I was recently asked why Obamacare is so bad…
Where to start?
Let’s start at the Constitutional Level.
Obamacare requires that every person in America buys insurance. This was done because without doing it every insurance provider in the nation would begin losing almost immediately and rather than lose money they would just go Atlas Shrugged on us and close shop…but by having everyone on insurance they at least still make a small profit, but only because you’ve forced millions of people who don’t need insurance onto insurance (but even then only by making everyone pay increased premiums).
The problem with this is that the Constitution gives the government no power to force people to buy something (in fact forcing people to do something against their will is expressly prohibited in the 5th Amendment’s protection of private property, and 13th Amendment). They enforce this mandate by penalizing you if you don’t buy insurance. Again, no Constitutional authority to do this.
Now the Supreme Court and Obamacare got around this by saying this penalty isn’t a fine, it’s a tax (the strangest tax in history, but still a tax). The problem with this is Constitutionally taxes have to originate in House of Representatives and Obamacare originated in the Senate.
So either it’s forcing you to buy something, and is unconstitutional, or it’s a tax in which case the bill was not passed in a constitutional manner.
Either way it’s unconstitutional.
Then let’s go to the idea of rights.
This is silly. Traditionally rights have been considered things that you are born with or you would have even if there was no civilization around. If you’re alone on an island you still have the rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. In society no one has the right to take these away from you, which is why these are called negative rights—you have them and no one can negate them. Even if someone has the power to do so no one has the ethical, moral, or political basis to take away by force your negative rights. Ethical government is based on the idea that, being a part of society, you give up a very small amount (not so small these days) of your rights to protect the vast majority of them. At least in the ideal.
The right to health care is what’s called a positive right. The idea that you have a right to certain things that you would not have without others, that you have not and cannot provide for yourself, and that others are required to provide for you. Health care is one of these. The idea that you have a right to living wage, whether you earn it or not.
Now, personally I don’t think there has ever been a good argument for positive rights, but the bigger problem is that positive rights always infringe upon negative rights. If you have the right to a living wage, then others must provide, and thus must have their property taken away, to provide your living wage. Thus you have no right to property if you have the right to a living wage. If you have a right to health care, then doctors and nurses must treat you or any medical issue (not only life threatening ones, hospitals and doctors were required to treat life threatening issues by law even before Obamacare) whether you can pay or not. This means a doctor cannot choose to not take you as a patient. Thus the right to healthcare means doctors do not have freedom of choice and thus do not have the right to liberty…I believe that’s called slavery. Now you think this may be an extreme example, but whenever positive rights have become laws you see fewer protection of negative rights without exception throughout history.
Then we have the pragmatic problems with Obamacare.
Obamacare creates massive amounts of regulation (11 million words of regulations ). This encourages more doctors to leave the system, and more highly qualified potential doctors and other medical professionals to not get into it (). It slows research, it reduces the amounts of medical equipment that can be used. It raises prices.
Also when something is free or perceived as free, as in the case of Obamacare, you always get people wanting more of it.
This will cause more people to go to the doctor (remember there will be fewer of them) for more minor issues. This will cause longer lines and less efficient care, thus treatment quality will go down, and mortality rates will go up. This can be seen in any country with socialized medicine where you see such things as gout go months without treatment (whereas it is almost always immediately caught here) or where due to the wait, limb amputation as a result a diabetes is vastly more common under systems like Obamacare than it has been in the preObamacare American system. (These are just two examples. Every disease gets worse under socialized medicine).
You will also have the problem of price control boards. Now, we have always had these in one form or another (but they got really annoying after the government created the dreaded HMO…that’s right the biggest thing people hated in healthcare before Obamacare was also a government created debacle). You buy a certain level of insurance and the insurance company says that due to the level you have bought we will pay X amount of dollars, but no more. This becomes an issue with experimental treatment and long-term problems like cancer. The insurance will pay for your pain meds, as they are required to by your policy, but they will not pay for expensive chemo and radiation (not because they’re heartless but because they would go broke if they paid for everyone who didn’t pay the premiums for that level of care). If you want more coverage, you can always buy more. The problem with Obamacare is that government price control boards are going into place and will say what you can and can’t have for treatment, if you are in the government exchanges. The difference here is if an insurance company denied to pay, you could always pay out of pocket, under Obamacare the price control board’s decision is final (if try to pay out of pocket you are again subject to fines, and rationing will have made these procedures already more expensive which makes already expensive procedures astronomically unreachable, so it’s the same thing as making them illegal). This is why they have earned the moniker “death panels” because if they deny your claim, you die…if the insurance company denied you, you still had other options and it was up to you if you wanted to spend your life savings on buying those extra few months.
The unfortunate effect will be that as medical prices rise, what is covered by the price control boards will contract drastically. Thus even more things will become deadly.
Not to mention with the above fact that people are more likely to go to the doctor, which means even if they aren’t sick they’re more likely to go to a waiting room where someone is sick and catch something. And remember antibiotics are slowly becoming worthless. Yeah that bodes well.
There are a lot of other ways it will ruin the medical profession, but I think you get the point.
Finally the economic reasons why it’s bad.
Ignoring the fact that higher death rates may have some negative economic effects…it’s just bad in every way for the economy.
Obamacare requires businesses with a certain number of employees to buy insurance at a certain level for their employees.
As premiums rise, as I stated above, this means it becomes more and more expensive to hire an employee. If you earn $45,000 plus benefits right now, it actually costs your employer around $60,000 between salary, benefits, and social security to employee you. As premiums rise so does the cost of employing each person.
Whether businesses care about their employees or not, they first have to stay in business. They are hesitant to hire new people as new hires also cost money for training and you usually aren’t getting the full effect of the employee for a few months until they get into a rhythm with the system of your company. So you’re taking a loss with each new employee even before Obamacare. The raised premiums then mean with each new employee will have to provide more for the company to be worth their total cost. Thus you tend to fire the lower performers because you’re not getting your money’s worth. So fewer people hired, more people fired. Also since you have to provide fewer benefits for part time workers than full time, you are more likely to hire people only part time. We have seen all of this over the last few years.
Small businesses are hurt too because a small business can only grow to a certain size before it has to provide benefits. So when it reaches that point, a business can either not grow, which hurts economic growth, or suddenly provide full medical coverage…and no small business at that size can afford to make that immediate jump in the cost of each employee. Again we have slowly seen the effects this has on the economy.
This leads to overall negative ripple effects in prosperity, take home pay, innovation, research…it creates a bad economy all around.
And we’re already seeing all of this on a massive scale.
So to sum up, it’s unconstitutional, it’s unethical, it’s leads to bad medicine, and it leads to a terrible economy.
What makes it worse is that actually less government (removing the restrictions on research, removing the restrictions on insurance companies crossing state lines, a thousand other small things) could actually improve medicine, medical costs, and the economy. And Republicans have proposed these numerous times despite the media saying they have no idea of what to replace Obamacare with.
Anything anyone wants clarified?