Obamacare’s “Obamacare” exchanges have collapsed. Millions of enrollees have seen their deductibles rise, while rising drug prices have further strangled their wallets. There are rumors of another ObamaCare meltdown.
All of this leads some Americans to question whether the law has a future. Many are demanding Obamacare be repealed, and not just any repeal—the “sledgehammer” one federal judge referred to last week.
This week, Vice President Joe Biden cut one of his anti-Congress “let’s get in a car” speeches, trotting out the standard theme that Obamacare needs to go. Biden promised Americans would save as much as $600 billion on their out-of-pocket drug costs.
It’s hard to believe the program would bring lower costs for ordinary Americans. That’s because the vice president’s number comes from one bogus CBO calculation.
The vice president is claiming that through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Americans would save $600 billion on their drug costs—and that doesn’t take into account how Americans are being squeezed in the first place. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 30 percent of Americans are now spending at least 10 percent of their income on prescription drugs.
A lot of these folks, like my wife and me, are avid medical customers. My wife has 13 different prescription medications she needs every month. She told me recently that she really “won’t ever be able to afford” another one.
When I ask my mom, who also took 13 prescriptions, if she’s saved any money on them, her answer was no.
Obviously, something is going horribly wrong with America’s health care system. Something that’s broken and not working. Something so bad that is damaging America’s economy and chilling our confidence in our future.
Not surprisingly, because they have an interest in cutting a deal with the president, pharmaceuticals are jumping on the Biden bandwagon. Last week, they released a cartoon to celebrate the $600 billion savings claim. Apparently, they want Americans to feel as good as they do.
The truth, however, is very different. The CBO flatly contradicted the Vice President, flatly disputing his claim. The CBO’s analysts know full well what Obamacare is doing to Americans’ out-of-pocket drug costs, and they blame it on ObamaCare.
On this subject, the White House and Congress should be heedless of the pharmaceuticals’ claim. Instead, they should stand firm on their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare once and for all.
As they have already done.
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.