Opinion

Ten reasons why even liberals should hate Obamacare

Photo of David Gibberman
David Gibberman
Attorney
  • See All Articles
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Bio

      David Gibberman

      David Gibberman, a lawyer, writes about legal and financial matters for professionals, college students, and the general public.

So much attention has been paid to the freedoms we’ll be losing under Obamacare (courtesy of Chief Justice Roberts) that we’ve tended to overlook the many other reasons to oppose the law — reasons that should make even liberals hate the legislation.

1.) Health insurance will cost more than it would have without Obamacare. That shouldn’t be surprising considering the long list of services (including obesity and domestic violence screening and counseling) that insurance companies will be required to provide for “free” and considering that insurance companies will be required to accept all applicants, regardless of how ill they are. However, our math-challenged president once claimed that Obamacare will reduce premiums by “as much as 3,000%” (meaning that insurance companies will start paying people to stay insured) and still insists it will reduce premiums for a family of four by “as much as $2,300.” Even one of Obamacare’s designers, Jonathan Gruber, is telling states to expect that premiums for individual policies will be 30% more by 2016 than they would have been without Obamacare (PriceWaterhouseCoopers has projected a 47% increase).

2.) If you like your current health insurance plan, good luck keeping it. With employers penalized if they offer too generous an insurance plan, a plan not meeting government-prescribed minimum requirements, or a plan that the government deems unaffordable by certain employees, and with insurance costs skyrocketing, employers will have to adjust what coverage they provide and how much of the cost their employees share.

3.) Obamacare won’t fulfill President Obama’s goal of decreasing how much our nation spends on healthcare. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently estimated that national health care spending will increase from 16.8% of gross domestic product in 2010 (the latest year for which statistics are available) to about 26% by 2037.

4.) Federal spending on healthcare will crowd out spending for other purposes (such as for education and defense). The CBO has projected that healthcare spending will be 24.5% of federal non-interest spending in 2012 and 39.8% in 2037.

5.) Obamacare will cost people jobs. Chris Conover has estimated for Forbes that one million or more jobs, mainly for lower-wage earners, will be lost because of the additional taxes and higher employment costs imposed by Obamacare.

6.) The tax credit (up to 98% of the cost of a policy) to help people purchase health insurance is distributed unfairly. You can’t get a credit if you’re too poor, your (or your spouse’s) employer provides affordable individual coverage (but not affordable family coverage that you need), or the exchange selling insurance in your state was established by the federal government instead of the state. Obamacare actually discourages average Americans from working for an employer who offers health insurance. For example, assume that two individuals each have skills worth $30,000 a year. An employer who provides insurance will deduct the cost of the insurance from the $30,000. By contrast, an employer not providing insurance will pay the $30,000, and the employee will be entitled to a tax credit (worth more than $10,000 for family coverage) in addition to the $30,000.