As the Conservative philosopher Edmund Burke once remarked, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” As our economy braces for the third anniversary of Obamacare later this month, we are running out of time to prevent its full implementation. If this Big Government overreach is to be stopped, Republican leaders in Congress have a small window to repeal it. The clock is ticking, and they must act now.
This week, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin announced his plan to balance the federal budget in ten years, which requires the elimination of Obamacare. Ryan has taken the important additional step of endorsing federal block grants for Medicaid users, instead of growing the program through Obamacare, which gives more flexibility in providing services to the poor while saving taxpayers an estimated $770 billion. This budget blueprint must be put into action during this year’s appropriations process.
Obamacare has caused massive uncertainty and keeps our economy a mess by killing jobs. Mom-and-pop stores and service industry food chains have been forced to limit the number of hours employees work to avoid new regulations while dropping existing coverage entirely. After exchanges are set up, employers will be incentivized to drop coverage to make their employees eligible for new subsidies while turning over their healthcare decisions to the federal government. This can only lead to poorer service, rationing, and ultimately, socialized medicine.
This is already having an impact on hamburger chain Five Guys, where North Carolina franchise holder Mike Ruffer is facing such heavy costs from Obamacare, he is looking at just how many employees he should fire and hours to cut back at his 8 stores to minimize the new law’s overwhelming burdens.
Ruffer will not receive the same treatment as politically connected CEOs, such as Sally Jewell, Obama’s nominee to run the Interior Department. While in charge of REI, a chain of outdoor apparel products, the corporation was praised by the White House in 2009 for offering healthcare services. However, after the law was passed, REI received a waiver for the health care law. REI could not handle Obamacare, and through political favors was allowed an unfair advantage against competitors. Obamacare encourages the worst forms of cronyism and corruption.
Insurance companies, like any business, have already been forced to react to expensive regulations and an unsteady marketplace by passing along costs to consumers. According to a new study from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the average family health insurance premium has grown by $3,000, with premiums expected to double when the law is implemented next year, on top of unsustainable federal subsidies. In addition, business owners will have to hire teams of accountants and compliance consultants in hopes of avoiding major penalties.
This year might very well be our last opportunity to get rid of Obamacare and to implement cost-cutting, free-market reforms along with consumer-focused health policies. The Republican leadership in Congress must show courage to stop this job-killing nightmare of a law before time runs out. Conservative Americans are demanding action.