Obamacare Is No Free Lunch

Raccoon Attack Girl

“There are good things in the health care reform,” writes the Bismarck Tribune’s editorial board in a column that, while praising some aspects of Obamacare, also praises state leaders for refusing to implement the law’s insurance exchanges.

What are these good things? According to the Tribune they are “no pre-existing conditions, young people being able to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, improved access, minimum requirements.” They continue by saying the law will, “bring improvements in providing prescription drugs and, rightfully, encourage preventive medicine. It makes quality health care a right for all citizens.”

The folks at the Tribune could use a civics less as to what the meaning of “rights” are under the Constitution, but setting that aside, what’s interesting is that after extolling these virtues of Obamacare the Tribune goes on to note that all these new and wondrous things now mandated by federal law also come with a cost.

“Health care reform, when it was first taken up, was aimed at controlling rising health care costs,” writes the Tribune. “The overall affect of Obamacare, we believe, will do the opposite, and without the cash on hand to pay for it.”

There’s the rub. Whether or not these new mandates for health insurance included in the Obamacare law are a positive development is entirely subjective. And while we can point to opinion polls showing most Americans seem to like them, we cannot talk about them without also talking into account what they will cost. That the Tribune would praise these mandates in the law while also decrying the cost of insurance under the law speaks to the often schizophrenic manner in which we debate these issue.

We’d all like to live in mansions, but how many of us can afford to live in mansions?

The overriding complaint about health insurance and health care, the driving impetus behind the endless policy debates over reform, is cost. Health care is unaffordable which, in turn, has made health insurance unaffordable. What Americans expected from Obamacare was less cost for health care out of their pockets. That’s why the law’s official name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

But Obamacare doesn’t make insurance more affordable. Through mandates and layer after layer of new regulation and red tape, the cost of health insurance is about to skyrocket, accomplishing the exact opposite of what most Americans wanted to see out of this sort of reform.

Politicians supporting the law like to dangle these mandates in the law which are, admittedly, popular, but that’s only as a distraction from what the law is going to cost us.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Neiman

    “rightfully, encourage preventive medicine” There is more evil in that line than one can imagine. It means the State will dictate care and demand changed lifestyles to agree with their view of a healthy lifestyle.

    • The Truth

      Neiman you are a racist & bigot

      • Neiman

        What racism? Elsewhere you lied and offered a racist quote that wasn’t from me, it was a lie. You ignore the fact I have a multiracial family with my 6’5″ Black Linebacker grandson my best buddy, a late brother and living sister that are part Cherokee Indian, a Filipino granddaughter, and a host of blacks, Hispanics and Asians in my family.

        A bigot, if you mean bigoted against sin and false religions, I plead guilty. I am an unapologetic Christian.

        • The Truth

          you are a liar and non-Christian who has a black heart n are soulless. You need stop the lies and racist behavior.

          • Neiman

            Ifyou are going to make accusations, your half-arsed opinion is worthless. Offer actual racist quotes of mine, with date/time and then show from Scripture, not your opinion, wherein I am non-Christian. Otherwise, you are wasting my time.

          • The Truth

            Neiman, you are a disappointment to your family. Your Atheist ways are catching up to you. Stop your Racist rants.

          • Neiman

            If you are going to make accusations, your half-arsed opinion is
            worthless. Offer actual racist quotes of mine, with date/time and then
            show from Scripture, not your opinion, wherein I am non-Christian.
            Otherwise, you are wasting my time.

          • The Fighting Czech

            Ignore him, He’ll get bored, and go away.

        • The Truth

          How many white sheets have you used for your KKK activities?

          • Neiman

            Just childish lies, no proof, just the emotional response of a very immature little girl.

          • guest

            Your statement is implying that Neiman is a democrat.

          • jl

            How many hits of acid did you take before your post?

      • toppr8

        Truth

        Your posts are not in line with the comments about this topic and you attack individuals as well as pass judgements, while you hide behind an alias that in no way emulates your words….the maturity level in question here is yours!

  • kevindf

    Obamacare is just a stepping stone to socialized medicine and euthanasia.

  • Harold

    We’ve had 3 years now that Obama care is supposed to be in effect, does anyone know yet what it will cost and when we have to sign up for it? I’ve asked countless doctors, nurses, and politicians these questions and all I ever got so far is blank looks. I wish those in power would at least tell the rest of us what it costs and when its gonna be let out to the public and everyone made to buy the coverage. No one seems to know anything about this Obama care headed our way.

  • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

    So the Bismarck Tribune says that the good things are the things that sound good, never mind the cost and consequences.

  • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

    A physician did a piece on some of the “free” stuff in Obamacare, like the free annual check up, and what is and isn’t included in it. It’s worse than we thought.
    http://pjmedia.com/blog/a-physicians-new-reality-patients-ask-me-to-break-the-law/?singlepage=true

    • VocalYokel

      Uffda…I didn’t think it could be worse than I thought!

      • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

        Yeah. Neither did I. I guess you have to pass the bill to find out how much garbage is in it.

        • ‘Tom Crawford

          Yes, I read something similar Proof, where the doc was writing about how by LAW now he will only be able discuss certain things with you as a patient, if you want to talk or get diagnosed for something else as well, that is not billable under the free healthcare, and you will have to reschedule and come back.

          It seems it is just gonna bog down the healthcare even more.

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            And if the Dr. violates that law, it’s considered insurance fraud and the doc could lose his license.

            Plus, requiring the Dr to ask and report to the feds whether or not you’re wearing your seatbelt? Please!

  • VocalYokel

    “We’d all like to live in mansions…”

    Not me.
    I’m satisfied where I’m at.
    If I had the money to buy a mansion, I’d travel more instead.

  • Tim Heise

    Maybe I should sell my stock in Lee Enterprises (they own the Tribune).

  • 11B40

    Greetings:

    I spent most of my work life in the printing industry. One of that industry’s traditions is the provision of “free” estimates. A customer would tell us what they wanted printed and we would respond with the cost we would want to charge them. One time, and thankfully it was the only time, I came across a customer who didn’t really understand the tradition and was requesting a very large number of estimates for a not very complex job. In trying to explain the situation to her, I provoked the response, “I thought that estimates were free.”

    “They are, ma’am,” I replied, “but they’re not without cost.”

  • BruceD

    Can you think of two things that the federal government has run without it being much more expensive than originally proposed and has been a financial success? Private industry is much more efficient.

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