The House Republican budget plan assumes the repeal of Obamacare, and while the political votes may be hard to find, a leading health-care expert told WND the flaws of the system will likely lead to its implosion in the near term.
Grace-Marie Turner is president of the Galen Institute and one of the leading policy-based critics of Obamacare.
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She said House Republicans are right to keep pushing for the repeal of Obamacare because of the myriad ways it afflicts the nation's fiscal health.
"When you look at the overall impact of this law on the economy, we know that it's hugely important in depressing job creation," she said. "It's forcing companies to put people on part-time when they need full-time workers. The incredible number of new taxes, a trillion dollars in new taxes in this law just in its own right. It is one of the major factors that is depressing economic growth. When you have economic growth depressed, you don't have the tax revenue that you need."
Turner applauded House Republicans for pushing the case for repeal and Senate Republicans for trying to defund Obamacare in the upcoming continuing resolution, even though the effort fell short. Any repeal effort that survived Congress would face a sure veto from President Obama, but Turner said the American people are determined to defeat Obamacare, including a decent percentage of voters who backed Obama for other reasons.
"Somehow or another this is going to shake out," she said. "All of the predictable routes to getting rid of Obamacare seem to have been closed, except the American people don't like this law. Some of them hate it. They're going to figure out a way to not lose our freedom, to have it not ruin our economy."
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Turner is still optimistic that state rejection of Obamacare will help bring about its demise. She noted that only 17 states have agreed to the exchanges, and some state legislatures may overrule their own governors on expansion of Medicaid. Turner also noted that even liberal states like California and Connecticut are pleading with the federal government to stop the stream of new regulations that may well prevent exchanges from opening on time in those states.
The bureaucracy is not only impacting state governments, but individuals as well. Americans used to a couple of pages worth of paperwork to enroll in a health plan are now forced to fill out dozens of pages to comply with the government requirements to join the exchanges. Turner said the amount of federal prying could turn off many people from the program.
"The law is very specific about what information the government has to have to find out whether or not you're eligible for the subsidies in these exchanges," she explained. "They have to know your income, your family size, where you work, the tax identification number of your employer, the technical name of the plan that your employer offers that would qualify as a qualifying Obamacare health plan. People need help with this. California alone believes it needs 20,000 people just to help people fill out the form. The one I've seen is 21 pages. It looks like a tax form."
"I think that's one of the reasons that people say, 'I'm not doing this. They have to sell me insurance if I get sick at the same price as if I'd been having health insurance all along. I'm just going to pay the fine too.' We're seeing employers saying, 'We're going to pay the fine, not comply.'
"I think the next wave is individuals doing the same thing, both because they see the high cost of the coverage in these exchanges, which is going to be much more expensive than the coverage that they've had. Young people are going to be hit the hardest because they're forced to pay more so that older people can pay less. They're not going to comply with all this paperwork. They're just going to walk, and that means that these exchanges are just not going to work."