7.) People will be penalized for marrying or earning additional income. As little as $1 of extra income (maybe from a child’s illegal lemonade stand) can reduce the tax credit for purchasing Health Insurance by more than $100 or disqualify an individual from a credit worth more than $10,000. Individuals living together can lose most or all of their credit if they marry. Two individuals, each with $200,000 of income, could have to pay an additional $5,700 (ObamaCare’s new Medicare tax on the “rich”) if they marry (the tax applies to individuals with more than $200,000 of income and married individuals with more than $250,000 of income).
8.) Obamacare will stifle the innovation needed to improve people’s health and prolong their lives. Obamacare’s comparative effectiveness review process will increase the cost of developing drugs and medical devices, delay the introduction of new drugs and devices, and discourage research and development projects by increasing the risk that a drug or device will be rejected because the government decides that another drug or device is better. Obamacare’s tax on the proceeds (not just profits) from sales of medical devices is expected to reduce research and development on medical devices by billions of dollars each year.
9.) Health Care will be provided by large businesses. Obamacare has already encouraged businesses to merge and physicians to become hospital employees to cope with the law’s imposition of smaller profit margins and high compliance costs. These bigger businesses have been using their market power to charge higher prices for care. There’s no reason to believe that they’re providing better care.
10.) Just saying that everyone will have health insurance and quality care doesn’t make it so. The CBO has estimated that Obamacare will leave 30 million individuals uninsured. Millions of those given insurance will be thrown into Medicaid, which provides poorer care than private insurance, mainly because many doctors refuse to treat people on Medicaid and states skimp on coverage. Paying for a good chunk of Obamacare by cutting payments to doctors and hospitals treating Medicare patients is bound to adversely affect the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. We already have a shortage of doctors (130,600 by 2025 according to the American Medical Colleges). We’re not likely to get the best people to become doctors by reducing their pay and limiting their freedom to practice what they believe is best for their patients.
At this month’s Democratic National Convention, Vice President Biden accused Republicans of “betting against the American people.” But it is he and his fellow Democrats who have no faith in the American people. Instead of making free market reforms to unleash the genius of Americans to come up with innovative ways to improve health care and make it more affordable, President Obama and his fellow Democrats have bet that politicians and bureaucrats are best able to design our healthcare system. Their hubris would be laughable if the consequences for our country weren’t so dire.
David Gibberman, a lawyer, writes about legal and financial matters for professionals, college students, and the general public.