Policy Watchdog Unravels 'Eight Myths of Obamacare'

Friday, 30 May 2014 05:36 PM

By Sean Piccoli

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Eight key planks of the Affordable Care Act touted by the law's supporters either don't stand up to scrutiny or look increasingly shaky as the national healthcare overhaul takes effect, says the author of a new survey, "Eight Myths of Obamacare."

John R. Graham, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, discussed his conclusions on Newsmax TV on Friday, taking the eight "myths" one at a time to demonstrate holes in Obamacare's coverage promises and problems that Graham said lie ahead for both healthcare consumers and providers.

Graham, appearing on "America's Forum," touched on two of the core Obamacare guarantees already contradicted by the experiences of many actual enrollees: "If you like your plan you can keep it;" and "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

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But he focused primarily on other positives claimed by the law's supporters in his remarks to hosts J.D. Hayworth, John Bachman, and Megan Thompson — beginning with a small-business healthcare exchange that is supposed to come online in November.

In the meantime, some state-level health insurance marketplaces for small businesses, called SHOPs, are accepting enrollees. But Graham predicted that because of costs Obamacare will impose on smaller firms, 2014 will be a tough year.

"People in small businesses, especially, are going to start seeing their plans get canceled and their businesses having to make serious adjustments to their coverage," he said.

Likewise, said Graham, the mandate that employers offer "affordable" coverage is prompting some to convert full-time employees into part-timers who, in turn, have to fend for themselves on the healthcare exchanges.

Graham also pointed to a prediction by analysts at Standard & Poor's that employer-based healthcare could essentially be gone by 2020.

Another claim, that Obamacare will lower health care costs for families, is also starting to dissolve on contact with reality, according to Graham.

"People and businesses have already seen that that's a myth and a misrepresentation," he said, citing new excise taxes on various pieces of healthcare as "costs that are not directly seen in the premiums, but they're hurting people."

Meanwhile, two months after the close of the first Obamacare enrollment period, the so-called individual mandate — that everyone carry insurance — is being tested by people willing to do without and just pay a fine.

"Healthy young people are avoiding it," he said.

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