Friday, March 23, 2012
CNBC Hit on Affordable Care Act
Revealing discussion this AM on CNBC about the Affordable Care Act I guess aka "Obamacare". I don't even know what so-called "Obamacare" is, which is interesting as if you listen to opponents of it, "Obamacare" is supposed to be holding up a lot of business decisions and somehow holding the economy back. I've never understood this opinion as I would bet 99% of real business people don't even know what it is.
Well, anyway, there is some edifying discussion in the hit below. Taking the opposing view is former Presidential advisor Lawrence Lindsey. First, Lindsey complains that the act is "incoherent" (but then he goes on to explain it, which is revealing), then he opines that this act will have the unintended consequence of many businesses deciding to pay a $2,000 "fine" and letting their employees just go join the public system. This he looks at as a problem and a "disaster for the federal budget" . How can the federal budget suffer a "disaster"?).
It's interesting as he does a quick calculation based on 50% (BTW I think it will be MUCH higher) of those currently receiving health benefits via their employer being put into the public plan, and this will result in an additional $140B in federal outlays based on the Federal government paying the additional $4,500 per employee. This is really the only complaint that Lindsey has, ie the additional projected $140B in fiscal outlays. Somehow this is supposed to be a "disaster for the federal budget". Please.
This is "chump change" to the federal budget; and there is no problem with the federal government providing these fiscal outlays via keystrokes. In fact the federal government could provide much, much more.
Mike has already reported today downthread, that the federal outlays have been cut by $397B so far this fiscal year; WHERE IS/WAS THE CONCERN WITH THIS REDUCTION IN OTULAYS; if Lindsey is going to get all worked up about a projected $140B annual increase? What about a $400B decrease morons? Do you think this has no effect?
If this is the only argument that opponents to "Obamacare" can come up with, ie that it stands to be a "disaster" for the federal budget (whatever that means); it is no argument at all.