Thursday, June 28, 2012

More on Obamacare

After the disastrous and somewhat bizarre Supreme Court ruling today, the president took to the airways to laud the decision and remind us of the law’s great benefits.  He spoke of expanded access to insurance to the currently uninsured, the (now) unlawful practice of charging some customers more in premiums than others (isn’t this fundamental to insurance?), the phasing out of lifetime caps, and other supposed benefits.  And while these may in fact come to pass, surely there are unintended consequences to this 2,000+ page monstrosity known as Obamacare.  This is a classic case of the seen and unseen.  The president was quick to highlight the popular seen benefits, but he failed to even admit that swift and potentially harmful unseen effects will be unleashed by this law.
Here are but a few of the unseen effects, as outlined by the Cato Institute (I think that number 4 is the biggie): 

  • While the new law will increase the number of Americans with insurance coverage, it falls significantly short of universal coverage. By 2019, roughly 21 million Americans will still be uninsured.
  • The legislation will cost far more than advertised, more than $2.7 trillion over 10 years of full implementation, and will add more than $823 billion to the national debt over the program's first 10 years.
  • Most American workers and businesses will see little or no change in their skyrocketing insurance costs, while millions of others, including younger and healthier workers and those who buy insurance on their own through the nongroup market will actually see their premiums go up faster as a result of this legislation.
  • The new law will increase taxes by more than $569 billion between now and 2019, and the burdens it places on business will significantly reduce economic growth and employment.
  • While the law contains few direct provisions for rationing care, it nonetheless sets the stage for government rationing and interference with how doctors practice medicine.
  • Millions of Americans who are happy with their current health insurance will not be able to keep it.

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