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Critical Condition

NRO’s health-care blog.

After the House Vote



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Conservatives need to hammer home four points to shift indepedent voters and moderate Democrats even more decisively against enactment of Obamacare.

One, Obamacare will impose substantial new costs on the already insured middle-class. The bill approved by the House establishes one-size-fits-all insurance rules which will drive up premiums and raises taxes on the health-care sector which will be passed onto middle-class health-care consumers.

Two, Obamacare will destroy jobs. The House bill would impose an 8 percent payroll tax on all but the smallest employers who do not offer health insurance and a 5.4 percent income tax surcharge on higher income individuals who also own small businesses. These taxes will discourage hiring and force layoffs when the number one concern of most American voters is job creation.

Three, Obamacare will ration care. The House bill relies almost exclusively on arbitrary, across-the-board payment rate reductions for health-care providers to achieve savings. If passed, that would just be the beginning of it. Despite all of the talk of painless efficiency measures, the Democratic sponsors really have no plan to control costs except with price-setting. Always and everywhere, price controls drive out willing suppliers of services, leading to queues and waiting lists.

Fourth, Obamacare is entirely unnecessary. We can fix the problems in U.S. health-care without a government takeover by pursuing sensible, targeted reforms. With properly structured high-risk pools and insurance regulation, pre-existing conditions could be insured at reasonable costs. With tax credits and small-business reforms (such as those implemented in Utah), most of the uninsured would have access to coverage. And the competitive model used to deliver Medicare drug coverage should serve as the basis for controlling costs.



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