The Magazine

Euthanasia for Obama­care

Oct 8, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 04 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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Even beyond these requirements that the CBO and the Medicare chief actuary have highlighted, Obama-care will almost surely (depending on the decrees of the HHS secretary) make low-premium, high-deductible plans illegal. It will provide disincentives for businesses to hire additional workers. It will impose regulations so onerous that the IRS estimates it will take Americans 79 million man-hours a year to comply with them, with over half of that burden falling on small businesses. It will exacerbate a looming doctor shortage in several ways. It will load still more paperwork onto doctors, making the medical profession less attractive. It will add millions of people to the insurance rolls without adding doctors to see them, and put doctors under the yoke of the federal government. In its zeal to command and forbid, it bans new physician-owned hospitals. It promotes cronyism, as the well-connected get waivers from its mandates, while everyone else is compelled to comply (HHS has granted at least 1,200 waivers to date). And it inflames an already contentious issue by providing taxpayer funding of abortions. 

Fifteen minutes of the first presidential debate are slated for health care. This gives Mitt Romney his big chance to remind the American people what life will be like under the president’s signature law as its various provisions take effect. Obama will doubtless attempt to turn that 15 minutes into a discussion of Romney’s proposals for Medicare, and moderator Jim Lehrer may try to oblige him. But Romney shouldn’t take the bait. His first and essential task in that quarter-hour is to drive home what health care in this country will be like under reforms that are already the law of the land. For the most important question Americans face in this, the most crucial election in decades, is: Do we want to keep Obama-care—or repeal it?

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