Tuesday, June 09, 2015

ObamaTax Breakage

There's an old saying in retail: You break it, you bought it. One most often encounters this in, for example, fine china shops. Notice, though, the construction: if you break it, then you buy it.

On the other hand, I've never understood why, since no Republican voted for (or supported) the ACA, they are in any way obligated to offer any alternative. And yet, the press (and even members of the party) insist that there's some kind of obligation to "replace" it with some other (no doubt cobbled together) plan.

This is akin to saying "well, a rival of yours broke it, now you must pay for it."


And it appears that I'm not alone in this calculation:

"No Republicans voted for Obamacare, so it’s not their problem to fix."

So opines David Harsanyi, writing at the National Review. David's expertise in this area goes back a long time, which adds credibility (as if it's needed) to his argument:

"Most [Republicans], in fact, cautioned that passing the largest health-care reform in American history — written by one party, jammed through using reconciliation, and haphazardly implemented — could be problematic as not only an ideological matter but a practical one. Now they have to act?"

Spot on.

Of course, we don't call it The Stupid Party© without reason, so expect to see a spate of articles like this one (from Employee Benefit Advisor):

"House Republicans [have] introduced a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace key pieces of it with high-risk health pools and tax credits that benefit industry experts oppose, saying it would undermine the employer-sponsored health care system in place today."

Leaving for a moment the relative merits of such a plan (and I do, in fact, think it's worth consideration), there are a number of problems with the formulation:

First, as noted above, Republicans are not obligated to put forth any plan, let alone a "replacement" one. And second, why is it a given that "employer sponsored" health plans are the bee's knees? As we've previously blogged, employers don't tell us what groceries or house to buy: they pay us our wages and we're free to make our own choices. Why should health insurance be any different?
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