What is the Cost of Obamacare?

The Cincinnati Enquirer’s front-page article on August 10th entitled “Who pays health care law’s tax hikes?” asks a great question.  Unfortunately, neither Democrats nor Republicans have answered this question.

Perhaps, it’s because Americans can’t handle the truth.  Or perhaps, it’s because the answer is hidden so deep within the hundreds of pages of complex legislation that nobody really knows the answer.  Or perhaps, nobody really cares until they feel the actual sting.

Quite frankly, I’m amazed that legislation of this magnitude was passed without anybody, especially politicians, having a better understanding of the potential fiscal and physical consequences.  Clearly, somebody is going to pay for the health care law.  And it certainly will cost more than just tax increases.

Obamacare is expected to cost $1.68 trillion of new spending in its first decade, according to Charles Krauthammer’s research.  Who is going to pay this cost for Obamacare?  And what about the increased deductibles that hospitals will charge those on Medicare?  And what about the loss of medical services because physicians will not accept those on Medicare?  How do you measure those costs?

Well, I wouldn’t have any problem with this answer:  We all are going to pay.  How much is it going to cost?  We don’t know, yet, but it’s going to hurt everybody.

Ruling on Obamacare May Not Be What it Seems

Chief Justice’s John G. Roberts surprised many liberals and conservatives alike when he upheld the centerpiece for Obamacare as constitutional under the taxing power of Congress.  But I was surprised only by Roberts’ method of permitting the insurance mandate.  The law was carefully crafted as a penalty, not a tax.  But the ruling may not be what it seems.  It actually may hurt the reelection chances for Obama and Democrats.

What?  Am I finally ready to check into the old-folks home?  Is it early dementia setting in?  How can Roberts’ upholding the health care law’s individual insurance mandate hurt the president in his campaign?  Well, think about it.  I believe Justice Roberts, a conservative who was appointed by President George G. Bush, gave his decision a lot of thought.  If the Supreme Court had struck down this law as unconstitutional, Obama would avoid the train-wreck that awaits him and could then blame the Republicans for voters not receiving health coverage.  Also, Obama must now face the wrath of voters who have been told by the Supreme Court that the “penalty” is actually a tax.  Wow!  That’s almost like calling Obama a liar.

As it stands, the Republicans now have a strong rallying cry, reminiscent of “Remember the Alamo.”  It’s “Repeal Obamacare.”  If the Republican strategists were planning the Supreme Court decision, it could not have been much better.

I don’t like the precedent of giving the government even more power than it already has under the taxing authority.  I believe that a penalty is very different from a tax.  I know the expression, “If it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”  However, this health care requirement to purchase insurance or pay a penalty doesn’t sound like a tax to me.  It sounds pretty much like a penalty.  I suppose that we can now be happy that all fines for crimes can now be considered taxes.