1. ObamaCare’s centerpiece, a Medicare-like “public option,” would cause millions of Americans to lose their employer-provided health insurance.
Millions of employers would choose this new “option” for their employees. The Lewin Group, a prominent consulting firm, estimates that under a widespread, Medicare-like “public option,” 118 million Americans would lose their private health insurance and be switched onto government-run care.
2. Government-run health care would lead to rationing.
President Obama wants to control health care’s rising costs. In the free market, that goal can be met through increased competition and choice. With the government in charge, there’s only one path to that end: rationing care.
3. ObamaCare would cost a fortune, and we’re already running higher deficits than during the Great Depression.
ObamaCare would cost a fortune, and we’re already running higher deficits than during the Great Depression — even when expressed as a percentage of our gross domestic product. Our GDP is now about 250x higher than during the Great Depression. Incredibly, our federal deficit is now about 400x higher (from $4.5 billion to $1.8 trillion). In inflation-adjusted dollars, we are now running the highest deficits in our nation’s entire history, higher even than during the Civil War or WWII. Only 55 percent of this year’s budget ($2.2 of $4.0 trillion) is coming from tax revenues; the rest is being borrowed.
White House budget director Peter Orszag says that every other federal program’s effect on future deficits will be “swamped” by Medicare and Medicaid. The last thing we need is a new Medicare-like program and an expansion of Medicaid.
4. ObamaCare would ruin private insurance.
When competing with FedEx and UPS, the Post Office has to provide an actual service. But the “public option” would merely use government’s coercive powers to dictate the prices of services provided by others — by doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Private insurance, which can’t do this and doesn’t get taxpayer financing, would be ruined.
5. ObamaCare would encourage people to leave the medical profession.
Medicare pays about 75 cents on the dollar for care. As private insurers dwindle, fewer costs could be shifted to them, medical professionals would take the hit, and fewer people would choose that profession. Do those who doubt this also doubt that higher pay attracts teachers?
6. In addition to increasing deficits, ObamaCare would increase overall health costs.
Medicare pays doctors less, but taxpayers pay Medicare more. As my recent Pacific Research Institute study shows, since 1970, Medicare’s and Medicaid’s costs have each risen one-third more, per patient, than the combined costs of all health care in America apart from these two flagship government-run programs. What the government saves through lower payments to doctors, it more than squanders through poorly coordinated care, greater susceptibility to fraud, and bureaucratic waste.
7. Based on Medicare’s track record, ObamaCare’s costs would almost certainly exceed estimates.
In the 1960s, President Johnson and Congress both projected that Medicare would cost $12 billion in 1990 — an estimate that included inflation. Its actual cost was $111 billion, 9x the original estimate.
8. ObamaCare would create a two-tiered health-care system, to the detriment of the middle class.
The very rich would continue to get the care they want — whether here or abroad — by paying out of their own pockets. The rest of us would stand in line and wait for rationed care.
9. ObamaCare would kill the prospects for real reform.
We need to end the unfair tax on the uninsured. We need to give the uninsured and self-insured a tax credit to put them on the same ground as those with employer-provided insurance. Most of all, we need to encourage a more vibrant free market in which consumers can shop for value — for the best care, at the best prices. ObamaCare would prevent real reform.
10. The centralization of power in Washington saps the strength of our citizenry and slowly deprives us of liberty.
Our Founders designed our government to be strong, not weak. But they also designed it to be limited. Yes, the world has changed. But it’s far easier to imagine the Founders performing open-heart surgeries than to imagine them sanctioning a government takeover of one-sixth of the economy.
Praising the Founders’ design and describing the dangers of consolidated power, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:
The sovereign extends its arms over society as a whole … ; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and finally reduces each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.
So why would President Obama and Congress push for this result? Tocqueville answers:
One can easily foresee that almost all the ambitious and capable citizens that a democratic country contains will work without respite to extend the prerogatives of the social power, because they all hope to direct it one day. It is a waste of one’s time to want to prove to them that extreme centralization can be harmful to the state, since they centralize for themselves.
We need to stop ObamaCare.