Tuesday, August 13, 2013

“There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch”… Especially From the Government

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
That’s an exact quote from a Forbes article published about Obamacare very early this morning. It’s an entirely true statement too, especially when it comes to government handouts like President Obama’s [Far From] Affordable Healthcare Act.
It’s also true that big government programs rarely work as planned, largely because it’s impossible to completely plan life at an uncomplicated personal level, much less at an already complex national one where there are millions of factors and possibilities involved.
You’d think our politicians and our citizens would have learned this after such programs as Social Security, which will completely run out of money in the next few decades; The War on Poverty, which has led to a giant increase in inner city misery; and the bailouts, which have led to no real economic recovery to speak of but a definite increase in our national debt.
You’d think we’d have learned, but apparently not so much. As Forbes details, not only is Obamacare anything but free with its additional costs and hidden fees and (possibly?) unintentional consequences, but it’s a giant mess that even its creators can’t implement properly:
“First, there was the delay of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts until after the election. Then there was the delay of the law’s employer mandate. Then there was the announcement, buried in the Federal Register, that the administration would delay enforcement of a number of key eligibility requirements for the law’s health insurance subsidies, relying on the ‘honor system’ instead. Now comes word that another costly provision of the health law—its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs—will be delayed for one more year.
“According to the Congressional Research Service, as of November 2011, the Obama administration had missed as many as one-third of the deadlines, specified by law, under the Affordable Care Act. Here are the details on the latest one.
Obamacare contains a blizzard of mandates and regulations that will make health insurance more costly. One of the most significant is its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs, such as co-pays and deductibles. Section 2707(b) of the Public Health Service Act, as added by Obamacare, requires that ‘a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not establish lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits for the any participant or beneficiary.’ Annual limits on cost-sharing are specified by Section 1302(c) of the Affordable Care Act; in addition, starting in 2014, deductibles are limited to $2,000 per year for individual plans, and $4,000 per year for family plans.”
In the next paragraph, the article stresses: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch. If you ban lifetime limits, and mandate lower deductibles, and cap out-of-pocket costs, premiums have to go up to reflect these changes.”
If nothing else in history has taught us that fact, I’m afraid Obamacare just might do the trick.

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