On March 19, President Barack Obama graced this campus with his presence. His topic was the health care reform bill that was to be voted on that weekend. It passed by a razor-thin margin and was signed into law.

Now, almost six months later, are the promises he made to this university and the American people panning out like he said they would?

Throughout the push for this law, he repeatedly made the claim “If you like your doctor, you’re going to be able to keep your doctor. If you like your plan, keep your plan.”

However, while there’s no explicit provision in the law that mandates this, the law of unintended consequences is running rampant throughout and this is no exception.

That month, CBS featured a small-business man from Pennsylvania who owned a 120-person business. Under the law, he would be mandated to meet the government’s prescribed standards for insurance or face a $750 per worker fine.

He offers generous coverage now. However, in an economy where businesses are cutting costs, it would be much less expensive if he dumped his employees’ coverage and took the penalty. The problem is that the workers would lose their coverage whether they liked it or not.

They would then be forced on the government’s newly created exchange. In truth, the president’s statement is moot because more often than not your employer controls your coverage and that’s where the law is felt.

It matters little if “you like your plan.” If your boss doesn’t then you’re switching.

Obama also said, “It’s time to give you, the American people, more control over your health.” I agree, but that’s not what the law does.

As mentioned above, one’s health coverage is normally connected to their job. So, the president is correct in the implication that we don’t have much of a say on our coverage or rates right now.

However, the law doesn’t change that at all. There is still a tax incentive for employer-provided coverage. This entices more employers to connect job and health insurance.

In truth, the law actually puts another player, the federal government, in the system but ignores the true issue of employer-provided care.

The prior system worked like this: We had the insurer dictating to your employer, who dictated to your doctor, who dictated to you.
Now the federal government is at the top dictating to the insurer. We are still far down on the list.

Another key promise the president made at George Mason University was “[what] this legislation does is it brings down the cost of health care for families and businesses and the federal government.”

On the point about family costs, a Congressional Budget Office report released in April stated that the constitutionally flimsy provision that mandates families to buy health insurance would mean “4 million households would be hit with tax penalties under the law for failing to get insurance.”

On the nation’s health care tab, similar issues arise. While the CBO’s estimate before passage said that the first 10 years of the plan would be “budget neutral,” that doesn’t count the plan’s fuzzy accounting tactics.

The plan doesn’t begin until 2014, even while taxes and fines will be collected starting now.

So, in essence, they’re collecting 10 years of revenue for six years of program costs. This fumbling hides a potentially hideous 20-year estimate in which the true cost will be revealed.

Even beyond the budgeting, the physical cost is just as dangerous. The April CBO report warned that, “Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15 percent of hospitals into the red and ‘possibly jeopardizing access’ to care for seniors.”

What’s more alarming is that Medicare’s chief actuary also released a report in April that said overall health spending, after all of the cuts, would still be increased by $311 billion over the next decade.

Every president should be held accountable for their promises, especially for a restructuring this drastic. Obama made these promises to my face earlier this year, and six months later his promises are not being fulfilled.