Hank  Adler

It cannot be lost on anyone that the Affordable Healthcare Act is resulting in business and personal decisions not desired by either the authors of the legislation or those who voted for its passage.

The now likely results over the next few years include significantly higher health insurance costs, fewer employees being covered under employer health plans and millions of young taxpayers electing to forgo health insurance because of its cost and with the knowledge that insurance companies cannot deny them coverage if they contract some deadly disease.

Over the past several months, we have read articles and press releases from major companies indicating that in the future, they will hire fewer full time employees and replace them with part time employees in an effort to reduce required health insurance costs. This month, we have been reading about some of the largest corporations in the country moving the administration of their health care programs for retirees to healthcare exchanges. (There is no public benefit from this new tactic, only a transfer of costs from the private sector to the government.)

Individual Americans and American companies are nimble and will act to decrease taxes and increase take-home pay or after tax earnings after passage of any new law from Congress. (Recall that the Affordable Healthcare costs and penalties have been deemed a tax by the Supreme Court.) Limiting one's taxes is an American tradition and essentially has been encouraged since the signing of the first Internal Revenue Code almost exactly one hundred years ago today. The brilliant Harvard trained appellate judge with the unlikely name of Learned Hand covered this turf in 1934 and then again in 1947 by stating:

"Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant."


Hank Adler

Hank Adler is an Assistant Professor at Chapman University.

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