• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Seven of Obamacare's Biggest Failures from the Last Two Years

    It has been two years since Obamacare was signed into law, and although the major provisions don’t begin until 2014, some have already been implemented. The parts of the law already in effect were thought by its proponents to be its most popular, but as detailed in Heritage’s “The Obamacare Two-Year Checkup: More Reasons for Repeal,” the law is already proving ineffective in some cases and harmful in others. Here are some of the biggest failures of Obamacare highlighted by the paper:

    • The disappearance of child-only policies. Obamacare requires insurers who sell child-only plans to accept all applicants regardless of health condition. This allows parents to wait until their children are sick to enroll them in health plans. Two years later, one survey found that “17 states indicated that no insurers were selling child-only policies to new enrollees, and 39 states responded that at least one insurer exited the child-only market since the new law took effect.”
    • “Free” preventive services cost Americans. Obamacare requires coverage of certain preventive services with no cost-sharing for the individual. Two years later, the list includes abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and other contraceptives as mandated coverage—even for many religious organizations. Heritage analysts report, “This created an outcry from members of many faiths who feel this decision is an attack on religious freedom and their ability to serve communities across the country.”
    • A failing small business tax credit. Obamacare provides a temporary tax credit to small employers as an incentive for them to offer health insurance to their employees. Two years later, the IRS reports that only 7 percent of the originally estimated 4.4 million eligible small businesses have claimed the credit.
    • A broke program for early retirees. Obamacare established a temporary reinsurance program from May 2010 to January 2014 to pay a portion of companies’ costs to insure early retirees between the ages of 55 and 65. Two years later, the program ran out of money almost three years early and is no longer accepting additional applications. As Heritage analysts explain, the program “clearly shifts the costs of paying for unsustainable promises made to public and private employees to federal taxpayers and further underscores how the true cost of implementing the health care law exceeds original estimates.”
    • Low enrollment in high-risk pools. Obamacare creates high-risk pools for individuals with pre-existing conditions who have been uninsured for at least six months to purchase insurance. Two years later, using the Administration’s own numbers, enrollment in the high-risk pools remains low: only 13 percent of initial estimates. Heritage analysts point out, “At the same time, medical-claims costs have been 2.5 times higher than initially projected, and the high-risk pools may still exhaust or exceed the available funding, even though they serve such a small portion of those they were intended to help.”
    • A damaging medical loss ratio (MLR). Obamacare requires insurers to spend 80 percent (85 percent for large group plans) of premium revenue on medical claims or quality improvement. Two years later, Heritage analysts point out, “Seventeen states applied for the MLR waivers, arguing that the regulations would destabilize their markets.” The Administration has granted a full waiver to only one state; six received a partial waiver, and 10 requests were rejected. Some insurers have already left the market because of the requirement, and the strict medical loss ratio threatens the existence of health savings accounts, which are used by 11 million Americans.
    • An unsustainable new entitlement. Obamacare created the CLASS Act, a government-run long-term care insurance program. Two years later, the Administration has declared the CLASS program unsustainable and halted its implementation. Heritage analysts report, “On February 1, 2012, the House of Representatives voted 267 (including 28 Democrats) to 159 to repeal the troubled CLASS program, and it now awaits consideration by the U.S. Senate.”

    To read about all of the consequences of Obamacare chronicled in “The Obamacare Two-Year Checkup: More Reasons for Repeal,” click here.

    Posted in Featured, Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Seven of Obamacare's Biggest Failures from the Last Two Years

    1. kitty says:

      Thank you for this post on Obama care. It has been very hard to find much information on exactly what the plan is..maybe because of 2,000+ pages. Seems there should be a simpler way to reform? http://www.creative-ideas4you.blogspot.com

    2. Bobbie says:

      What I don't understand is the acceptance of American government, undisciplined? How does the government get to move right into private insurance companies /medical practices and make it the government's business in the first place? What did the "government" "sight" that was horrendously non compliant in private insurance business to call it a "national crisis" that the responsibility of the government isn't to "prevent" or stand to correct, in the first place? Government failure through and through! Free market, free people. Free people self reliance. Self reliance little government! Less government more freedom! PTTP!!!

    3. kitty says:

      thank you for this post. it has been very hard to find much information on what exactly obama care is. http://www.creative-ideas4you.blogspot.com

    4. Peter Boddie says:

      "Nancy Pelosi, we found out what's in it. Repeal Obamacare"

      That's the message that the Bridge to Nowhere Tea Party posted in big letters on a bridge last Sunday in Colorado. We hope to inspire other creative expressions to educate people about this threat to our nation's health.

      You can see a photo and story at the Pundit Pete Press Service (satire blog, but the bridge message is real). http://punditpete.blogspot.com/

    5. The common folks have no idea of the performance record and its failures.
      From the start the law was passed in the cover of darkness, not a good sign. There

    6. Lloyd Scallan says:

      It doesn't make a bit of difference that the overwhelming majority of Americans feel ObamaCare is a complete disaster and should be decelared unconstitutional. Obama will not stop trying to implement destructive policies to bring about his agenda to froce this nation into total government control of our way of life, i.e. socialism. With the likes of Kagan, who Obama nominated to the high court for the specific purpose of protecting ObamaCare, make a statement "it's just a boatload of federal money". With that ideology, which mirrors Obama's, as well as the other 3 idologues, why should Obama worry about failures.

      • Brad S. says:

        I think the quote from Kagan had to do with Medicaid and " the Federal Government giving the States a boatload of free money – isn't that a good thing ?" She obviously has NO idea where tax money comes from. It came from the States, you dope !

    7. Chris in N.Va. says:

      (Showing my age) "Don't ya just love it when a plan comes together? " said the leader of the O-Team…

    8. M. Nguyen, MD says:

      You should add the fact that small, private doctor offices are being forced out of existence into larger, more impersonal entities. The less the doctor know the patient, the more tests are done, adding less personal care and higher cost . So the promise of "you can keep your own doctor is fast being passe.

    9. @ReformedRep says:

      This post should show some balance if it really is to be given any credence. It is a classic glass half full cherry picked downer. Is anything ever perfect? No

      People have been helped by the pre ex pool, the small business credits and the retiree pool. Those are good things regardless of degree.

      Free preventative services are terrific and over 35 million took advantage of these benefits in 2011. Another 4 million seniors did as well.

      You conveniently overlook the end of annual and lifetime maximums that help all insureds over 150 million people. No one will go,bankrupt if they get sick. A great societal benefit.

      You also overlook the 2.5 million young adults who are now covered again an easy, cheap and great benefit esp. during a recession when jobs with benefits are hard to find for young folks.

      As far as the MLR you completely misrepresent and clearly do not understand the sea change it has unleashed across the healthcare supply chain. This industry is the least efficient in America. A full 1% of GDP alone goes to inefficient administration and paper pushing. The duplicative, paper based, error ridden industry is being forced to get more efficient due this provision as well as making sure we all get what we pay for.

      The good companies have no problem getting to these percentages and the bad ones will be gone…If the industry had done this on their own like banking, credit cards, Amazon et al in terms of being electronically connected and an efficient supply chain this would not be needed.

      On balance it is clear the law already has done alot of good, as planned, for millions of Americans not a failure like you continue to portray here.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×