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The Willis Report

Losing Middle America on Health-Care Reform

It sure ain't what it was advertised to be.

Obamacare was promoted as the only equitable solution to the problem of skyrocketing health-care costs, while at the same time increasing jobs and reducing the deficit.

And, oh, by the way, it was supposed to let you keep your health-care insurance.

The program was supposed to manage this trifecta by expanding Medicare to cover 32 million people who previously had no coverage. Each state would set up its own exchange to allow taxpayers to buy coverage.

What's more, the Feds would mandate that throughout this transformation, states had to keep financing Medicaid at current levels or face losing precious federal matching dollars.

Most folks describe Obamacare as simply confusing, but make no mistake the program is the most sweeping entitlement legislation passed since Medicare back in 1965 - and its price tag keeps rising. The Congressional Budget Office just raised its estimate of the health insurance subsidies required by the law by 8.6%.

Total cost of the program now nearly $1.5 trillion.

Obama said families would see premiums decline by $2,500 by 2012. Instead, a recent survey of employers by Towers Watson showed premiums rising 12 % on average this year alone.

And, now the CBO says brace yourself for premium hikes of $2,100 over the next five years, and the law could also cut 800,000 jobs in the sector.

Keep in mind health care is one of the few employment sectors that has actually been expanding.

And as for keeping your insurance, the chances are low. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates 51% of US businesses will change their plans in the next two years.

Meanwhile, 80 % of small businesses could lose their current their current coverage in order to opt in to the federal program. Already, in 19 states you can no longer buy insurance for children because insurers have stopped selling them because of worries that under Obamacare they will no longer be able to control costs.

In reality, it's really a crap shoot as to whether large businesses will maintain their employee insurance plans - what has been the cornerstone of coverage in this country. But at some point, their corporate bean counters will push to take the least costly option - paying the $2,000 fine per employee fine imposed by Obamacare for employers who fail to provide coverage.

Oh and the other promises, like the one that Obamacare will reduce our deficits.

Not a chance.

It's no wonder that an all-star panel of health care backers - which included Ted Kennedy's Widow Vicki Kennedy and Tom Daschle among others - are nowhere to be found.

President Johnson said during the Vietnam War, "If I've lost Cronkite I've lost Middle America."
Well Mr. Obama, look at the polls. You lost Middle America on this a long time ago.

Be sure to catch the Willis Report on the FOX Business Network every weekday from 5-6pm ET.

Gerri Willis joined Fox Business Network (FBN) in March of 2010. Willis is an anchor and personal finance reporter for the network.

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