Many are still expressing shock and dismay at the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Affordable Care Act (aka the healthcare reform law), once thought to be blatantly unconstitutional by experts and novices alike. In fact, many still believe that the law is not valid. But more on that later.There are many ways to address the problem of the nation’s uninsured without the government taking over one-seventh of the U.S. economy, such as high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions and subsidies or tax credits for the truly needy. Deregulation to allow health insurance companies to compete across state lines would be a huge step toward increasing competition and lowering costs overall.Chief Justice Roberts, a key Supreme Court appointee by George W. Bush and considered a solid conservative, found a contorted way to view the government mandate that all Americans purchase private health insurance as a form of taxation. The strained logic of his ruling did for the Obama Administration what they had not been able to do for themselves – gave the law a shaky legal toehold over strong public objection.As expected, the high court rejected the Obama Administration’s central argument – that the Commerce Clause empowers the government to regulate non-commerce—that is, someone notbuying something—health insurance. But the court agreed with another tack taken by President Obama’s attorneys during oral arguments—that the law could be justified as a tax – a notion that the President repeatedly mocked and denied during the debate over the healthcare law. Despite his protestations that the law was not a tax, his lawyer argued it was. Chief Justice Roberts agreed. And as a result, the President’s allies in Congress have now created 20 new or higher taxes for American families.
Instead of throwing out the issue and sending it back to Congress to find better solutions, the Supreme Court has basically said to the American people, “If you don’t like it, fix it yourselves.”
But as people of faith, it should not surprise us that the backward logic of a few men and women who found a way to classify abortion as non-murder should also discover new, previously unknown powers for a bloated central government. One can only imagine what the next mandate will be. Will we all be forced to purchase an electric car, a windmill to power our homes or a ticket to Disneyland since these, too, will supposedly improve our quality of life?
As a footnote, remember that not all Americans who fail to comply with the individual mandate to buy health insurance will be penalized/fined/taxed. The President and First Lady, members of Congress, and employees of those favored few corporations declared exempt for no obvious reason other than political favor will not be forced to participate. But for most of us, well, get ready for higher taxes, higher healthcare costs and higher deficits.
Another Robin Hood Plan
According to the Christian Science Monitor, the healthcare system overhaul is based on fairy tale math:
Consider a working-age family of four, with an income of $60,000 and no earner covered by an employer-based health plan. According to a “health reform subsidy calculator” created by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which tracks U.S. health-care policies, this family would reap a tax subsidy of $9,308 if they buy insurance in 2014. That would cover most of a total premium cost of $14,245, perhaps putting health insurance within the family’s financial reach.
Without the “stick” of an individual mandate, this “carrot” might not prompt as many households to fully insure themselves. To take the family in the example just given, they would still face a sizable premium (nearly $5,000), plus the prospect of additional out-of-pocket expenses, capped for this family at $6,250.
For comparison, the typical US household in 2010 had total spending of $48,109, with $3,157 of that for health care, according to a survey by the US Labor Department.1
To put it bluntly, this typical family of four previously without insurance will now be able to become insured but will likely go from the current annual average health coverage expense of $3,157 to $5,000. To make this possible, others will be taxed $9,308 that will be redistributed to this family so they can pay more to the health insurance company for higher cost services. Brilliant. Government math at its finest.
When our nation is literally teetering on the edge of a financial abyss, this expensive legislation is good news only for bureaucrats who earn their keep shuffling dollars and paperwork through the halls of government. This socialist philosophy is leading our republic headlong into replicating the failed economic policies of Europe.
Writing in 1994, now 18 years ago, in an update to his national bestseller, The Coming Economic Earthquake, Larry Burkett wrote, “It is difficult for me to imagine that we, as a nation, are considering such an expansive and potentially disastrous program (speaking of the Clinton Health Care Reform proposal) at a time when the survival of the economy is in jeopardy. If, in fact, any form of national health care is implemented, it will be the final straw – the dagger in the heart of our economy as we know it.”
Coming in 2014 – Healthcare Run as Efficiently as the Post Office
In March, Fox News reported the staggering projections of the true cost of the “Affordable” Care Act:
The Congressional Budget Office has extended its cost estimates for President Obama’s health care law out to 2022, taking in more years of full implementation, and showing that the bill is substantially more expensive—twice as much as the original $900 billion price tag.
In a largely overlooked segment of the CBO’s update to the budget outlook released Tuesday, the independent arm of Congress found that the bill will cost $1.76 trillion between now and 2022. That only counts the cost of coverage, not implementation costs and other changes.
“The bill spends more than the president promised, it covers fewer people—probably 2 million fewer people—and it taxes more than was expected,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee.
The first estimates of the cost of the health care bill included three years before the bill even took effect, so there was little or no spending, making the full 10 years look less expensive. Sessions notes that the $1.76 trillion estimate includes only the costs of coverage, not implementation and other costs. He argues that all those drive the price up even further over the first full 10 years of the law.
“The full accounting of the bill is $2.6 trillion. That’s a fair and accurate analysis of what the bill would cost, according to CBO,” Sessions said, noting how the cost dwarfs the fight over the 10-year debt reduction plan debated last year.
“We spent a whole summer fighting over a way to reduce spending by $2.1 trillion and here this bill is going to add $2.6 trillion more in spending.”2
A Fork in The Road Just Ahead
For those unconvinced that the healthcare law is valid – despite the tortured logic of the Supreme Court ruling – and those who believe that taking on this burden will bankrupt the United States, there are two remaining solutions: Pray and vote.
In November, the American people will register their view on the legitimacy of the healthcare law at the polls. History will record whether they prefer a return to fiscal sanity and limited government or fiscal ruin and a government-controlled society.
We will either turn back toward the Founders’ idea of the United States of America or complete our transformation into the socialist dream of the “United States of Europe.” Between now and then, Christians need to spend time on our knees asking for the Lord’s mercy on our nation. As Joel Rosenberg says in his latest book, Implosion, we need the Third Great Awakening.
Link to the Author of this Article: www.crown.org
New CBO Health Law Estimate Shows Much Higher Spending Past First 10 Years,” Fox News, March 14, 2012.