Reagan Policy Advisor: Obamacare a Chain Reaction of Misery

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Ronald Reagan cleverly defined liberal government’s view of the economy as follows: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” This anti-growth formula epitomizes the disastrous Affordable Care Act of 2010, better known as Obamacare.

“One of the biggest drags on economic growth under President Obama has been Obamacare,” [1] said Peter Ferrara, a policy wonk who has served in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations.

Ferrara explains how the “sweeping overregulation” of the Affordable Care Act is setting off a chain reaction of misery for American businesses and families. The heavy-handed insurance mandates, which dictate everything from what should be covered to how much it should cost, are saddling employers and workers with added costs and taxes, stunting economic growth and reducing family income.

“[T]o further avoid that costly tax on employment, millions of workers across the country have been reduced to part time work of 29 hours a week or less, because the definition of a full-time worker in the Obamacare legislation is 30 hours a week or more. That is driving down the net wages and incomes of middle class and working people, and increasing inequality as a result. Small companies around the 50-worker threshold are also restraining growth and employment for the same reasons.” [1]

Echoing Ferrara’s analysis, Herman Cain notes how Democrats fail to acknowledge the destruction they’ve caused. In addition to hurting employment opportunities for Americans, Cain points out that Obamcare’s “Cadillac tax” on top-quality health insurance plans was designed to hobble plans that provide above-average coverage. Indeed, Cain speculates it is precisely what liberals seek.

“When they included the Cadillac Tax in Obamacare, Democrats understood exactly what they were doing. They were trying to eliminate something they don’t like by adding to the cost of that thing…The problem, however, is that Obamacare does exactly the same thing with respect to the cost of labor in general. By mandating that employers provide health insurance for everyone who works 30 hours a week or more, and by insisting on standards for said insurance beyond what many employers would choose if left to their own devices, Democrats have
made it more expensive to procure the services of labor.” [2]

As Cain points out, the destructive result is the downsizing of businesses.

“In the Philadelphia area, 18% of employers are cutting employees (compared with only 3% who are adding), and a similar 18% is shifting the composition of its workforce to more part-
time workers as a result of ObamaCare. In New York State, 21% of manufacturers and 16% of service firms are reducing employment specifically because of ObamaCare. In the Atlanta area, 34% of businesses plan to hire more part-time workers than in the past.” [2]

The Administration and Democrats shrug-off these job losses by attributing them to “other factors,” but only someone in denial would ignore the impact of Obamacare. But the negative effects of Obamacare are so pronounced, Ferrara argues that repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a free-market system must become a reality.

“Obamacare can be replaced by free market, Patient Power, healthcare reforms based on sharply expanding patient power, control and choice over their own healthcare, which would assure healthcare for all (unlike Obamacare), with no employer mandate, no individual mandate, and sharply reduced taxes, federal spending and regulation. That would reverse the above anti-growth effects of Obamacare, and contribute to booming economic growth and recovery.” [1]

It’s a simple and elegant solution; letting people exercise their personal and economic freedom, and removing government control over what should, by all rights, be a free market system of health care. We think Reagan would approve.