The Purpose of This Bl;og

By and large, liberals are very decent, kind, and compassionate people who genuinely want what is best. This should be kept in mind as we explore the Law of Unintended Negative Consequences near invariably resulting from Leftist big-hearted solutions to societal problems.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Obamacare - Mandates

As indicated previously, one of the fundamental and perhaps most controversial elements of Obamacare are the mandates, particularly the individual mandate, which requires all individuals in the U.S. be insured by 2014 under the threat of tac penalty. (See HERE and HERE and HERE)

It should be noted that neither Obama or the Democrats originated the idea of the individual mandate. According to Wikipedia: "An individual mandate to purchase healthcare was initially proposed by the politically conservative Heritage Foundation in 1989 as an alternative to single-payer health care. From its inception, the idea of an individual mandate was championed by Republican politicians as a free-market approach to health-care reform. The individual mandate was felt to resonate with conservative principles of individual responsibility, and conservative groups recognized that the healthcare market was unique." (See HERE)

So, at least in the case of individual mandates, Conservatives can be legitimately blamed for coming up with this very bad idea.

In fact, when Obama first ran for the presidency, he was opposed to the individual mandate--except in the case of children. (See HERE) "At the advice of his political advisers, Obama sought to undercut Clinton by accusing her of pushing for an individual mandate." (See HERE)  "'Now, under any mandate, you are going to have problems with people who don't end up having health coverage,' Mr. Obama said during a debate with Clinton on Jan. 31, 2008. 'I think we can anticipate that there would also be people potentially who are not covered and are actually hurt if they have a mandate imposed on them.'" (See HERE)

"When campaigning against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama came out hard against an individual mandate to purchase health insurance, alleging that Clinton would garnish workers’ wages and that Massachusetts’ individual mandate has left many residents 'worse off'...'If a mandate was the solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody buy a house.'" (See HERE)

Obama said, “It forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can’t afford it, and you pay a penalty if you don’t." (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)  And, he went on to suggest, "...that is just piling on.” (HERE}

Instead of the individual mandate, then candidate Obama suggested that the way to enable and encourage universal coverage was to lower costs. He argued: “Well, let’s talk about health care right now because the fact of the matter is that I do provide universal health care. The only difference between Sen. Clinton’s health care plan and mine is that she thinks the problem for people without health care is that nobody has mandated — forced — them to get health care." ( See HERE and HERE) "I believe that if we make it affordable, people will purchase it. In fact, Medicare Part B is not mandated, it is voluntary. And yet people over 65 choose to purchase it, Hillary, and the reason they choose to purchase it is because it’s a good deal. And if people end up seeing a plan that is affordable for them, I promise you they are snatching it up because they are desperate to get health care. And that’s what I intend to provide as president of the United States." (See HERE as Quoted HERE)

Politifacts goes on to assert: "Obama’s decision not to include a mandate is a more cautious approach, one Obama says is designed not to penalize people with modest incomes. If premiums don’t drop enough after all the reforms are implemented, people will still be unable to afford insurance. If a law mandates they buy it anyway, they probably won’t. Obama’s argument is that if you then fine them, you’re essentially punishing the poor — and they will still be uninsured. Obama is betting that his plan will get costs low enough that many of the estimated 47-million uninsured will sign up without a mandate, and a mandate will come later." (ibid)

Subsequently, Obama was elected on those terms.

Yer, "Once president, of course, Obama endorsed and signed into law both an individual mandate and an employer mandate." (See HERE) "I share the goal of ending lapses and gaps in coverage that make us less healthy and drive up everyone's costs, and I am open to your ideas on shared responsibility.' The president now fully supports an individual mandate. 'The only way this plan works is if everybody fulfills their responsibility,' he said at a rally." (See HERE)

This amounts to politically expedient bait-and-switch.

Regarding the remarkable infringement on personal freedoms (see HERE and HERE), Obama has since justified the individual mandate by comparing it to requiring auto insurance. "'If the Supreme Court follows existing precedent, existing law, it should be upheld without a problem.' He then added, 'There's nothing wrong with saying to people who can afford to get health insurance, you need to buy health insurance just like car insurance.'" (See HERE)

However, as pointed out in the Spectator: "The latter assertion, that the individual mandate is analogous to laws requiring people to buy auto insurance, betrays a level of ignorance concerning the difference between state prerogatives and those of Congress that wouldn't be tolerated in a high school government class. It's a little unnerving coming from the President of the United States...." (ibid.)

Another problem with the analogy is that if people chose not to drive cars, they aren't forced to buy auto insurance, whereas with Obamacare, everyone is forced to purchase health insurance regardless.

One of the ways in which the Obama administration and Liberal supporters have attempted to diminish the controversy over the  individual mandate and the associated tax penalties is to claim that it will only affect a small percentage of the population, and so it shouldn't be that big of a deal. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

While this may be somewhat true as initially and incompetently conceptualized, it fails to factor in the tens of millions of people have and will likely lose their employee insurance because of Obamacare, thereby subjecting them to the individual mandate. So, instead of just 6% of the population being affected (see HERE), it could be as high as 33% of the country, or 129 million people. (See HERE)

One of the major flaws of the individual mandate is that it probably wont work (See HERE and HERE) It was intended to produce universal health care by compelling the uninsured to get insured--particularly the young and healthy. However, the polls indicate that, "26 percent of Americans aren't aware of the requirement or didn't think the law included the individual mandate" (see HERE), and that the young and healthy are souring on health care (see HERE) and may not sign up. (see HERE) And, approximately 28% of the uninsured plan to pay fines instead of signing up (see HERE)--though according to Rush Limbaugh and others, there may be ingenious ways of getting around the fees. (See HERE and HERE and HERE)

All told, in spite of the individual mandates and subsidies, in 2012 the Congressional Budget Office conservatively "estimated that about 30 million Americans will not have insurance in 2016." (See HERE) This is half again more than what the CBO estimated in 2010. (See HERE) And, neither of these estimates factor in the tens of millions of people who received insurance cancellation notices in 2013, and the tens of millions more who will likely lose employee insurance in 2014, who can't afford the significantly higher premiums under Obamacare..


Ironically,  as substantiated in my previous posts, candidate Obama was correct in his predictions about potential impact of the individual mandate and tax penalty. The unintended negative consequences--Leftist LUNCs--of mandated Obamacare is that, not only wont it result in universal health care as promised (see HERE), but the poor and those living on modest incomes will be "hurt" and "piled on" and made "worse off". (See above, as well as HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE) And, the individual mandate penalty/tax may costs even more than what one may now think (See HERE)


For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, and Victimization

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