Washington, DC - "If it weren't for bad news, Obamacare wouldn't make much news at all," according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, noting that one of the most liberal members of Congress, Senator Charles Schumer [D-NY], is now saying the law was a mistake.
Schumer told an audience at the National Press Club that Americans are focused on the economy and so the Democrats "put all of our focus on the wrong problem - health care reform"
Weber also cited the Jonathan Gruber scandal "that revealed the deception used to get the law passed in the first place. And then there was the discovery that the government inflated enrollment numbers. And, of course, we quickly found out that we could not keep our doctors or our hospitals as the president had promised. Now, one of the most influential proponents of Obamacare has joined the growing chorus of critics."
But, Weber noted, Schumer's sudden reversal on the healthcare issue is not based on the many flaws of Obamacare. It's about the politics of the law, he added. The senator, Weber explained, pointed out that the principal beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured, constitute a relatively small voting bloc.
As Schumer put it: "To aim a huge change in mandate at such a small percentage of the electorate made no political sense. So, when Democrats focused on health care, the average middle-class person thought 'the Democrats are not paying enough attention to me'."
Weber said that there's more bad news on the horizon for Obamacare. For example, he said, penalties for ignoring the individual mandate that forces all Americans to be insured are set to increase sharply next year for some individuals and families with household incomes above the $23,850 federal poverty level for a family of four..
The Huffington Post reported this week that: "A family of four with an income of three times the federal poverty level -- about $70,650 -- would owe around $500 this year, and more than double that in 2015, according to a calculator created by the Tax Policy Center."
If you are in the higher income brackets, the penalty can be as much as $11,000, Weber added.
The IRS will add the penalty to your income tax bill for those who decide to forego enrolling in an Obamacare program.
"No wonder Americans are opposed to the president's healthcare law. In fact, the latest polls show that as much as 56% of the population does not like Obamacare. And if you don't believe the surveys, consider the GOP sweep of the mid-term elections earlier this month. Was it a mandate to make changes in the law? After all, the president, himself, declared before the vote that his policies were on the ballot and Obamacare is certainly one of the most controversial policies established during his administration," Weber concluded.