Saturday, July 28, 2012

I Don’t Think Opposition to ObamaCare Is A Dead Letter, Yet!

A Newsweek poll taken after the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare showed 37% of likely voters approved of the Affordable Care Act, while 58% disapproved.

 In an economy with 8.2% unemployment, ObamaCare’s employer mandate may be the worst and most unacceptable part of the new law. The law imposes a $2000-$3500 per-job tax on businesses that employ 50 or more people but do not provide health coverage. For employers who currently provide health coverage, ObamaCare threatens to drive up the cost of insurance, leading to lower wages and fewer jobs.

Then, there’s ObamaCare’s eye-popping price tag. According to the Congressional Budget Office, during the first decade when it’s in full effect (2014-2023), ObamaCare will cost about $2 trillion. A decade of ObamaCare will cost five times more than the Medicare prescription-drug benefit or 2½ times the cost of the Iraq war. A decade of ObamaCare will cost four times Greece’s total public debt!

With federal bureaucrats in charge of cutting hundreds of billions from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare, heavy-duty rationing of health care is always a possibility. That would make the law even more unpopular than it already is.

The problem in evaluating the fiscal impact of the Affordable Care Act is that Republicans and the Congressional Budget office predict huge deficit costs; but Democrats and a raft of New York Times economists say the law will be budget neutral and, according to President Obama, “It will not cost the ordinary tax payer one dime.” Well…I hope the Democrats are right; but if they are, this will be the first entitlement program that will not cost anything. To me, it seems astounding to think that we can insure 38 million uninsured Americans without any cost to the rest of the nation.

ObamaCare includes provisions that promote surgical abortion and, now, drugs that cause abortion and contraceptives. Those features are highly objectionable to social conservatives.

Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has said, “The law fails to implement sensible solutions to control costs, improve quality, and increase coverage. We can’t afford to settle for ‘reform’ that doesn’t accomplish those fundamental goals.” He continued, “Consumers should be allowed to choose the coverage they want, and providers should be paid based on the quality of care—not merely the quantity of services rendered. Medical liability reform that curbs the need for providers to practice defensive medicine would also drive down costs. And widespread adoption of health information technology—including electronic prescriptions and medical records—could further improve quality, lower costs, and reduce medical errors.”

Well…we’ll see. President Obama is still ahead in the polls to be our president over the next 4 years. I think he is in that position because people like his warm and convincing personality; but his policies on health care do not appeal to me or to lots of others.

This post was largely redacted from the Weekly Standard 23 July 2012, page 16 and 17.

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