Even if Obamacare Was Free, Many Americans Couldn't Afford It

Friday, 21 Mar 2014 08:11 AM

By Michael Carr

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The Affordable Care Act is proving to be unaffordable for many families. Healthcare costs of the previously insured are rising, as premiums, deductibles and copayments increase due to the requirements of the law.

Many of the negative effects of Obamacare are unintended consequences of a hastily drafted law. Some of the effects are due to Washington's inability to understand how the average American lives.

In writing the law, the drafters ignored one of the basic laws of economics — services cannot be provided for free no matter what the law says. Requirements to provide preventive care, including annual checkups, without a copay have to be paid for by someone. Those costs are added into monthly premiums and spread among everyone with insurance.

Spreading costs might fool some people into believing the service is free, but many Americans still can't find time to get free preventive care.

In Washington, the people who write laws have flexible schedules and can easily take time off work to see a doctor. In the rest of the country, many people will not be paid when they take time off. Getting a checkup without a copay will cost many people four hours or more of pay. Or, they can use vacation time to get their cholesterol checked.

Free checkups are a wonderful benefit for the upper-middle-class bureaucrats who work on policy issues for Congress. Unfortunately, many people will not have access to free healthcare because they can't take time off work.

Until the administration focuses on how people live and struggle in the real America, their policy decisions will not benefit real Americans.

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