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Obamacare Reducing the Deficit: Utter Fantasy

Dan Barrett
March 23, 2011

Harvard economist Jeff Miron presented his realistic goals for truly fixing what Obamacare has failed to do: reducing health care costs while providing more Americans with quality health insurance. In the video below, presented by the Institute for Humane Studies Learn Liberty initiative, Miron delves into the complex issues facing taxpayers across the country, using commonsense solutions we can all understand.

Throw away the notion that health care is a right: By branding health care as a right, we are led to believe in giving any health care to anyone who wants it without the need to pay for it. Much like our entitlement system today, everyone on the system would demand all they health care they can get because there is no accountability of personal cost. More demand leads to evermore spending and still more taxing of American workers.

Repeal Obamacare: Many of the proposed initial savings of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are largely derived from cuts in current government medical programs, like Medicare. This kind of budget fixing was reported by the Congressional Budget Office as a net decrease in spending outlays but does not take into account the increased demand resulting from the free-ridership in point one (not to mention the decreased tax revenue, as CBO assumes it will increase over time). Miron says it perfectly, “thinking that expanding coverage reduces the deficit is just completely insane.”

Phase out Medicare: As one form of entitlement reform (see NTU Foundation’s panel discussion on fixing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and pensions), people on Medicare don’t have an incentive to be selective with the care they receive because they pay so little for the care. The program creates price and resource distortions in the market, making costs higher for those on regular plans and ratcheting up the mandatory spending of the government. Miron says taking care of the people most in need (people in poverty with no employment and no medical coverage at all) is not out of the question. It is taking care of people who can afford health plans that doesn’t make sense. Getting rid of the Medicare system would help the quality and cost of health care, the tax burden of American taxpayers, and the recovering economy.


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