Oakland, Calif., Nov. 9, 2012The re-election of Barack Obama on November 6th has guaranteed that his signature piece of legislationObamaCareis now likely to go forward.
However, there is a silver lining that no one is talking about. The Independent Institute book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, by Dr. John C. Goodman, provides the perfect ObamaCare survival kit, identifying 6 major flaws in the legislation that are so serious that Congressboth Democrats and Republicanswill be forced to face them, whether they want to or not.
- ObamaCare is not paid for. At least not in any politically realistic way.
- ObamaCare promises what it cannot deliver. In order for the country as a whole to get more medical care, there must be more doctors and nurses and hospital personnel - something that ObamaCare does not create.
- ObamaCare mandates and subsidies will destabilize entire sectors of the economy. We could see entire firms dissolve and re-combine, just in response to health insurance subsidies, rather than based on economic considerations.
- ObamaCare creates perverse incentives that threaten the quality of care. Within the newly created health insurance exchanges, insurers will profit from healthy enrollees and incur losses on the less healthy.
- A weakly enforced mandate will undermine the health insurance marketplace. The fine for being uninsured will be small, relative to the cost of insurance. And there is not much the IRS can do to people who ignore the mandate, other than withhold refund checks.
- A strongly enforced mandate will strain almost every family budget. If we are required to buy coverage and denied the right to scale back benefits, choose higher deductibles, etc., health insurance premiums will crowd out more and more of the average family's budget.
So, when the doctors stop seeing senior patients, when the hospitals leave the market (as one in seven will in the next eight years, according to the Medicare Actuary) and when the insurance plans cut back on the benefits they are providing, there will be enormous pressure on Congress to reverse all of this. As discussed in Priceless, true reform requires freeing caregivers and patients by allowing them to interact in innovative ways to help meet unique individual medical needs. Thus, Dr. Goodman, and most inside-the-Beltway folks, is firmly convinced ObamaCare will be reformed and its unsustainable provisions reversed.
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