Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Debunking the myth of Obamacare making healthcare cheaper



Our healthcare is about to cost a lot more, thanks to the new taxes in Mr. Obama’s bill. (The bill was passed a while back, but it doesn’t take effect for some time.) You can see several new taxes, fees, and miscellaneous other “revenue provisions” in p. 10 of the bill’s 906-page text (in the 12-page table of contents), as reported on the Senate website at this link. Below is a summary:




  • Excise tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage” (Title of Section 9001).
  • Excise tax on elective cosmetic medical procedures” (Title of Section 9017).
  • Increase in additional tax on distributions from HSAs and Archer MSAs not used for qualified medical expenses” (Title of Section 9004).
  • Limitation on health flexible spending arrangements under cafeteria plans” (Title of Section 9005).
  • Elimination of deduction for expenses allocable to Medicare Part D subsidy” (Title of Section 9012).
  • Additional hospital insurance tax on high-income taxpayers” (Title of Section 9015).
  • Imposition of annual fee on branded prescription pharmaceutical manufacturers and importers” (Title of Section 9008). Taxing anyone who makes or imports pharmaceuticals is guaranteed to discourage making or importing them, thus reducing the supply of these needed pharmaceuticals. Some “cheaper” healthcare.
  • Imposition of annual fee on medical device manufacturers and importers” (Title of Section 9009). Taxing anyone who makes or imports medical devices is guaranteed to discourage making or importing them, thus reducing the supply of these needed medical devices. “Cheaper” healthcare, indeed – if you can actually have access to the dwindling supply.
  • Imposition of annual fee on health insurance providers” (Title of Section 9010). Taxing anyone who provides health insurance is guaranteed to discourage its being provided, thus reducing the supply of health insurance. “Cheaper” healthcare, my rear end.

Obama signs "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," 2010

So these new taxes and fees translate to reduced supplies of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and health insurance, not to mention the costs of the other taxes. The last three mentioned taxes alone make healthcare more expensive, either by causing people to bid up the price of what supplies are left, or by having long lines for them at artificially low prices set by government; so there’s either a money price from your wallet, or a time price in a long line – and needless to say, both hurt.



So if you want healthcare to be more expensive – if you like higher prices, longer lines, and bigger taxes – vote Obama.

But if you want healthcare to be cheaper – really cheaper – vote for the free market by voting Republican, and get rid of this awful bill.

The price of being dumb (and voting for Obama)


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