By Daniel Garza
In 2008, the American people saw that while our healthcare system was among the best in the world, it needed reform that would help to curb rising costs, improve access and expand choice.
They entrusted President Obama with Democratic majorities in Congress to make the minor changes he had promised. And with their numbers in the House and Senate reduced, Republicans were powerless to stop them.
In a highly partisan and politicized process, the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) was passed over public opposition with even some Democrats voting against. And once it was sig- ned into law, the Administration had three years and billions of dollars to work on the highest-profile government project in decades.
Floridians are already seeing the damage the law is doing to our healthcare system. The average family of four will see pre- mium increases of nearly 25 percent, and the state as a whole will see individual rates rise by about 35 percent. Hundreds of thousands of state residents are losing their current insurance. Some who’ve lost insurance will be unable to find new policies in time, and may see coverage gaps. New, “skinny” provider networks mean Americans will lose access to doctors they like. And many frustrated doctors are throwing up their hands and refusing to participate in this deeply-flawed system. Insurance industry experts are debating how long this can continue before the industry goes into a “death spiral.”
President Obama, unappeased by the warnings expressed by top economic aides, refused to bring in a health reform “czar” with expertise in business, insurance and technology to oversee implementation. Instead he entrusted it to political loyalists.
Fixing the mess
This was an irrational, politically-motivated drive that has done potentially irrevocable damage to our health care system, with little of the promised benefit. And it is projected to cost the tax- payers about $1.8 trillion over the next ten years. It is time to start fixing the mess – but first we need the die-hard supporters of the law to acknowledge reality and stop standing in the way of a solution.
That is why the LIBRE Initiative is launching a multimedia Obamacare accountability project – starting in Florida. Just a few weeks ago Congressman Garcia joined other Democrats in voting against a spending bill that would have delayed the ACA for a year.
It’s time for accountability for these broken promises. It’s time for elected officials like Joe Garcia to explain how they propose we pay for higher healthcare costs and how they will fix the damage they’ve done.
Daniel Garza is the executive director of The LIBRE Initia- tive and a former White House staff member. Follow him on Twitter at @danielggarza.