters in ObamaCare, and found $700 billion in costs beyond Obama’s promises, without breaking a sweat.  They come from Medicaid expansion, a surge of uninsured Americans pouring into the “public exchanges,” and the collapse of the CLASS Act illusion – an outright fraud designed to make ObamaCare look cheaper by collecting big money up front, for services to be rendered later.

But wait, that’s not all!  We’ve also got over $33 billion in expanded state obligations coming at us, and if a large number of businesses choose to escape ObamaCare by canceling coverage and dumping their employees into the public exchanges, we could see another trillion dollars in “unanticipated costs.”  And, of course, let’s not forget the $500 billion in double-counted “Medicare savings.”

I doubt the full scale of ObamaCare’s failure was included in the President’s 2013 budget proposal, which already projected trillion-dollar deficits throughout a hypothetical second Obama term.  With the extra fiscal damage from ObamaCare factored in, we would surely hit a $20 trillion national debt long before the end of that second term.  In fact, since a lot of the fiscal bombs in ObamaCare start detonating in 2014, we’ll probably get there exactly halfway through that second term.

All three of the big-bucks items in the Heritage analysis were predictable.  ObamaCare’s salesmen deliberately under-estimated the size of the Medicaid expansion, and the number of people who would end up in the public exchanges.  Everyone in Washington knew the CLASS Act was an utter fraud from day 1.

If the President and his allies had told the truth about ObamaCare in 2009, an already unpopular law would have become even more difficult to push through Congress.  The public has never liked ObamaCare, but knowing the truth about its cost – and contemplating a fair assessment of its even higher probable costs – would have hardened resistance into outrage.  Trillion-dollar deficits had far fewer defenders in 2009.

This disaster was pushed on America with deliberate, pre-meditated fraud, and now we’re stuck with it.  A private health-care plan that turned out to be such an obvious sham would be destroyed in a blizzard of lawsuits, and its architects would probably end up in jail.  Instead, we’ll spend the next couple of years fighting the greatest political and legal battles of our lifetimes, just to have a chance of repealing ObamaCare… and if we don’t get rid of it immediately, it is highly likely that we never will.

Let the American voter understand that movement away from freedom, toward statism, is a one-way journey.  The path toward freedom involves no such pressure – if we had tried free-market solutions to health care in 2009, and they ended up being a disaster on the scale of ObamaCare, we would easily be able to harness public distaste to get government solutions passed now.  We are never more than one election away from a new government program.

Before we take steps that cannot easily be retraced, we should be very certain that we aren’t being goaded forward by false pretenses.

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