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This is just another entitlement program - The Galveston County Daily News: Guest Columns

February 11, 2016

This is just another entitlement program

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Posted: Saturday, May 10, 2014 12:00 am

Dan Freeman calls Obamacare, “as a whole, a striking success” (The Daily News, May 1). 

I would spell “whole” in that phrase differently, as in “hole,” to describe Obamacare the way the majority of Americans see it.

That is, Obamacare is digging the nation into a deeper economic hole in order to expand entitlement programs.

And, yes, it is an entitlement program, rather than just insurance you buy, in that it will cost the government more than $1 trillion in the next decade to keep it running.

Take one of Freeman’s arguments, for just one example. 

He said “the Affordable Care Act can be improved by extending Medicaid aid in all states, using federal exchanges and requiring tougher negotiated rates” (with health care providers). 

Apparently, the reason for this argument is a couple of dozen states refused to set up state exchanges (required by ACA) to handle the massive expansion of Medicaid.

And, no, the reason why those states opted out of the state exchange program was not, as Freeman puts it, “in a fit of pique over the constitutionality of Obamacare.” 

The main reason was they saw a freight train of higher Medicaid expenses coming at them down the road. 

Obamacare only promised to pay for this wholesale expansion of Medicaid for a couple of years. 

After that, the states would shoulder this backbreaking load.

The majority of states are already having a hard time with Medicaid expenses. 

It is a major factor for them in not being able to balance their budgets.

A doubling of that load (or whatever exponential increase) would put them so far in the hole they could never climb out without federal assistance. 

Which means more government debt. Surprise.

Which brings us to the reason why about 60 percent of the public didn’t like Obamacare in its gestation and still don’t like it five years into its young life: the cost of it will just push the nation further, and more quickly, down the bankruptcy slide we are already in.

Entitlement programs, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, already have an unfunded liability debt of $100 trillion. 

Without major changes in structure, these programs alone will push the U.S. into insolvency in 30 years or less. 

Obamacare probably puts the nation in that position in the “or less” category since it will restrict economic growth.

This ham-handed takeover of one-sixth of the economy will further cripple an economy already in trouble and suffering under one of the worst recoveries from a recession in the past 60 years. 

The simple fact is — and it is one that President Barack Obama and his left-wing followers refuse to acknowledge — the more the government grows, the more the private sector economy shrinks.

But not to worry, folks. 

Even though tens of millions of you will pay shockingly higher health insurance premiums and deductibles indefinitely, everything will be all right eventually. 

Obamacare is a striking success, don’t you know.