After a year, act gets failing grade

The bell just rang for year one of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare. It’s fairly easy to grade the act at this point. Despite repeated promises of greater access to care, the act has actually forced insurance companies to leave the market with the result of further limiting consumer choice. Fail.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claims that provisions of the act provide relief to businesses from soaring retiree health costs but she conveniently ignores the fact that those costs are now being placed on the shoulders of the American taxpayer. Fail. Also, increased regulations on the insurance industry mean so much red tape that premiums have skyrocketed. Fail. It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see that the point of ObamaCare is to eliminate yet another American industry that has served the public for generations.

Doctors here and in other states have had to reduce their own salary and move to a lesser quality office building to avoid being forced to refuse Medicare patients or lay off employees. Fail.

When you have a heart attack and lay in the emergency room only to find out all the cardiologists in town have stopped taking Medicare, how does the promise “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” ring in your ears? Fail.

Perhaps worse is that doctors here and elsewhere are retiring early or exiting the practice of medicine faster than ever because of their unwillingness to comply with onerous regulations included in ObamaCare.

These developments do not reflect the promises made by the president and members of Congress who repeatedly denied accusations that these results would happen. Fail.

Richard Ek

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