Nothing to Celebrate: Two-Year Anniversary of 'Fundamentally Flawed' Health Care Law

Mar 23, 2012

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today regarding the two-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA):

Two years ago we were told the health care bill would have to be passed so we could find out what was in it. Two years is long enough to know that our worst predictions have come true.

The law was supposed to bring down costs, and instead it’s driving premiums higher and increasing costs for job creators. It was supposed to preserve health care coverage for patients, and instead it limits options and will result in many patients losing their employer-based plans.  It imposes mandates and penalties on businesses that will slow economic growth and job creation at a time we can ill afford it. And the price tag for the health care law continues to climb with some estimating it will be double the initially advertised cost—a whopping $2 trillion—when all is said and done.

The sad reality is that none of these outcomes are a surprise.

It is crystal clear that this law is fundamentally flawed. Congress must revisit health reform by pursuing a plan that will actually control costs and improve the quality and scope of coverage.

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Scores of policymakers and pundits also expressed dissatisfaction with the law this week:

“The health law remains a tough sell for reasons that go beyond the drumbeat from Republicans for its repeal and questions about its constitutionality that will be debated next week at the Supreme Court. Several of the law's early pieces, designed to win public support, haven't worked as well in the real world as on paper and have irked even some of the Americans they were designed to help.” — The Wall Street Journal

"Two years after its passage, Americans have made their views on Obamacare perfectly clear. They don’t like it, they believe it’s unconstitutional, and they want it repealed." –Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in the National Journal

"The more we get to know what's in it…the more we think it's going to be the fiscal ruin of our country.” -- Gary Herbert, the Republican governor of Utah, one of the states challenging the law at the Supreme Court quoted in The Wall Street Journal.

“…nearly everything that Democrats believed about the politics of health care has turned out to be false. And the ramifications for those miscalculations have been huge. They have haunted Obama’s presidency, soured business as usual at the Capitol and upended the conventional wisdom peddled by political strategists, who have rarely been so wrong about something so big.” -- Politico op-ed

“As the implementation of this monstrosity proceeds, we see that the president’s promises to lower costs and allow Americans to keep the coverage they have were just talking points, designed to secure this unrealistic expansion of the federal government. The reality is that the president’s signature domestic achievement massively expands entitlement spending, contributes to an already unsustainable debt, raises taxes on millions of families and businesses and puts Washington between patients and their doctors.” —  Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Enzi in Politico

“…if the past is any indication of the future, voters should view election-year promises about ObamaCare lowering the cost of health care with a skeptical eye. – Daniel Kessler, professor of business and law at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution in The Wall Street Journal

“In a competitive environment, ObamaCare provides the incentive for employers to drop coverage.” — Sen. Ron Johnson in The Wall Street Journal

“After two years, the facts about the law speak for themselves. As Republican senators, we support real health care reform that puts patients first and preserves individual choice. As physicians, we know firsthand that we cannot go back to the system we had before. We believe that we can — and we must — fix what was not working in our health care system. However, an honest solution cannot be built on a failing law.” — Sens. John Barrasso and Tom Coburn  in Politico

“….if the law is upheld [by the Supreme Court], we face a long road ahead: for our health care system, their patients, our economy, our national debt, and the prospects for job creation.” — Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) in the Syracuse Journal Democrat

“The individual mandate and Medicaid expansions appear to many to be unconstitutional. They are certainly bad economic policy. When they go, the entire law must fall. The administration built an intricate, balanced policy on a flawed economic foundation. It is up to the Supreme Court to pull it down.” — Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, is president of the American Action Forum, and Vernon Smith, a professor of economics at Chapman University and the 2002 Nobel Laureate in Economics in The Wall Street Journal

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