Robert Samuelson presents five reasons why, apart from any constitutional concerns, Obamacare is “dreadful public policy.”
First, it increases uncertainty and decreases confidence at a time when recovery from the Great Recession requires more confidence and less uncertainty.
Second, as basic economics tells us, it discourages job creation by raising the cost of hiring.
Third, uncontrolled spending on health care is the U.S. system’s main problem, and Obamacare makes it worse.
Fourth, Obamacare worsens the federal budget deficit problem.
Fifth, Obamacare discriminates against the young and in favor of the old, by forcing young Americans to buy insurance at artificially high premiums to pay for the care of a sicker, older population.
Samuelson concludes that the president should have combined the cost control provisions of Obamacare with modest expansion of coverage — e.g., additional coverage for poor children and keeping children on their parents’ plans until age 26 — plus the establishment of insurance exchanges in states to lower premiums for small businesses.
But where’s the legacy in that?