Ben Carson: Spiraling Obamacare Costs Should Make Americans 'Extraordinarily Worried'

Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013 11:06 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Americans should be “extraordinarily worried” over the projected rising costs of healthcare under Obamacare, renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson said on Wednesday.

“This was something that was supposed to bring the cost of healthcare down — and, of course, it’s had exactly the opposite effect,” Carson, who is retiring this summer as director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, told Neil Cavuto on Fox News.

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“The average family that has private insurance has already seen about a $2,500 increase, and there’s no reason to expect that that’s not going to continue to go up.

“As the insurance companies are penalized, they’re simply going to pass on the costs to consumers,” Carson added. “We can look for a long upward spiraling of costs.”

Recent studies have shown that Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, may not be affordable for many low-wage workers, including those at large chain restaurants, retail stores, and hotels.

Because of a wrinkle in the law, companies can meet their legal obligations by offering policies that would be too expensive for many low-wage workers, The Associated Press reports.

The company can get off the hook, corporate consultants and policy experts told the AP, but the employee might still be required by federal law to get health insurance or else risk fines.

But many low-income workers are expected to remain uninsured because Obamacare bars employees who have an offer of “affordable” workplace coverage from receiving new tax credits for private insurance — and that could be a better deal for middle-class workers, the AP reports.

Carson told Cavuto that so many low-income workers plan to opt out of Obamacare when it takes full effect at the first of the year because it is being forced on them.

“People are not going to do it if they’re not forced to do it,” he said. “That was actually why Obamacare came along, because they felt that you needed to force people to do things because they would not do it on their own.

“To a degree, that’s true, but that’s also a part of a free-enterprise system,” he added. “Perhaps, making it attractive to people — rather than bludgeoning them into it — might be the better way to do it.”

But, moreover, Carson said: “The real problem here is that you’re taking a massive program and thrusting it without tests onto an unsuspecting populace.

“The smart thing to do is to take it piecemeal, bit by bit, and make sure this part is working, and then do the next part — and make sure it’s working — and the next part. That’s the way intelligent people do things.

“To take something with many parts that, historically, have not worked very well, amalgamate them all together — and then say, ‘Now, this is going to be super and everything’s going to work perfectly,’ really doesn’t make any sense.”

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