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Less Work, Less Economic Growth – the Unintended Consequences of ObamaCare

Democracy and Power 106: Unintended Consequences

The law of unintended consequences is what happens when a simple system tries to regulate a complex system.   The political system is simple; it operates with limited information (rational ignorance), short time horizons, low feedback, and poor and misaligned incentives.  Society, in contrast, is a complex, evolving, high-feedback, incentive-driven system.  When a simple system tries to regulate a complex system you often get unintended consequences.   - Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution

Less Work, Less Economic Growth – the Unintended Consequences of ObamaCare

Millions of Americans are presently losing their health insurance.  Doctor-patient relationships are being destroyed and doctors as well as hospitals are being excluded.  As predicted, ObamaCare has become a politically manufactured train-wreck.  

The origins of this debacle was the haste and the corruptive elements surrounding the forced votes in our House and Senate.  Let us not forget Nancy Pelosi's supercilious statement, “...we have to pass the bill (ObamaCare) so you can find out what is in it....”

In the haste to pass ObamaCare, Congress never investigated or considered all the potential consequences.   Jered Meyer of E21 reports on the unintended consequences:

... the law clearly alters wage, hour, hiring, and work incentives for employers, employees, and the unemployed—leading to unanticipated negative effects.”   

So, when Pelosi and Harry Reid coerced and forced votes for ObamaCare without any consideration of the unintended consequences, they substantially damaged businesses, employees and productivity throughout America.   For example, over 7.7 million Americans work 35 hours a week or less when most prefer full-time employment, but it benefits the employer to keep their hours lower.  Thus, all Americans are harmfully impacted: employees, employers and the American consumer. These consequences are larger than the cost of ObamaCare.   Again, Meyer:  

The ACA  (ObamaCare) will directly cost 1.4 trillion dollars over the next decade and, as research such as Mulligan and Gallen’s (University of Chicago economists) shows, the secondary costs through decreased productivity and labor market utilization will be even higher.

Competent governance requires examining and anticipating all potential consequences when promulgating laws.   Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) expressed the need for a thorough appraisal of intended and unintended consequences:

“We need different perspectives here in Washington - someone who has private-sector experience, somebody who's actually created jobs, manufactures products, understands the incentives and disincentives, the intended and unintended consequences of legislation.”  

Absolutely correct!



A short video by and Professor Don Boudreaux of George Mason University explains unintended consequences often create results results opposite to the laws intent.