Another empty pledge

The main promise of ObamaCare was that it would cost less. But it’s a ridiculous claim.

The notion that a huge new health administration bureaucracy can really be assembled without adding costs — or that any government-run health system can save anyone money without rationing, a common feature of European socialized medicine schemes — runs counter to common sense and experience.

The claim was further revealed as a fraud when the Congressional Budget Office last month released new estimates predicting the health care overhaul will likely cost about $115 billion more over the first 10 years than originally projected — bringing the estimated cost of the scheme to about $1 trillion.

And now to the president’s second major promise: that people who like their current coverage will be able to keep it.

“If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period,” Mr. Obama declared in a speech to the American Medical Association a year ago. “No one will take it away, no matter what.”

But now, an early draft of an administration regulation finds that many employers will be forced to make changes to their health plans under the new law. That means, “In just three years, a majority of workers — 51 percent — will be in plans subject to new federal requirements, according to midrange projections in the draft,” The Associated Press reports.

The Obama regulations for “grandfathered plans,” telegraphed four months ago, “take a sledgehammer to ... that pledge” that the average American will be able to keep his health care plan, Philip Klein warned on his American Spectator blog back on Feb. 22. “All of the new requirements proposed by Obama would increase premiums, and by definition, alter the composition of those insurance plans.”

Says James Gelfand, health policy director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “What we are getting here is a clear indication that most plans will have to change.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said it shows Mr. Obama’s assurance that Americans would be able to keep the plans they currently have was “a myth” all along. “Since its passage, Republican arguments against the bill have been repeatedly vindicated.”

But is it really a surprise that Democrats rammed through health care reform with a smokescreen of half-truths, fantastical promises and outright prevarications?

If the GOP does indeed succeed in regaining control of Congress next year, its first order of business should be to hire Dr. Jack Kevorkian to put this mess called ObamaCare out of its misery.