A bad law, its growing unpopularity, and its possibilities

obamacare

In less than a week, a handful of provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare, will begin to impact the national economy.  All over the nation, the reports have already begun to indicate that this law has not lowered medical insurance costs but has actually increased them for much of the nation.  A recent article from the Washington Examiner, “Tennessee: ObamaCare will Triple Men’s Premiums, Doubles Women’s” stated that premiums were expected to increase dramatically under the new ObamaCare guidelines.  According to the article, men are expected to face a 197% increase in the cost of a basic compliant policy; women could expect to see a 92% increase for the same coverage.  In a separate article featured on Breitbart, “ObamaCare Triples Kentucky Family’s Insurance Overnight,” a Kentucky couple with two young sons had their portion of the family’s employer offered health care plan rise to $965 a month from its much lower $333 per month.


Each day, Americans are horrified to read of the many hidden provisions in ObamaCare, such as one that sets criteria for regular in-home follow ups to individuals and families as defined by statute, direct access to banking accounts of Americans, and end of life counseling for those over 65 or suffering from terminal illnesses or injury.  And these are just the provisions we know about; the Affordable Care Act contains 2,407 pages that was passed into law with another 7,642 pages of additional rules and regulations that have already been written by the Department of Human and Health Services.  Bloggers and pundits have stated that one of the many provisions in the Affordable Care Act that required six pages of legislation required an additional 429 pages of additional regulations defining exactly how and when the legislation will apply.  This means that there are potentially thousands of other restrictions, invasions into privacy, and governmental oversight into the lives of the American citizenry.

There are several reasons why the Affordable Care Act is bad law. Beginning with the most obvious first, this law financially strains the American citizenry at a time when it can least be afforded.  Over the last year, we have seen numerous companies change their employment model from offering full time positions shifting to an all part time workforce under thirty hours a week.  For many working class families, this now means that it will take two or more part time positions per adult family member to recover what has been lost since the enactment of these provisions.  Additionally, annual inflation since 2008 has been around 1.20% or greater, depending on whose estimates and reports you use.  Inflation, plus high fuel prices, high food prices, and increases in local and state level taxes are having a profound impact by reducing the amount of disposable income families and individuals have to spend.  Instead of lowering healthcare costs and creating more disposable income for the average family, the Affordable Care Act increases the premiums for families and will reduce the amount of disposable income. It is estimated that the Affordable Care Act is going to add an additional $7,450 in healthcare costs for the average family of four per year once the entire law is enforced.  This places a financial burden on working and middle class families and upon our consumer driven national economy.

Another reason this is bad law is it can serve to restrain individual freedoms. The purpose of any insurance policy is to reduce financial risk to the individual. While financial risk comes in many forms, the Affordable Care Act’s sole purpose is to reduce the financial risk of individuals and families through a series of laws that will reduce the cost of medical care (or that is the pretense for which the law was passed).  Since under ObamaCare, the risk is to be transferred to state and national exchanges, the government becomes the bearer of risk. Within the insurance industry, financial risk and liability is managed through increased premiums paid by the consumer, or through the offering of incentives that encourages the consumer to modify high or risky behaviors.  With this understanding, it is easy to understand the potential invasion into individual liberty and freedoms that the government deems too risky or too costly to cover under the state or national health care exchanges.  There is the potential for the government to regulate diet, exercise, recreational activities, number of children, and any other decision that before have been considered as issues of self determination.

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Alan Simmons

Alan Simmons is an adjunct instructor of history at Henderson Community College. He has been teaching at the college/university level since 2004. Within the scope of his degrees, his areas of emphasis are U.S. foreign policy, public policy history, political history, and U.S. history.

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One response to “A bad law, its growing unpopularity, and its possibilities

  1. Unfortunately, elections have consequences. I can let the first one go, but the fact that Obama was re-elected goes to show how dumbed down the American people have become
    And look at the times the senators and representatives have been re-elected again and again. I’d like to think the pendulum is going to swing the other way, but I’m not going to get my hopes up.