FLEMING: It’s Two Years On, And Obamacare Stinks As Much As Ever

Two years ago today, the White House was in full celebration mode. A crowd in the East Room whistled and cheered for President Obama. Vice-President Joe Biden shook his boss’ hand, leaned in, and told the president, “You did it,” before using his famously colorful language to say that he thought the president had just accomplished “a big… deal.”

That was then… the day President Obama signed into law his massive bill that vastly expanded the government’s role in health care. This is now.

The celebration is over at the White House.

A majority of Americans want Obamacare repealed. Sixty-seven percent hope the Supreme Court will, at minimum, do away with the linchpin of Obamacare – the unconstitutional mandate that forces every American to buy government-approved health insurance.

Obamacare is a bad law because it was based on a terrible premise: giving government more control over the doctor-patient relationship. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Obamacare does. Here’s one of the most onerous examples of Obamacare’s government intrusion: You may have heard this week of something called IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board. This Obamacare creation will make unilateral decisions that will dramatically affect, and even reduce, the health care choices available for Medicare patients. The House voted March 21, with bipartisan support, to repeal IPAB. But unless Senators like Mary Landrieu reverse course, this panel, which inevitably leads to health care rationing, will not go away. And, when IPAB’s cuts to Medicare cause you to lose access to your physician or not get the best treatment available, there will be nowhere to turn. Complaining to IPAB won’t work because, in some cases, this 15-member unelected commission will have more power and authority than even Congress.

That’s just one example of what Nancy Pelosi meant when she said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

And, the more the American people have learned about what was in Obamacare, the greater their opposition has grown. They’ve come to see that it was sold on the backs of a string of broken promises.

Remember the promise that if you like your plan, you can keep it? By the administration’s own estimates, new regulations mean that up to 80 percent of small businesses will have to give up the plans they’re now offering, forcing many Americans to lose their current coverage.

Then there was the president’s promise to not raise any of your taxes. It turns out that Obamacare raises more than $250 billion in tax revenue, including new taxes on medical devices and tanning services, and an income tax that will eventually affect 80 percent of taxpayers.

The president also pledged to protect Medicare. Instead, Obamacare has taken $500 billion from Medicare while increasing the demand for more spending and accelerating Medicare’s demise. Obamacare also drops seniors from Medicare Advantage while drastically cutting the choice of health plans for those who remain. And then there’s IPAB.

During the 36 years I’ve spent as a physician I’ve treated a lot of Medicare patients, and I am absolutely committed to stopping President Obama from plundering more of Medicare’s funds to build his Obamacare bureaucracy. We must repeal Obamacare in its entirety, save and strengthen Medicare, and pass common sense healthcare reforms that actually address the problem of rising costs.

John Fleming represents District 4 in Louisiana in the U.S. House of Representatives. This article originally appeared in the Shreveport Times.

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