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July 22, 2022

ObamaCare’s High Prices Still Plague Us

Lost amid the wreckage of Bidenflation is the healthcare mess, which is getting ever more expensive.

Everything is more expensive these days, from gas to groceries. But lost in the headlines are the skyrocketing cost of ObamaCare, its impact on inflation, and the fact that Democrats want even more control over our nation’s healthcare system despite their record of miserable failure.

Consumers were famously and repeatedly promised lower costs with ObamaCare, but there was little attention paid to the fact that the Affordable Care Act could only function with a steady stream of billions of dollars in government subsidies. The corrupt corporate media hasn’t mentioned it much in recent years, but it’s still there, and it’s going to have a big impact on November’s congressional elections.

Why? Democrats want to increase those subsidies to prop up ObamaCare and — here’s the outrageous part — to fight inflation. If you’re thinking more government spending causes inflation, you’re right. Leave it to the Democrats to create a bad situation and make it worse.

To keep the money flowing into ObamaCare, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law in 2021. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the massive spending package includes subsidies that will “cost a whopping $30 billion in 2022, an amount 50% above the amount CBO projected one year earlier. Obamacare’s total subsidy cost will be about $90 billion in 2022 — $60 billion for the original and $30 billion for the expanded component.”

Clearly, Democrats aren’t losing sleep about the impact of subsidies on the economy, or on the wallets and credit cards of Americans. What they are worried about is the upcoming midterm elections. Of course, it’s all about power.

As political analyst Peter Suderman writes, “Democrats are worried that the subsidy expansion included in the ARP will run out, and that people who receive such subsidies will be notified just before voters head to the polls.”

Bad timing, for sure. But maybe that’s just what we need to pull away the curtain of this scheme and see what it’s really all about.

Suderman adds: “More than a decade ago, Democrats passed a program to make health care affordable that, by their own admission, did not make health care affordable. They followed up with a temporary program of expanded subsidies to further hide the true cost of care, which they quickly began pushing to make permanent. And now they want to fight inflation that was exacerbated by government spending with new government spending.”

Another way that Biden and the Democrats plan to keep ObamaCare afloat is by fixing Medicare drug prices. Again, they’re not thinking about the broad impact of government regulation.

According to National Review, “Drugmakers that do not agree to the price dictated by the HHS secretary on a certain number of drugs would face a ‘noncompliance’ tax penalty of up to 95 percent of their profits on the drug.” So, if the Democrats get their way, drug companies would charge more and pass those costs on to consumers. Additionally, price-fixing would stifle innovation. After all, who would invest in drug research and development if they knew in advance the price would be fixed?

“Price controls would disrupt this system,” reports Forbes, “leading to a drop in investment and fewer innovative treatments. University of Chicago economist Tomas J. Philipson estimates that BBB’s proposal for negotiations would reduce R&D spending by $663 billion, result in 135 fewer new drugs being introduced, and cause the loss of over 330 million U.S. life years through 2039.”

One obstacle faced by the Democrats, though, is internal: namely, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. Manchin generally agrees with his party on subsidizing ObamaCare and fixing drug prices, but he’s concerned about adding to the national debt and making inflation worse. Indeed, sometimes he sounds absolutely conservative compared to the rest of his party.

So what happens if Manchin doesn’t join his colleagues? “The subsidies are set to expire on Dec. 31,” reports The Washington Times. “If the subsidies are not extended, health policy experts say, premiums in the 33 states that use the government health care marketplace will rise by 53% as people begin shopping for new plans in November.”

What makes this more frustrating is that Republicans had the power to end ObamaCare in 2017. But instead, they gave it new life. And as we all know, no government program ever grows smaller.

Even if the political winds blow in the GOP’s favor this fall, they won’t really have another shot at repealing this monstrosity with a Democrat holding a veto pen in the White House. In any case, while no one wants hardworking Americans to have to pay more for medical care, maybe ObamaCare’s failure will be the spark that ignites a changing attitude toward healthcare in Congress.

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