Central View: Obamacare and the unforeseen consequences
November 1, 2013
Your heart has to go out to people who must obey the ObamaCare individual mandate or have the IRS withhold any income tax overpayments they might be due. Actually, only half of our citizens pay any federal income tax. So, it is going to be difficult for the ObamaCare coffers to receive enough fines/taxes to help lower the sticker-shocking cost of ObamaCare health insurance policies.
Meanwhile, millions of Americans are receiving notices from their health insurance companies that their current policies do not meet ObamaCare standards and are, therefore, cancelled. Thus, their only alternative is to try to navigate healthcare.gov and try to enroll in an ObamaCare-approved health insurance policy.
There are two schools of thought about ObamaCare. One school holds that President Obama was sincere when he said, "If you like your current insurance plan, you can keep it. Period. If you like your current doctor, you can keep that doctor. Your premiums will go down an average of $2,500 per year. The cost of this national healthcare program will be less than $1 trillion. This program will not cover illegal aliens. This program will not cover abortions."
Of course, if you can successfully navigate healthcare.gov, you will find out that none of those promises are true. The other school is that ObamaCare was designed to fail, as witnessed with the multiple computer access problems of the ObamaCare web pages at healthcare.gov. Surely, no rational U.S. Government would give a no-bid contract for over $515 million to a Canadian company for a defective website. But then, one of the top executives at CGI, the Canadian software firm, is one of the First Lady's Princeton classmates. Go figure.
One of the ironies of the healthcare.gov fiasco is that some people who were able to get into and navigate the healthcare.gov maze discovered they could qualify for Medicaid which is a flat-out welfare program half-funded by the federal taxpayers and half-paid for by state taxpayers who, in reality, are one and the same. So, many of the Medicaid-eligible signed up for the "free" Medicaid instead of the more costly ObamaCare health insurance policies. Ergo: States must raise their taxes to cover the additional Medicaid recipients.
But there are some reasons to go to healthcare.gov and try your luck. A recent scientific study shows that talking about oneself releases dopamines, those neurotransmitters that determine if you are feeling pleasure or pain. Self talk, like Twitter, is known to create a sensation of pleasure. Healthcare.gov requires that you tell all about yourself to the U.S. Government. But Fred McAfee, the inventor of the widely-used anti-virus, anti-hacker, software program, says that healthcare.gov offers no protection from hackers who can use healthcare.gov to obtain all the information necessary to empty your bank account. Moreover, if you elect to pay the fine/taxes every year, the credit-rating agencies may decide that you are a scofflaw and send your credit rating into the basement. Apparently, this is what happens when legislation that few, if any, have read before passage is signed into federal law.
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Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard.