Once in a while, you read something that you want to share with friends and AT readers.
Charles Blanhous’ paper on The Affordable Care Act is remarkable. Before I go any further, let me tell that Mr Blanhous is ”....the director of spending and budget Initiative, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a public trustee for Social Security and Medicare.”
His analysis is that the ACA is unsustainable, no matter how many people they tell us have signed up for it:
"It is quite possible that the ACA is shaping up as the greatest act of fiscal irresponsibility ever committed by federal legislators.
Nothing immediately comes to mind as comparable to it.
Certainly no tax legislation is, because tax rates rise and fall frequently, such that one Congress’s tax cut can be (and often is) undone by a later tax increase.
The same is true for legislation affecting appropriated spending programs.
But the ACA is a commitment to permanently subsidize comprehensive health insurance for millions who could not otherwise afford it, which the federal government has no viable plan to finance.
Moreover, experience shows that it is very difficult to scale back such spending once large numbers of Americans have been made dependent on it. ”
In other words, it does not really matter whether 7, 8 or whatever million people sign up. The ACA is an actuarial disaster, promising more than it can deliver and encouraging people to get subsidies that they may not really need.
As Mr Lanhous points out:
"The ACA was enacted when legislators knew, or should have known, that they inhabited a fiscal environment in which such extravagance was unaffordable.
Deficits (and debt) are far higher today than when the other major entitlement programs were created; millions of baby boomer retirements are swelling expenditures arising from previously-enacted Social Security and Medicare law.
Someday historians will puzzle over the thinking that induced legislators to embark on a vast new spending program at the very moment it could least be afforded.”
Of course, maybe the legislators voted for the AHCA thinking that the Supreme Court would throw it back. They could vote for something that they didn’t read, understand or analyze and hope that the Court would literally “bail them out”. It was a good strategy until Justice Roberts surprised everyone.
Repealing ObamaCare is the only option to save health care and our financial future. I just hope that the next elections move us in that direction!