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Question: What do you get when you pass a law consisting of thousands of pages of regulations too numerous and complex to be understood by anyone? Answer: Unintended consequences.
A new study from S&P Capital IQ reveals the extent to which this is the case with the Affordable Care Act. The study finds that, by taking advantages of incentives built into the law - albeit more by accident than design - big corporations can save up to $800 billion dollars by dropping low-wage workers from their health insurance plans and forcing them onto the ObamaCare exchanges.
The problems with this are legion, as is the hypocrisy with which the law’s supporters defend policies that result in the exact opposite of what they claim to want. Democrats in the Senate recently voted (unsuccessfully) to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, citing concerns over the well-being of low-wage workers and demanding a “living wage.” But employer-sponsored health care originated as a substitute for wage increases (prohibited due to FDR’s wage controls.) Now that workers will be losing this perk, they will effectively experience a de facto wage decrease as a result of ObamaCare.
It is also ironic that the ACA has proven so beneficial to corporate giants when the Obama administration has spent the last five years relentlessly attacking the wealthy and powerful in word, if not in deed. In fact, the $800 billion big companies stand to save by foisting their employees’ health insurance off on the government is peanuts compared to Obama’s other accumulated corporate welfare programs, including the stimulus package, multiple Farm Bills, and the bailout of U.S. auto companies. The cronyist overtones in everything the president has done are plain to see for anyone who takes the time to look.
By now, Obama’s claim that “if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it” has been well and truly debunked, with fact-checking organization Politifact naming it the “lie of the year” for 2013, but the fact that the cancellations keep on coming does nothing to help the president’s credibility.
But perhaps the greatest cause for concern is the seemingly systematic way that Americans are being shifted into government dependence. While the employer-sponsored model for health insurance is grossly flawed, and should never have come into being in the first place, at least it provided a way for workers to obtain health care without running to the government for help. Now, thanks to the ACA, even hard-working employees in low-wage jobs will find themselves forced into federal- or state-run exchanges or else pay a penalty for failing to do so.
When the poor have no recourse but to rely on government entitlements for basic necessities, they are trapped into an endless cycle of dependence, forced to vote to perpetuate the very system that keeps them down. Once a majority of Americans need Big Government just to keep their heads above water, the progressives know all too well that they will never lose another election. This is why it is so important to emphasize that these policies actually hurt the people they purport to help.
Let’s review, shall we? The left claims to want higher wages for the poor while praising a law that effectively lowers wages; the left claims to oppose handouts to big corporations while praising a law that effectively hands them $800 billion; Obama claimed that people would be able to keep their existing health care while pushing a law that does the exact opposite.
If you want to know what progressives really stand for, it is always better to look at what they do instead of listening to what they say. The gulf between the two makes the Grand Canyon look positively quaint.