The term “Affordable Care Act” has become a sick punch line.
Maryland expects individual-market premiums to rise in 2014, up to 25 percent. Ohioans are bracing for analogous hikes averaging 88 percent. Forbes columnist Avik Roy calculates that a typical, nonsmoking 25-year-old California man will see his rates surge between 100 and 123 percent. Coverage for a similar 40-year-old will cost 116 percent more next year.
Because ObamaCare’s 2010-2019 expenses were back loaded (to ease congressional passage), its initial 10-year price tag was $940 billion. However, CBO’s 2014-2023 forecast incorporates four years of actual operations. Thus, ObamaCare’s latest 10-year estimate is $1.8 trillion — double the initial sticker price.
Meanwhile, ObamaCare’s popularity slip slides away. CBSNews.com’s Amanda Cochran observed July 24 that 54 percent of adults disapprove of ObamaCare, while only 36 percent embrace it. A mere 13 percent believe the program will “help me,” while 38 percent think it will “hurt me.”
So long as the employer mandate is frozen until Jan. 1, 2015 (rather than 2014), Republicans should echo Lee’s flawlessly logical argument: “If the administration will not enforce the law as written, then the American people should not be forced to fund it.”
Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service.