2013: The Year of the Liar

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How is a cat like the Affordable Care Act?

Well, to begin with, a cat has nine lives and may bite you when you off are guard. Since the ACA was passed, the patient has increasingly felt bites and wounds from the teeth and claws of the ACA.

Last year, the healthcare reform law crashed into a scenario of broken promises. Assertions, made by the President and the Health Secretary, have proven to be misleading at best and completely false at worst.

It would turn a presidency based on vows of hope and change to one doling out disappointment and failures. In 2014 the ACA (the cat) will take huge chunks from your healthcare and pocket book. For many patients their lives will be changed in ways they never dreamed or imagined.

Here are the top 10 Obama care promises that were broken in 2013. These have been reported by many newspapers, magazines and news shows, but a review may be helpful to both you and me for survival.

These top ten lies cited below are edited and condensed from a press release by The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

1. “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

Obama’s June 6, 2009 assertion was wrong. As insurers sent cancellations to millions of individual policyholders because their plans were sub-par for Obamacare standards, the president’s oft-repeated pledge blew apart, and Politifact declared the vow the “lie of the year.”

2. The website is simple and user-friendly.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius’s claim in an op-ed piece in USA Today turned out to be a false boast. Just days into its disastrous rollout, the Obamacare website was out of order until mid-morning Oct. 8, a public relations headache given the administration had pledged to sign up seven million people for Obamacare insurance by the start of 2014. The website is still in a funk after many “fixes.”

3. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

In 2013 we learned that Obama’s 2009 promise was wrong again. For insured Americans dumped by their employer-sponsored plans because they don’t cut it with the new health care law, or pushed by their insurers to re-enroll at higher rates, it’s likely they won’t be able to keep their doctors.

4. Premiums will fall by as much as $2,500 per family.

Forbes magazine, comparing affordable care act premiums versus pre-Obamacare premiums, finds this presidential assertion a dud. According to Forbes, and based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will actually raise underlying insurance rates for young men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for young women by an average of 55 to 62 percent.

5. Obamacare won’t add one dime to our deficits.

But it does. Even the government accountability office’s report of Feb. 26, 2013, projected Obamacare will increase the long-term federal deficit by $6.2 trillion. An investor’s business daily analysis also shot down the Obama promise, reporting the affordable care act could actually add $18 billion in red ink.

6. The ACA will cost around $900 billion over 10 years.

A congressional budget office’s report from May 2013 puts the real price tag more around the area of $1.8 trillion.

7. Families making less than $250,000 won’t see any form of tax increase.

Obamacare contains 18 separate tax hikes, fees, and penalties, many of which heavily impact the middle class, the Heritage Foundation maintains. Obamacare’s taxes and penalties will accumulate over $770 billion in new revenue over a 10-year period, and among taxes that’ll pound the middle class are the individual mandate tax, the medical device tax, new penalties and limits on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts.

8. The ACA will keep healthcare costs down.

So says the President’s council of economic advisers. But it’s just not so, according to senior fellow at the ethics and public policy center and American Enterprise Institute visiting fellow James Captretta writes in the weekly standard. National health expenditure projections show a slowdown in health spending long before Obamacare was passed, and was due to factors entirely unrelated, he argues.

9. You have a deadline and a mandate.

Maybe. Squishy deadlines, and “fixes” have been a hallmark of Obamacare almost from the start.

10. The national exchange is glitchy, but the state sites are working great.

Obamacare’s state-run enrollment operations have had technological delays and low sign-up levels. Several states even replaced top executives.

If last year was the “Year of the Liar,” what will 2014 bring? This year the ACA will take bigger bites out of your wallet. Maybe 2014 will be the “Year of the Cat.”

Dr. Michael Arnold Glueck of Newport Beach writes extensively on medical-legal issues.

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