Three Conservative Ideas Buried within Obamacare

Caduceus with First-aid KitThe Affordable Care Act is the worst piece of legislation ever passed into law in the United States. However, it does open up some doors that were firmly locked before — things that most free-market economists have been espousing for years without success. We should not run away from those things just because they have President Obama’s name on it.

I am not talking about the things the idiot media think are popular — the slacker mandate, open enrollment, equal premiums for men and women, and free “preventative” services.

However, I see three conservative ideas buried in Obamacare. Read about all three in my column in The Federalist.

Comments (11)

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  1. Davey says:

    “The Affordable Care Act is the worst piece of legislation ever passed into law in the United States.”

    ObamaCare is a nightmare of a policy, but with it laying the ground work for reforming it with conservative principles, can it possibly be the worst? I think of it as a step in the right direction, but were on the wrong road.

  2. Thomas says:

    I find it funny that liberals opposed these principles a couple decades ago, only to put it in their health care reform policy.

  3. Walter Q. says:

    One thing that I can agree with in ObamaCare is the effort to make health insurance portable. There is little reason why health insurance should be tied to employment in this day and age.

  4. Frank says:

    This is not surprising. In fact, several facets of the ACA were once advocated by Republican leadership long before its passage. In fact, Avik Roy wrote a piece in Forbes or NYT a couple years ago detailing how there are five places in the ACA that, if properly handled, could give the market more control over health care. I can’t seem to find the link now, but rest assured that Republicans need to simply start accepting the fact that the ACA is law and start to work within the framework fix the problems with healthcare.

    • Matthew says:

      I agree. At this point, repealing Obamacare isn’t an option, but there are ways to work with the law to make it better. Repealing mandates and altering the subsidy policy would be a start.

  5. Mr. Freedom says:

    I like this post – these three elements are undeniably conservative and ought to included in any attempt at healthcare reform. All three would do wonders just by themselves…if they were implemented correctly and not as this administration has tried them.

    By the way, another thing that would really help is allowing insurance plans to be sold across state lines. More competition is ALWAYS better!

  6. Devon Herrick says:

    I agree that breaking away from employer-sponsored coverage, tax credits for health insurance and high-deductible plans are all attributes the PPACA contains and items conservatives often champion. Yet, I’m not sure that I would argue the PPACA necessarily promotes these ideas. Rather, they are afterthoughts. Proponents of the PPACA believe that employers will continue to offer coverage; tax credits would only be needed for a few people and those people would likely not want a high-deductible plan.

  7. Steve says:

    Yes, these conservative ideas are there but hidden behind some horrendous big government dictates. That is why major legislation is best handled in a piecemeal fashion that allows legislators the ability to keep the good components and throw out the bad. I especially like the idea of tax credits for having insurance. Just as the mortgage deduction promotes home ownership, this provision would provide an incentive to get coverage without the unconstitutional mandate requiring the purchase of a product that may not be wanted.

  8. Phill S says:

    Separating insurance from employment is indeed a good thing. However, this president’s policies seem to be more focused on ending people’s employment itself…or “job lock” as the administration calls it.

  9. Paul says:

    And once again, a federal court has ruled that a major component of Obamacare is unconstitutional. This time it is the subsidies that make insurance “affordable.” Turns out that the administration’s redistribution scheme is illegal, and has been since subsidies began being dispersed.

    Will this stop a lawless administration? Don’t bet on it.

  10. bob hertz says:

    Good post, Greg.

    I think I read you as being in favor of taxing employers who do not provide health benefits.

    I am OK with that too, but a lot of conservatives would disagree. (at least a lot of Republicans, who hear howls of protest from low-wage businesses.)

    I think that some of the conservatives who support non-employer insurance have not realized just how much that will cost in new taxes.

    Let’s look at a group of 10 million adults now getting employer insurance.

    Assume that their average gross wage is $30,000.

    Assume that it costs $3,000 apiece to insure them in a relatively skimpy plan.

    Assume that employers do not buy any health insurance for them.

    Well, in order to get them tax subsidies, and actually pay for them and not borrow, then the employer and employee have to come up with 10% of wages as a tax.

    Whether it is 10% on the employer or a 5%-%5 split can be discussed later.

    This seems to me like a hard transition.

    (incidentally, I liked the tone of the McCain plan but I came up with a cost of over $500 billion a year back in 2008. I think that Holtz Eakin agreed that the McCain plan would have added to the deficit.)