by Jonah Goldberg
"Obamacare was sold on a trinity of lies."
That ornate phrase, more suitable for the Book of Revelations or perhaps the next installment of "Game of Thrones," comes from my
But the third plank in the triad of disinformation hasn't gotten much attention: Obamacare will save you, me and the country a lot of money. This lie took several forms.
First, Obama promised on numerous occasions that the average family of four will save
In September, the Obama administration's
Of course, that methodology is still bogus. But it's probably closer to the truth.
The president and his allies also insisted that all of Obamacare's "free" preventative care would save the country vast amounts of money. As Obama put it in 2012: "As part of the health care reform law that I signed last year, all insurance plans are required to cover preventive care at no cost. That means free check-ups, free mammograms, immunizations and other basic services. We fought for this because it saves lives and it saves money -- for families, for businesses, for government, for everybody."
That's not true either. First of all, you'd think people would understand that there is no such thing as "at no cost." You are paying for "free" mammograms, blood tests and the rest, even if you don't see a line item for them on your bill. And even if you're poor enough that you don't even see a bill, that doesn't mean no one's paying. That's why millions of Americans who've lost their health insurance thanks to Obamacare are discovering that the new plans it offers are either more expensive, have higher deductibles or both.
Also, prevention doesn't necessarily save money. I know that
According to the
When presented with these and other facts, Obamacare's defenders note that the rate of increase in health-care costs has slowed in recent years. "I'm not going to walk away from something that has helped the cost of health care grow at its slowest rate in 50 years," Obama said last month.
This spin doesn't work either. The slowing of health-care costs began a decade ago, and even the administration's own actuaries say the recent drop is mostly attributable to the lousy economy. But even that's too generous to Obama. Costs haven't dropped. The rate of increase in spending has slowed. We're still on course to spend a record
Obamacare may have been sold on a trinity of lies, but it turns out it's also lies all the way down.