On October 1st, 2013, the Federal government shut down many services and agencies because it was unable to successfully pass a spending bill for the fiscal year. Congress was stuck in this gridlock due to controversy over funding the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare as it is commonly known) in the new budget. Although most of us are students who already have health insurance (a requirement for Emory), we should still be concerned by the resonating effects of Obamacare when and if it passes. Here are three reasons why we are:
It is unreasonably long
The amount of regulations in the Affordable Care Act is tremendous. By searching “Affordable Care Act” on federalregister.gov, there are over 12,307 associated articles. Several Congress Republicans such as Mitch McConnell calculated that there are nearly 20,000 pages of regulations associated with Obamacare. Other sources find different numbers, but they are still in the thousands.
In relative terms, there are already 3,503 federal regulations, 739 federal regulations affecting small businesses, and 174,545 total pages in the Code of Federal Regulations. Obamacare is a bureaucratic nightmare just by looking at its size. Is it really fair to enact a law that is nearly impossible to read?
It hurts students trying to enter the job market
Government legislators often pass bills that “seem” good, but rarely do they notice to the unforeseen consequences of policies. I do not claim to have clairvoyance or perfect vision of the economy, but simple economics can predict what might occur to the job market. Under the new policy, the government will require employers with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance or face a fine. While many companies already offer health insurance to their employees, not every company can afford providing insurance. Healthcare policies usually range in price between $300 and $400 per month. So, companies might expect to pay between $3,600 and $4,800 extra per employee per year. With a business that hires just 50 employees, an employer can expect to pay between $180,000 and $240,000 extra to employees just in healthcare benefits. This might not seem like a problem for incredibly large and well-paying corporations, but companies that cannot afford to pay their employees more will face tough decisions. These companies might have to fire full-time employees for part time-employees, cut wages, or worse: go out of business. Policies like Obamacare make it harder for businesses to grow and hire new employees, so graduates seeking occupations on the job market might not find many eager employers.
The Government Isn’t Perfect
Before we use government to solve our problems, we should seriously consider if the government is really the best choice. We must remember that the people instituting these policies are just bureaucrats—not healthcare experts. How can we expect the government to handle such a complicated market like healthcare when it cannot even compromise on a budget? How can we believe a policy designed to promote health and economic growth will work when the government holds $17,000,000,000 in debt? Socialist-style central planning does not address the issues of the people, and it is absurd to thing that well intended government policies will do any better.