No Free Lunch: The True Cost of ObamaCare

Matt Patterson

11/13/2009 2:04:27 PM - Matt Patterson

Far from providing "affordable" care for everyone, ObamaCare would come at a painful price - higher insurance premiums, more and higher taxes, fewer jobs, lower wages, a reduced standard of living and an erosion of privacy and individual liberty.

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Here's the real cost of ObamaCare.

Higher Premiums - Billions in new taxes and fees would be imposed on health insurers and companies to pay for ObamaCare - costs which would be passed on to the consumer as higher premiums.

Higher Taxes - Government cannot provide free or subsidized care for someone without taking money from someone else - and that someone else may be you. The Wall Street Journal puts it bluntly: ObamaCare will be paid for with "huge tax increases." How huge? According to Jeffrey H. Anderson, Ph.D, Senior Fellow of Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, one ObamaCare proposal would "raise taxes by $2.3 trillion" over the next two decades. Yes, trillion.

Lower Wages/Fewer Jobs - New taxes and fees imposed on businesses by ObamaCare would "discourage companies from hiring or continuing to employ low-income and moderate-income workers," according to the Heritage Foundation. And it won't just be low-income workers who see a smaller paycheck - according to FORTUNE magazine's Shawn Tully, ObamaCare would lead to "a steep, shocking decrease" in the incomes of middle-class workers.

Standard of Living - The massive government spending required to finance national health care would explode the federal deficit with ruinous consequences for every American's standard of living. According to the Congressional Budget Office, "Large budget deficits would reduce national saving, leading to more borrowing from abroad and less domestic investment, which in turn would depress income growth in the United States. Over time, the accumulation of debt would seriously harm the economy."

Medicare Benefits - ObamaCare would pay for itself, in part, with hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare and Medicare Advantage. But the Congressional Budget Office warns that cuts to Medicare Advantage "could lead many plans to limit the benefits they offer, raise their premiums, or withdraw from the program," devastating seniors' health-care options. The Wall Street Journal confirms, "cuts in Medicare's price controls will cause many doctors to quit the program."

Privacy - ObamaCare regulations would result in a larger, more powerful IRS, and ensure that more of your personal information is shared with more people.

According to the Washington Examiner's Byron York, ObamaCare would mean "an expanded and more intrusive IRS," which would be empowered to target and punish violators of the new law. Additionally, an ObamaCare tax on employers would necessitate your boss knowing your family's entire income from all sources, information which would then be shared with the insurance company.

Your Freedom - Think you have the right to decide whether you even want insurance? Guess again. ObamaCare would require, under threat of penalty, every American to have insurance, fundamentally altering the relationship between citizen and state. As the CBO puts it, ObamaCare "would establish a requirement for [legal U.S. residents] to obtain insurance and would in many cases impose a financial penalty on people who did not do so." So much for 'land of the free.'

ObamaCare won't save us money, nationally or individually. Instead, it will increase insurance premiums, raise taxes, depress wages, siphon jobs, explode the deficit, reduce our living standard, rob us of privacy and erode our personal liberty.

That's the kind of "free" care we just can't afford.