From the Heritage Foundation—a promo for the book by Grace-Marie Turner, James C. Capretta, Thomas P. Miller, and Robert E. Moffit:
Obamacare’s scope is breathtaking. One new federal requirement leads to another, and another, and another. And the whole thing is paid for with an avalanche of new taxes and deep reductions in what Medicare will pay for services.
Explaining in detail everything in the law would take thousands of pages, but here is a list of the top ten things Obamacare will do.
- Most Americans will be required to buy federally approved health insurance starting in 2014, and the government will fine us if we don’t comply.
- Companies will have to provide or pay for health insurance for their employees or pay a penalty.
- The federal government will tell us what health benefits must be covered in these policies, as well as what share of our income we will have to spend on health insurance.
- New federal entitlement programs will be created to provide taxpayer-subsidized benefits and insurance to tens of millions more people.
- States will be required to set up new agencies and bureaucracies to restructure their health insurance markets, certify that health plans meet federal standards, and qualify people to receive taxpayer subsidies for health insurance.
- States will be required to expand Medicaid – the program originally intended for the poor – to cover as many as 84 million people by the end of the decade, a mandate many states say could bankrupt them.
- Dramatic reductions will be made in payments to Medicare providers and Medicare Advantage plans to partially pay for the expanded health coverage.
- More than $500 billion will be raised in new taxes in the next ten years, most of which will be passed on from businesses to consumers.
- A massive federal bureaucracy will be created, with an estimated 159 new federal agencies, boards, commissions, offices, panels, and spending and grant programs. But since new offices also can be created by the administration without an act of Congress, the Congressional Research Service says that the exact number is “unknowable.”
- A “public option” will be created to compete against private health insurance – though administration officials don’t call it that. The law requires the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to sponsor at least two health plans to compete nationally against various “local” private health plans in the state-based health exchanges. These plans will inevitably become the de facto “public options” that were supposedly left out of the bill.