Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
search  
 
Subscribe   Subscribe   MI on Facebook Find us on Twitter Find us on Instagram      
 
 
   
 
     
 

National Review Online

 

How to Transcend Obamacare

August 13, 2014

By Avik Roy

Conservatives have an opportunity to liberate health care for everyone.


For four and a half years, conservatives have been adamant in their desire to repeal Obamacare. The case for repeal goes something like this:/p>

The Affordable Care Act is the largest expansion of the entitlement state since the 1960s. It represents a tipping point — perhaps a point of no return — in the transformation of America from a free, constitutional republic into a European-style social democracy. The law represents an unprecedented intrusion of the government into our lives, far worse than anything that has come before. Furthermore, because Obamacare is our newest entitlement, it's less entrenched than older programs, and therefore represents our best opportunity to roll back Big Government.*+

It's an understandable — and widely held — view. And it's an accurate one, in important ways. But there are a couple of things it gets wrong about our current situation, and that's a good thing.

It turns out that repealing Obamacare is not our only hope for reversing the triumph of the entitlement state. Indeed, there may be an even better one.

The government takeover of health care took place in 1965, not 2010.

One thing you often hear conservatives say about Obamacare is that it represents “the government takeover of the U.S. health-care system.” This is not precisely true. The actual government takeover of the U.S. health-care system took place in 1965, when Lyndon Johnson signed into law the bills enacting Medicare and Medicaid: the “Great Society.”

Medicare and Medicaid were — and are — single-payer, government-run health-insurance programs for the elderly and the poor, respectively. Today, more than a quarter of the U.S. population is on single-payer health care, thanks to Medicare and Medicaid. These programs have profoundly distorted the U.S. health-care system, in ways that make health care more expensive for everyone else. Well before anyone had heard of Barack Obama, Medicare and Medicaid had America on a path to bankruptcy.

Many conservatives fear that Obamacare is a “Trojan horse” for single-payer health care in the United States. But in 2013 — before Obamacare went online — 93 million Americans were on either Medicaid or Medicare. Another 6 million got coverage through the Veterans Health Administration, the most socialized health-care system in the U.S. That means that nearly 100 million Americans were on single-payer health care, or its facsimile, before Obamacare went into effect.

Obamacare builds on the LBJ legacy, to be sure. The law expands the scale and scope of the Medicaid program. Overall, Obamacare increases federal health-care spending by about 15 percent. But in 2012, U.S. government entities were already spending $4,160 on health care for every man, woman, and child in the country. That's more than all but two other countries in the entire world.

Original Source: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/385290/how-transcend-obamacare-avik-roy

 

 
PRINTER FRIENDLY
 
LATEST FROM OUR SCHOLARS

5 Reasons Janet Yellen Shouldn’t Focus On Income Inequality
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 10-20-14

Why The Comptroller Race Matters
Nicole Gelinas, 10-20-14

Obama Should Have Picked “Ebola Czar” With Public-Health Experience
Paul Howard, 10-18-14

Success Of Parent Trigger Is Unclear­—Just As Foes Want
Ben Boychuk, 10-18-14

On Obamacare's Second Birthday, Whither The HSA?
Paul Howard, 10-16-14

You Can Repeal Obamacare And Keep Kentucky's Insurance Exchange
Avik Roy, 10-15-14

Are Private Exchanges The Future Of Health Insurance?
Yevgeniy Feyman, 10-15-14

This Nobel Prize-Worthy Economist Figured Out How To Destroy Terrorism
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 10-15-14

 
 
 

The Manhattan Institute, a 501(c)(3), is a think tank whose mission is to develop and disseminate new ideas
that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.

Copyright © 2014 Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Inc. All rights reserved.

52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017
phone (212) 599-7000 / fax (212) 599-3494