Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle

This week marked the infamous five year anniversary of Obamacare, the most detrimental piece of legislation enacted by the Obama Administration to this day.  It’s hard to believe that health care in the United States, once the envy of the world, has now been converted into an unfavorable and flawed system, affecting every household in the nation.

Obamacare, also known misleadingly as the Affordable Care Act, has not shown any compassion to the public or their healthcare needs.  Over the past five years, promises made by the Obama Administration have been false or broken.  Original costs were projected at $900 billion over a ten year span.  Since spending provisions didn’t kick in until 2014, costs were adjusted to around 1.7 trillion dollars over ten years, causing another hit to our seemingly permanent federal deficit.   God only knows how much this albatross will end up costing us in the long run.

We were promised that more Americans would receive lower healthcare premiums.  This too was a false promise.  Because of tighter regulations on insurance companies and policies, we’ve seen an average increase of up to 30% in out of pocket expenses.  The Society of Actuaries estimated that by spring of 2017 all premiums would be increased by 37%.  In 2014, the National Bureau of Economic Research demonstrated that all but six states had premium increases up to 85%.  This is especially upsetting considering that we are paying higher premiums while being coerced out of our preferred insurance program and providers due to large cuts in hopes of offsetting rising costs.

And let’s not forget the way Obamacare was passed, that left most of America speechless.  I was recently reminded of the famous quote from Nancy Pelosi, “We have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.”  This lack of transparency seems to be contagious among liberals.  Conceived behind closed doors, written in ridiculous length with impossible language, the administration forced a law on the public which 59% opposed during its passage.

As we continue into the 2016 presidential cycle, there is significant hope that Obamacare will be stopped either by the U.S. Supreme Court or by a newly elected Republican president of the United States.  The strong Republican majorities in Congress should be prepared to pass an innovative, free market based proposal that replaces Obamacare.

Many potential GOP presidential candidates have announced that one of their top priorities is to repeal and replace the law, one being Senator Ted Cruz during his announcement speech at the Liberty University.   It is imperative that the Republican presidential candidate is someone who will  follow through on this pledge if he or she is elected.   Not every candidate will want to deal with Obamacare in 2017, so be careful who you support!

Why is this so important?  In combination with the out of control growth of the federal government, the assault on our personal privacy with unwarranted access to healthcare records, and higher costs for plans we can’t afford and don’t want, a law of this dangerous scope leaves us one step closer to European socialism.  We need to return to the Founder’s original intent which makes us stand out as the most exceptional country in the world:  individual liberty, pro-growth economics, and limited government.  The American health care system needs to once again reflect these ideals.