Obamacare’s Free Medical Care — Only $50,000 a Head!

Obama palms his face under stress

Some facts about Obamacare — the “Affordable Care Act” — reported by the London Daily Mail 1-27-15 [http://www.dailymail.co.uk]:

It will cost the federal government — taxpayers, that is — $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget office reported on Monday.

The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization’s new ten-year budget outlook.

The best-case scenario described by the CBO would result in ‘between 24 million and 27 million’ fewer Americans being uninsured in 2025, compared to the year before the Affordable Care Act took effect.

Pulling that off will cost Uncle Sam about $1.35 trillion – or $50,000 per head.

The whole premise of the Obamacare law was that “America spends too much on health care,” and it was government’s job to contain and control costs.

Morally and politically, this premise was flawed. We don’t say, “Americans spend too much on cars,” and pass a law mandating how much Americans may collectively spend on cars. We don’t say, “Americans spend too much on smart phones,” and pass a law mandating how much Americans may collectively spend on smart phones.

It’s wrong, unjust and unconstitutional — even if it could work out economically.

A few more facts reported in the Daily Mail story, based on the Congressional Budget Office report:

  • Government will spend $1.993 TRILLION over a decade and take in $643 BILLION in new taxes, penalties and fees related to Obamacare
  • The $1.35 trillion net cost will result in ‘between 24 million and 27 million’ fewer Americans being uninsured – a $50,000 price tag per person at best
  • The law will still leave ‘between 29 million and 31 million’ nonelderly Americans without medical insurance
  • Numbers assume Obamacare insurance exchange enrollment will double between now and 2025

Of course, like anything immoral in theory, socialized medicine does not work out economically in practice. The Congressional Budget Office — a nonpartisan office — is telling us that it will cost $50,000 for every person. How affordable is that?

This is what happens when you mandate things collectively. You oversimplify and underestimate all the variables and individual differences involved in a complex series of personal transactions known as “health care.” As a result, you end up with a more expensive and draconian mess than ever conceived of at the time the law was passed. And Obamacare is just getting started.

With socialized medicine, you replace individual and self-responsible decisions of consumers with “command-and-control” central authorities.

Unfortunately, most people view the concepts of “self-responsible” and “consumerism” as incompatible with medical care. In fact, they see those concepts, when applied to medical care, as distasteful and even immoral.

For that reason, we have not permitted the rational activities of a marketplace to function in the area of health care. Instead of leaving self-responsible people free to shop for insurance and hospitalization plans that best suit their needs, the government keeps getting in the way and saying, “We know the way to do this. Get the market out of the way on this one.”

The results were predictable to anyone who has studied the history of Communism, not to mention bankrupt socialized medical care in Western democracies. There’s a reason people didn’t (and still don’t) flock to Canada and Great Britain for medical care. There’s little or no profit allowed for medicine in those countries; there’s no distasteful consumerism involved. You’re simply born, you get a health care card, it’s all free, and then eventually you die.

That’s considered the standard of medical Nirvana, and that’s why we got Obamacare. Too few people objected to the law being passed, because too few possessed the willingness or capacity to question the basic economic and moral premises of socialism. “Socialism? Sure, I’m against that,” most people still say even today. But when you ask, “Is health care a right? Should government do whatever it has to do to make sure everybody gets the greatest health care possible?” most people will reply, “Of course.”

And so what did we get? Obamacare. And don’t kid yourselves, including you Republicans out there. The Romney or Jeb Bush or Chris Christie version of socialized health care won’t be any more successful at perverting the basic principles of economics and morality than Obamacare was. The moment you impose force on peaceful people — doctors most of all — is the moment you subvert their ability to think. That’s why force is morally wrong every time it’s initiated by a government, and economically disastrous every time it’s imposed. This will never change, and even the once mythical Obama (the political equivalent of the man from Oz) could not alter this fact of reality.

The only solution to this growing Obamacare debacle is the only one we ever had: Movement towards a free market. We can’t get there overnight and there’s no quick fix. But we’ve reached the dead end of socialism and Communism with these CBO figures already coming out. More to follow. What’s the right health care reform? Privatization. Privatization. Privatization. Lifting controls. Deregulation. Phasing out of subsides. Completely and totally opening up the market for health care. Put a time limit on Medicaid and Medicare. Debate what the time limit should be, but have one, and mean it. (The demise of these programs is inevitable given their unsustainable numbers; so privatization means accepting facts.) Let profit rule, and only fraud should be prosecuted. Let doctors, hospitals and health insurance plans (the degree to which they’re needed or wanted) bid for the best possible services or products at the best possible price, based on individual consumer patient choice. If anyone fails to be a self-responsible consumer, or perhaps encounters problems against their control, then charity — in a free market, as now — will never be against the law. We already know that private charity, like private enterprise, does an infinitely superior job to the government even on its best day.

If you’re healthy, none of this probably matters to you right now. You can yawn, shrug, and flip to another subject at the lightning-like speed that our profit-driven technological world gave us. Why won’t you permit the same for medical care? The doctors who may eventually be operating on you or saving your life are being crushed by the implications of this Obamacare law right now. That goes for hospitals too, who receive much or most of their funding from the dying, bankrupt program of Medicare. We can turn them into the equivalent of government employees, if you like, but doesn’t it occur to you that this turns the quality of your medical care into the equivalent of government employees? Do you really want a trip to the hospital — which you hope to never need, but sooner or later will — to become the equivalent of a visit to the TSA-run airport or a Social Security office, or the DMV?

The “right to health care” consists of a doctor’s right to practice free of government controls and a patient’s right to choose and function in a free marketplace for medicine rather than a command-and-control, single-payer system to which Obamacare is sending us all. Sure, we should repeal and replace Obamacare, but with one thing only: a free marketplace.



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