01.19.2011 0

ObamaCare’s Lies

Repeal ObamaCare

By Bill Wilson

The government estimates that 32 million people will participate in a mandatory program that over 90 million will be eligible for. That program is ObamaCare, and when it’s fully implemented, it will cost over $2 trillion.

Medicaid enrollment and participation in the insurance exchanges is a key question to calculating the total cost of expanding taxpayer-funded health care under ObamaCare. If one assumes lower participation, the costs behave accordingly. For example, the Congressional Budget Office only calculated $780 billion of costs associated with expanding coverage under the bill.

ObamaCare supporter Kaiser Family Foundation assumes a 57 percent participation rate in Medicaid, and accordingly it calculates its $464.6 billion estimate of expanding that program.

But with the individual mandate requiring everyone to carry health insurance of some sort, enrollment will most likely be higher than the government is estimating. Put simply, a 34 percent participation rate for a mandatory government program is simply unbelievable. Medicare enjoys a 96 percent participation rate, after all.

Particularly, one must consider that health care providers, with the individual mandate, will have a tremendous incentive to sign up patients for whatever government-funded insurance they are eligible for. They want to get paid, after all.

Under current law, patients must be administered to whether or not they have insurance. But under the individual mandate, now providers will have a means of guaranteeing payment — from taxpayers.

The bill included a massive expansion of the Medicaid program up to 133 percent of the poverty level. That means 23.8 million potential new enrollees. Then, insurance subsidies are provided up to 400 percent of the poverty level for those aged 25-65, or another 63.6 million covered at some level. That means there are about 91.5 million people eligible for ObamaCare.

If the individual mandate results in near-universal participation in Medicaid and for the insurance subsidies, the costs of ObamaCare will double and then triple upon full implementation.

If one assumes a cost of $4,950 to taxpayers per new Medicaid enrollee — that’s what it is now — and a $1,500 cost per insurance subsidy recipient, the costs of full implementation rise to $2.13 trillion over ten years. But, even if ObamaCare only covered 32 million more people, with a $1.3 trillion annual budget deficit already, the cost of expanding tax-funded health coverage would still prove to be insurmountable.

Consider this: 60 million people already enrolled in Medicaid, and another 46 million receive Medicare. Once the 32 million new government dependents are factored in, that’s 138 million people, nearly half the population, receiving taxpayer-financed health care by the government’s own estimates.

But if everyone who is eligible participates in ObamaCare, that number jumps to 197.5 million Americans that are forced to utilize government-run health care. That’s two-thirds the entire population.

That’s bad, because the government cannot afford to provide health care for everyone. Already, the average annual cost per individual in Medicaid is currently $4,950, while for Medicare it is $10,670. Those two programs already eat up $788 billion of the budget every year. By 2020, that number will jump to $1.44 trillion.

Even if ObamaCare is repealed, the government is still set to spend trillions of dollars on taxpayer-financed health care. Without it, government-subsidized health care will still cost over $11 trillion over the next ten years through 2020, and likely over $20 trillion the decade after that.

With ObamaCare, nobody believes the federal budget can afford another $200 billion annual entitlement atop the $788 billion annually we’re already spending on health care.

It’s just one of the many reasons that a recent poll by Rasmussen Reports showed a full 55 percent of voters want ObamaCare repealed, with only 40 percent opposed.

The American people are smart enough to realize that health care cannot be expanded to millions without costing anything. 60 percent said it will increase the deficit, while only 17 percent believe the government propaganda that it won’t.

One would assume a similar result if Americans were asked if they believe that only 32 million people will participate in a mandatory program that over 90 million people are eligible for. That’s because the government lacks credibility on all matters fiscal. But more importantly, it’s because it lacks the consent of the governed.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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