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April 2nd, 2010

No Fooling Around – What Obamacare will Cost Iowans

healthcare costsTwo weeks have gone by since Congress passed the President’s healthcare plan. I’m sure there are a lot of people, especially small business owners, who wish the President would come on the TV today and say, “April Fools, we were just kidding around with all that healthcare stuff.”

Sadly, we know that it’s not a joke, and most people already recognize the negative impact that this legislation will have on the American economy. What is more difficult to figure out is the impact that the healthcare bill will have on Iowans. After getting a little help from Senator Grassley’s office, it’s clear, Obamacare will have a huge impact on Iowans, at the very time we can least afford it.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the federal government will increase spending by $8,470 for every Iowan following the passage of the healthcare reform bill. If you have ever purchased your own health insurance, you would know that it doesn’t cost over $700 a month to insure a child, young adult, or your average American. I recently helped my mother pick out a health insurance plan. It cost her less than $200 a month.

My mother is a relatively healthy woman in her 50’s. If she can be insured by the “evil” insurance companies for less than $2400 a year, why is the government about to charge her almost four times that amount? Recently, Governor Culver and President Obama railed against insurance companies for large increases, but it’s obvious that the taxpayers are about to get stuck with a huge bill even if we don’t want the government’s healthcare plan. It’s not the insurance companies that people should fear. It’s our own government!

While visiting Iowa on Tuesday, former United States Senator Rick Santorum made an excellent point about the President’s healthcare reform package. He compared government run healthcare to our public (government) run schools. Santorum said that the new government healthcare entitlement is just an open invitation to spend more and more money on stuff that we currently can’t even comprehend.

Santorum’s comparison makes a lot of sense. Every time a politician or the school board describes a need or a want, be it for a new building, a new federal or state program, or the need to hire more staff, they are never turned away. It might take a few elections to pass a bond referendum, but they just keep bringing it up until it passes.

Most of the time, politicians just throw money at education because they don’t want to be labeled as anti-education. They can’t “take” money from our children and be against educating future generations. How would they ever win re-election?

The same will soon be true of healthcare. The American public will shown a tragic story about a dying child or a young mother who is about to die. Politicians will be outraged and the next thing you know, they will be introducing legislation that will make sure this never happens aging. Everyone will feel better until the tax bill comes in the mail.

If you think that the Democrats’ push for nationalized healthcare was motivated by good intentions, you are mistaken. The healthcare bill has little to do with providing the best quality healthcare at the cheapest cost.

What it is really about is power. By controlling healthcare, the government now can interject itself into every aspect of our lives. It’s not that they will ration care, which will surely happen, it’s that they will be able to dictate or mandate certain behaviors.

Below is what the Democrats’ healthcare reform package will cost Iowa. As mentioned above, it’s already costing us our personal liberties. This explains how much we will be expected to pay out of our pockets to be less free.

1) Every Iowan’s share of the national debt will increase when you include the cost of fixing the SGR formula so doctors continue to see Medicare patients.

2) The health reform bill means $8,470 in new government spending for every Iowan.1

3) $202 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage will mean 67,000 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in Iowa could have their benefits reduced by half according to the CBO director. And many could lose the choice of a Medicare Advantage plan entirely.2

4) Approximately 713,000 Iowa households making less than $200,000 will pay higher taxes, based on estimates by the Joint Committee on Taxation.3

5) Approximately 127,000 Iowa households making less than $200,000 will benefit from the tax credit subsidy, which is, in effect, paid directly to the insurance company. For Iowa middle class families, every one household benefitting from the insurance subsidy, five households will pay higher taxes.3

3) Approximately 144,000 Iowa households making less than $200,000 will lose all or a portion of the current law tax deduction for medical expenses. Those 144,000 Iowa households adversely affected include almost 78,000 senior citizen households.3

4) 178,000 Iowans in the individual health insurance market will see premiums increase by as much as 56% over the next 5 years based upon a BlueCross/BlueShield study by Oliver Wyman.4

5) The youngest third of Iowans will pay an additional 35% as premiums increase in the individual market according to a BlueCross/BlueShield study by Oliver Wyman.4

6) 19,000 Iowa businesses employing more than 50 workers will pay either higher health care costs or a new penalty because of new government mandates.5.

7) Millions in new costs to Iowa (due to the Medicaid expansion) will force the governor and legislature to raise taxes, raise college tuitions, decrease the quality of education, or all three.

8) As many as 125,000 low-income Iowans will be added to the Iowa Medicaid program even though only 50 percent of doctors nationally are willing to see new Medicaid patients.6

1 Cost of full 10 year implementation of PPACA prepared by the Senate Budget Committee, Republican Staff.
2 Congressional Budget Office
3 Senate Republican staff, using Joint Committee on Taxation data, examined on a per capita basis using Census data, the health care bill tax hikes and subsidies in the form of refundable tax credits when the health reform bill
was in full effect. JCT tables: #D-09-34r (December 22, 2009), #D-09-29 (December 2, 2009), #D-09-14 (September 18, 2009), #D-09-28 (December 2, 2009). 4 “Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Costs in the Individual and Small-Employer Health Insurance Markets”. Oliver Wyman. December 3, 2009. 5 U.S. Census Bureau and National Federation of Independent Business. 6 Derived from Kaiser Family Foundation data.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and TheIowaRepublican.com as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, TheIowaRepublcian.com. Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.




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