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Friday, December 27, 2013

Obamacare's noble lie meets the iatrogenics of the statute's reality

 Matt Welch, writing in Reason.com ( see here) offers the following concise summary of what is fundamental to making ACA work.

"The estimated scores of millions of eventual health plan cancellations that Americans will soon face are not some weird unintended consequence of Obamacare. They are fundamental to making the law work as written. The Affordable Care Act relies on previously uninsured young people to overpay for coverage they don’t need, and for previously insured adults to pay for health contingencies they will never face, be it childbirth for men or pediatric dental care for grandparents. That is what is supposed to allow more people to be covered and to keep overall rates in check. Since making people’s health insurance more expensive is not particularly popular, Obama lied about it, and not only when he claimed you could keep your plan and your doctor."

It is making some people pay for other people's stuff or in other words social justice. The possibly fatal flaw in Obamacare  is that the payer class is literally getting the bill for this redistribution and they know the bill is being sent to them. This violates the principle rule of redistributional politics which is to focus the benefits and diffuse the cost and don't let those who are paying the cost realize what is happening. Now with Obamacare lots of folks are realizing that are paying for it and they don't like it.

The noble lie,sometimes referred to as Plato's noble lie refers to the situation in which the elite knowingly expresses an untruth  in order to advance an agenda.

The "ball don't lie" expression  is a basketball phrase referring to the  situation in which a foul is called in error and the player awarded the free throws misses. The injustice of the foul is negated by the missing of the free throws.

Jordan Bruneau writing in the blog "Mises Daily" comments on the iatrogenics of Obamacare. The term iatrogenics enlarges the concept of medically induced harm to the more general meaning of unintended negative consequences which harms the very people the act was intended to help. For example, by the end of 2013 there may well be more people losing their health insurance than the previously uninsured who gained a insurance card.Obamacare is the latest poster child of iatrogenics.Rent control,various anti poverty programs and the war on drugs are among some of the numerous government programs that illustrate this principle of negative unintended consequences.

Obamacare was devised with major crony, special interest influences in mind   but poorly crafted,sold to the public by markedly minimizing the projected costs and misleading the public about its negative consequences,rolled out with numerous politically expedient  exemptions to friends of the administration and then  a monumental website failure, and  was soon recognized by millions of people that the law resulted in their loss of insurance and/or significantly more expensive health insurance costs in spite of several ad hoc ,possibly illegal,likely ineffective and possible counterproductive fixes by an increasingly panicking administration .

The ineptitude of the entire project  in its public relations fiasco,its ignoring of the fundamental rule of distributional politics, its ignoring of the rule of law as it executes the law by political expediency   and its world class disjointed complexity resulting in  quotidian unintended consequences brings to mind the following Hayek quote:

 “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

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