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  • Guest Blogger: Obamacare and the Law of Unintended Consequences

    The virtue of prudence dictates that one should heed the law of unintended consequences and seek to minimize the unwelcome outcomes that result from almost every endeavor. When one fails to do so, the damaging unintended consequences can be overwhelmingly; oftentimes to such a degree that any rational supporter of the endeavor must seriously consider whether it is worth the pains.

    This is the story of Obamacare, literally “the law” of unintended consequences. And tragically, we’re only in year one of its implementation.

    Most prominently, President Obama repeatedly promised that “if you like your plan, you can keep it.” However, tens of thousands of Americans have already been forced to change plans, the majority being seniors holding Medicare Advantage plans that Obamacare subjected to dramatic cuts. Starting in 2014, hundreds of thousands more will fall victim given that it is cheaper for businesses to drop employees onto the government-run exchange than continue providing them coverage.

    Obamacare’s proponents proclaimed that it would reduce premiums and bend the cost curve downward. Yet this year has already produced a flurry of premium increases for almost every American, with one insurance company after another declaring the law was largely the reason. And this is with only a few of its provisions kicking-in; just wait until all the costly taxes, mandates, and regulations are implemented.

    One of the other alleged achievements was ending discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. Yet four major insurance companies have exited the child-only insurance market in order to avoid being forced to provide a product from which they would have to take a loss.

    Children are supposed to be able to stay on their parent’s insurance until 26, but somehow the Democrats forgot to include this extension for military children. It took nine months for them to legislatively fix this oversight.

    These are just a few of the law’s unintended consequences. We could go on all day listing them, but you get the point: Obamacare is The Law of Unintended Consequences and America cannot afford its endless destruction.

    Alex Cortes is the Chairman of Restore the Dream Foundation, whose initiative DeFundIt.org advocates for the de-funding of Obamacare.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Guest Blogger: Obamacare and the Law of Unintended Consequences

    1. Kevin H, college par says:

      Why should taxpayers be covering the costs for all the cadillac services some Medicare Advantage customers were receiving. I love the idea that there are minimum benefits standards, and that is what all plans are required to hold to – not allowing some get every little things covered on the backs of our kids and grandkids. I'm glad we're cutting Medicare Advantage – talk about waste, fraud and abuse – why should we pay Medicare Advantage providers thousands of dollar more for the same exact service that regular Medicare providers pay for – just another big payday for the prvate insurers that have been abusing Americna for decades. Good riddance to the extra MA benefits and good riddance to the billions of taxpayers dollars spent to subsidize private insurers – as if they need it!

      If the new health reform law is the reason you state for increased benefits – then how do you explain the 131% increase over the previous 10 years before the law was passed? Seems to be the already the premium increases have slowed due to the new law.

      You and your website speak of defunding 'obamacare'. 2 things on that – 1) can a republican please introduce a bill to rename the health reofrm law 'obamacare' so decades down the road people will still be calling it obamacare and know who to thank? 2) you know better than me defunding will do hardly anything – youc an only defund the discretionary provisions which equals about 10% of the total cost.

      Why don't Republcians spend time on creating jobs and growing the economy instead of devoting all this time to health reform – we already see their numbers dropping quikcly in the polls – the honeymoon is over, thankfully!

    2. Bobbie says:

      It's cruel government would take away Medicare advantage that government created for the elderly to give more to the able bodied!

      I'd like to know who's idea it is to keep adults covered under their parents plan until 26? This is so demeaning!

      This deceivingly called "affordable health care" is the root of all that will destroy this country. Removing it will save and create more jobs under honest leadership.

      Thank God there are now decent members in congress, dignified enough to STOP the government manufactured crisis deceivingly called "affordable health care act:" is creating.

    3. Bobbie says:

      It's unconstitutional. The President is well aware! The unintended consequences are the intended consequences of those behind the collapse of America.

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    8. Gabriel says:

      Bobbie,

      Did you know that over 35% of all bankruptcy is directly due to unaffordable medical coverage? Why do you not care about your fellow citizens? Have you read one sentence from HR 3200 or so you just follow Heritage?

    9. Bobbie says:

      Did you know that over 35% of all bankruptcy is directly due to government fraud and corruption? Why do you insist on socialism in America? Do you not care about the freedom of your fellow citizens? Why do you like a government that goes beyond their Constitutional duties? Why do you depend on government regarding issues you should be handling on your own?

    10. jane hughes, san ant says:

      I wrote the following piece for my website. I agree defunding is the second best to out and out repeal.

      A Reform Plan

      Most Americans believe that we do need to reform our current healthcare system. However, an overwhelming majority do not believe that ObamaCare will decrease costs, increase access or improve care- the talking points that have been used to try to persuade the public to accept this legislation. Since ObamaCare has been enacted and Americans have had a chance to learn what is in the bill, there is even more opposition to it, and for good reason. The analysis of the bill reveals that it has very little to do with healthcare and a lot to do with taking over 17% of the private sector economy, all cloaked in the false promise of affordable healthcare insurance. It is based upon the failed socialist models that we see in Europe. If there was any doubt, the recess appointment of Donald Berwick as head of Medicare and Medicaid Services is confirmation. His ideal model is the crumbling NICE system of bureaucratic rationing seen in Great Britain. What can we do about it? We must work with Representatives and Senators who are dedicated to repealing and replacing ObamaCare. This will pave the way for meaningful, sustainable common sense reform that preserves the doctor-patient relationship and the finest health care in the world. Here are some points for consideration:

      1. Shift tax advantages to individuals to allow health insurance as a tax deductable item. Promote personal health savings accounts.

