Troubled Start to Second Year of Health Care Law
White House Reduces Expectations for Enrollment
(Washington, D.C.) – With enrollment soon set to begin for the second year of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, there are growing signs of problems with the program. The Medicaid expansion enacted as part of the law is forcing the closure of dozens of rural hospitals, which are becoming financially insolvent due to the below-cost reimbursement rates for Medicaid services. These closings have the potential to severely impact health care in poor and rural communities, making it harder for people to obtain critical, life-saving care. Americans may also be surprised at the steep increase in penalties for not purchasing government-mandated insurance, and by the rising prices for these policies. The penalty will rise to $325 per person this year, or $162.50 for children.
These negative effects of the law received little attention during debate on the measure, when – according to one of the architects of the law – the provisions of the ACA had to be carefully portrayed in order to keep public opposition down. The White House has significantly lowered expectations for enrollment in the second year – by roughly 3 million, or 30 percent less than previously estimated.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:
"The negative effects of the health care law are becoming too great to ignore – even for an administration that has constantly downplayed problems while promising 'fixes' that never happen. Because of inaction from this Administration, the new leadership in Congress will be forced to take the lead on reforming this law, while the White House continues to bury its head in the sand as low-income Americans lose access to doctors and hospitals."