The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Letters to the Editor

August 29, 2012

To the Editor:

TARBORO — To the Editor:

Recently, there have been a number of articles broadcast and published that distort the facts about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act better known as ObamaCare. We only need to look at recent reports and news stories to assess those facts:

• The Health and Human Services Department has issued 1,231 waivers to companies and organization allowing them to keep their current insurance plan rather than change it to meet the requirements of ObamaCare. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 4 million people will lose their employer provided health insurance.

• When enacted, ObamaCare was to add coverage of 32 million people who were uninsured as premium paying members of the health care system. CBO’s latest report states that after implementation there will still be 30 million or more non-elderly who will remain uninsured.

• According to the CBO’s latest report, ObamaCare reduces the labor

force by 800,000 over the next decade. ObamaCare will also cost Americans businesses more than $52 billion because of their inability to comply with the law.

• Prior to ObamaCare, most insurance programs contained provisions that allowed parents to retain their adult children on their health insurance policy if they were disabled or fulltime students.

• According to a CBO report any saving realized by seniors in

prescription drugs is just shifting the cost to another area of health care coverage.

• The implementation of ObamaCare women’s reproductive mandate has generated a firestorm of controversy with nearly 70 individuals or organizations challenging the mandate as unconstitutional.

• Insurance premium costs rose 9 percent or $1,350 in 2011, the first year of implementation of ObamaCare. Further reports indicate that insurance premiums will continue to rise and in some parts of the country, they will rise as much as 31 percent by 2016.

• The CBO’s latest report states that ObamaCare will cost over $1.7

trillion over the next 10 years.

CBO reports indicate that because of the mandate tax versus the cost of insurance many small businesses will be eliminating health insurance coverage.

• The CBO’s report states the cost of ObamaCare will be financed by $1 trillion in new taxes and $716 billion transferred from Medicare.

• The tax revenues to finance ObamaCare will be generated by 20 new taxes; higher Medicare Payroll Taxes, Individual Mandate Excise Tax, Employer Mandate Tax, Tax on Health Insurers, Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans, Medical Devices Manufactures Tax, Tax on Drug Innovators and Indoor Tanning Services are just a few.

• 159 new boards and commissions have already been identified from the pages of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has reported that the true number and nature of boards and commissions are not known with the final number far exceeding the 159 already identified. This is a massive expansion of government beyond: national defense, administration of justice, and provision of public goods that individuals alone cannot afford.

The Supreme Court’s approval of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a squeaker. The vote was a 5 to 4. Supreme Court Justices approved the act declared that the individual mandate was not a penalty but a tax. The dissenting vote indicated it was unconstitutional because the mandate was clearly a penalty and not a tax.

As the Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare indicates, there is a conflict within the law. Chief Justice Roberts’ written decision indicates ObamaCare cannot stand in the face of the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. It is because of these conflicts within the Supreme Court and the US Congress that the Patient Protection and Affordable Act must be repealed. The law must be replaced with laws that are less damaging and support this nation’s vision of self-reliance.

Yes, we are one of the richest countries in the world; but we are fast reaching the fiscal breaking point already reached by Greece, Spain, and other European countries. ObamaCare can only add to that mounting pressure on our economy.

Ray Shamlin

Rocky Mount

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