Supporters of Obamacare Admit It Hurts the Poor

Some supporters of Obamacare are honest enough to admit a few of its warts. Would that they would take those admissions to their logical conclusions.

David Gamage is an assistant professor of Law at UC Berkeley who has worked on the tax provisions of Obamacare for the Treasury Department. In an October 30 article in the Wall Street Journal (“ObamaCare’s Costs to the Working Class“), he expresses sincere concern over the presumably unintended consequences of the Obamacare law as written. Instead of repenting of his support for the law however, he advocates “further reform,” failing which dire consequences will ensue. What needs to be understood by ordinary citizens who are not privileged enough to be paid by the government to help the government command other people’s lives and money is that these consequences are predictable, were predicted, and that this is only the beginning of a vicious downward spiral.

The term “perverse incentive” appears seven times in Professor Gamage’s article. Accepting a higher-paid job could cost a citizen more on net balance than it is worth due to the loss of health-care subsidies. Employers now have every incentive to make as much of their workforce part-time (and thereby ineligible for health insurance benefits) as possible. “ObamaCare’s new subsidies may also create penalties for marriage and incentives for divorce.” People who have access to affordable individual coverage but NOT affordable family coverage through their employers will be disqualified from receiving family coverage from the Obamacare plan. And so on and on.

Yet he explicitly rejects any suggestion that the law is a lemon at best and that we should go back to the drawing board. Indeed, he opens with “It is time to move past the debate over whether ObamaCare was a good or a bad idea.” Really?

The second most-repeated phrase in the article is “further reforms” (which even appears once in the same sentence with the other winner, ‘”perverse incentives”):  “Without further reforms, the law will create unnecessary costs for working-class Americans.” “Without further reforms, many employers and employees will jointly benefit if employers make low-income employees part-timers rather than offering them health insurance.” “Even if these perverse incentives affect only a limited number of individuals, lawmakers should still strive to mitigate them through further reforms.” “Hence, whether we want to ‘repeal and replace’ ObamaCare, or ‘improve ObamaCare through further reforms,’ is merely a question of semantics.”

But “further reforms” is not a solution; it is merely continuing down the path to worse problems in response to problems created by the original legislation. Are we really supposed to believe that a 2,700-page bill and 10,000+ pages of derived regulations are fundamentally sound but merely insufficient, that we emphatically need more, more, further, further, further rules and regulations? Do we believe that more meddling and fiddling about to fix the first unintended consequences will have no unintended consequences of their own?

Government interventions in the market always create worse problems than the unsatisfactory original conditions they intend to solve. Maximum-price controls on milk to help poor mothers feed their babies lead to shortages of milk (and/or surpluses of butter, yoghurt and cheese) as marginal producers are unable to recoup their costs and go out of business and more people clamor for the lower-priced product, which leads the government to control the price of cattle feed in hopes of lowering dairy production costs, which leads to a shortage of cattle feed and an increase in the percentage of cows slaughtered for meat instead of being kept as milk producers.  It’s called Econ 101.

The only surprise in any of this is that people capable of passing the bar exam are unable to comprehend it.

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  • Mary Sue

    They should have just plagiarized the entire Canada Health Act and they'd be better off than with Obamacare.

    • kafir4life

      When I contacted Senator Schmuckles Chumer about obamacare before it was passed, I expressed concern over Canadians, and where they would go for health services under obamacare. They weren't amused.
      Chuck also expressed interest in having the job his mentor george soros had during WWII, confiscating property from condemned Jews. He'd be very good at it, indeed.

      • Demetrius M

        Kafir4life, you're my kinda guy or gal! Growing up in Canada before LEGALLY obtaining my citizenship, I had my own issues with the Canadian healthcare system, specifically in Ontario, what was once the economic engine of Canada.

        The problem became worse over the years and I wrote on this site previously about the situation they imposed on my grandfather a few years ago.

        Canada awoke about ten or so years ago realizing they could not sustain the European socialism and have had no choice but to make cuts, but with unions running the show and a growing baby boom generation transforming to senior citizens, it is hard to do.

        As for Soros, I await the day he passes on and visits hell.

        • Parenthetical Phrase

          Soros won't be "visiting" hell. He'll be there for a VERY VERY LONG TIME!

  • aksharaes

    ak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.|”Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.” by Eckhart Tolle.|”If a man destroys the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye.” by Hammurabi.|”If someone wants a sheep, then that means that he exists.” by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.|”Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all.” by Saint Augustine.|”People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.” by Logan Pearsall Smith.|”Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.” by Oscar Wilde.|”All science is either physics or stamp collecting.” by Ernest Rutherford.|”Tonight we are launching an effort which holds the promise of changing the course of human history.” by Ronald Reagan.|”We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light.” by Earl Nightingale.|”There is an enormous number of managers who hav

  • Asher

    Any time you force legislation on the people, it never turns out for the betterment. Many people from other countries came here for good health care without the wait, now they will be forced to be on a waiting list, and may not get the care they need in Socialist countries, well America is on the same road. Obama care is not good healthcare for all, it is the way of controlling lives by the government.

  • cindy

    Well, I certainly hope Pelosi is proud of the job she did shoving this sh*t down our throats. That witch should be kicked and sentenced to her own healthcare coverage… for life…along with Barney, Harry and the other stooges.

  • Demetrius M

    Wouldn't it have been better if the sign in the picture said "Keep your healthcare out of my bank account"?

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  • way2confused

    “…he expresses sincere concern over the presumably unintended consequences of the Obamacare law as written.”

    There is his main problem. He doesn’t even realize that with Obama, there are no “unintended consequences” with anything he does. Everything is carefully planned and executed to do precisely what this abomination does to the poor and the rapidly dwindling Middle Class. Just try to find a full time job today with benefits, most employers hiring are only hiring part time so they do not have to provide healthcare to their employees. Not only that, but employers are reducing the wages thanks to Obozo’s “let hire the illegals” campaign to put more poor and Middle Class families out of work and unable to make ends meet.

    IMHO. this bill was designed to start the elimination of the Middle Class so there will only be two classes left in this country–the wealthy bureaucrats who will dictate what we can and cannot have and they will live in the lap of luxury, and the rest of us living in abject poverty. For a glimpse of what Obama wants, just look to the former Soviet Union–THAT is the “fundamental transformation” Obama seeks. Remember, with a strong and vibrant Middle Class, Obama and his ilk can not transform this country into his idea of a Marxist utopia. The Middle Class must be destroyed.