      2. Get employers of out the health insurance business. Have them add money to the paycheck with proof of insurance so that families can buy their own insurance that therefore becomes portable. Patients would no longer be handed over in bulk to an insurance company who offered a low bid to the employer. The insurance industry would respond with a robust offering of individual policies that would pool risk by virtue of the value of their product, not contracts with third parties.

      3. Medicaid could temporarily serve as a stop-gap for those between jobs who could not afford to continue their insurance, much like unemployment.

      4. Encourage states to eliminate insurance coverage mandates for non-essential non-medical coverage (acupuncture, therapeutic massage) to lower costs.

      5. Return to a major medical model where insurance is for unanticipated medical expense after a certain deductable is met. Routine care is not a covered expense in return for everything one needs in a medical or surgical event.

      6. Allow purchase and portability across state lines. This would increase competition and spawn the type of innovative insurance solutions that are seen today in Utah. Their system can be seen on their state government website.

      7. Encourage states to hold healthcare summits with healthcare industry representatives to elucidate what the problems are, possible solutions, and what each part of the system can contribute to decrease cost, promote transparency in pricing, and promote personal responsibility within the framework of the traditional doctor and patient centered system.

      8. Allow 65 year and older individuals to opt out of Medicare in return for a stipend check and selection of a private healthcare policy like the rest of the population.

      9. Each physician should develop one fee schedule for all of his or her patients, including Medicare, Medicaid, and any other insurance. This could be available through a designated state official website. Patients could compare. No contracts between insurance companies and physicians would be made. Allow balance billing to the Medicare patient.

      10. Apply the same transparent public fee list requirement to hospitals, laboratories, pharmaceuticals and medical device companies. This would eliminate cost-shifting, burdensome administrative requirements, and would allow physicians and patients to make informed choices.

      11. Enact tort reform to reduce the estimated 20% healthcare and drug costs related to fear of litigation. Texas is a model state where tort reform has reduced costs and allowed scare specialties back to areas that drove them away with bogus litigation.

      12. Finally, allow the cost of charitable care to be deducted by the physician.from the income tax using the usual and customary fee for service. Most physicians would be willing to assimilate the uninsured amongst us in return for deducting the cost of service.

      These are starting points for reforms that would capitalize on existing infrastructure and therefore not add to the Federal deficit. These strategies would set the stage for States to begin to craft sustainable healthcare systems. We cannot quietly choose a system of cruel rationing as seen in Great Britain. Currently 21 States have joined in a Constitutional challenge to ObamaCare that is working its way through the courts. Thirty-one states have or are in the process of passing laws that protect their residents from any mandate to purchase a product. As individuals, we can work in whatever venue we can to ensure that there is repeal of this disastrous legislation and replacement with sustainable, meaningful reform.

      Jane Lindell Hughes, M.D., F.A.C.S.
      http://www.usaHealthalert.org

    11. Gabriel says:

      Bobbie(Billie),

      "Did you know that over 35% of all bankruptcy is directly due to government fraud and corruption? Why do you insist on socialism in America" -90% of the entire healthcare system is private sector so the private sector takes up 90% of all fruad and waste in the healthcare system. you do realize that 90 is greater then 10 right?

      healthcare refrom is now considered "socialism". by who's standards? yours?

      "Why do you not care about your fellow citizens?"

      "Do you not care about the freedom of your fellow citizens?"

      there you go again stealing my words. have you ran out of talking points yet Bobbie?

      "Why do you like a government that goes beyond their Constitutional duties?"

      -explain in detail which constitutional duties? be specific because your arguments are becoming so poor i almost feel bad for you.

      "Why do you depend on government regarding issues you should be handling on your own?" -which issues? healthcare reform. Can 40 million LEGAL citizens just get up and automatically afford health insurance? Does it look that easy to you? Will the free market just all the sudden start offering affordable health insurance? Do you have a plan for 40 million uninsured americans? no? yes? anything?

    12. Bobbie says:

      Gabriel, (Daniel, Zack) You're gonna have to think for yourself, sweetie. All signs of government point to socialism. There is no free market insurance. Government has guided it for quite awhile. Read the Constitution to detail the duties of government, sweetie.

      Will the free market just all the sudden start offering affordable health insurance?

      Pretty irrational statement. Are you an adult? Or just that ignorant?

      Do you have a plan for 40 million uninsured Americans? no? yes? anything? What do you think?

      It's beyond my hands. What are your thoughts? Do you think it will be more affordable in the free market or do you think everyone should pay government to give it to us? Do you think government will run it more efficient? Less cost? Higher quality doctors? No malpractice? More choices? Less denial? Private between doctor and you? Instead of posing the question to me let's hear what you have in mind…Daniel. If you don't answer I'll understand your fear.

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