Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on How ObamaCare Criminalizes Medicine


That ObamaCare is fiscally irresponsible, economically immature, and constitutionally pugnacious many people know. What they don't know is that it is also a big entrapment scheme, writes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia. She notes in The Daily Beast that in the recently passed "doc fix," ObamaCare goes after low income taxpayers to pay doctors. But then in the name of cracking down on "waste, fraud and abuse," it goes after doctors to subsidize coverage for low income families, "putting everyone at war with everyone else." As she writes:

This is utter insanity. And it has been caused by the transformation of health care into a government-controlled industry where the natural, self-regulating forces of the market have been badly subverted. There is nothing left but the coercive apparatus of the state to keep patients and doctors in line.

Read all about it here.

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  1. “But the most common fraud allegedly involves “overbilling” by providers”
    How can they solve the problem otherwise than by investigating and strict penalties?

    Doctors need to demand clarification on medical billing and the cancellation of the AMA’s monopoly or live with the system they participated in creating.

  2. “There is nothing left but the coercive apparatus of the state to keep patients and doctors in line.”

    Sometimes things are a lot less complicated than people make them out to be, and it’s refreshing to see things called simply what they are.

    “ObamaCare goes after low income taxpayers to pay doctors.”

    My opposition to ObamaCare could begin and end right there. They said they were going to help the poor and uninsured, but ObamaCare uses government coercion and the IRS to go after the poor and uninsured.

    ObamaCare is indefensible on that basis alone.

    …and all the good intentions in the world don’t make any difference at all.

  3. Oh, if only someone, somewhere, could have foreseen all this…

    1. People may like ObamaCare, or hate ObamaCare, but the one thing everyone hates is a Cassandra, sitting there telling them “I saw this coming but you didn’t believe me.”

      Maybe that’s why libertarians get such hate all the time…

      1. Yeah, but in this case? The “I told you so” part was built into the original premise!

        It was one thing when Margaret Thatcher said that the problem with these types is that “They always run out of other people’s money to spend.” In this case? They ran out of other people’s money before they even got started!

        In this case? It’s not that they’re trying to make the wealthy buy benefits for the poor–they’re going after the poor people themselves!

        I have serious doubts that their system will function well even with the mandate, but by their own admission–it can’t work without it! If they don’t use the full force of the IRS to go after poor uninsured people, they say their system can’t work…

        I’m not saying “I saw this coming but you didn’t believe me.”; I’m saying this horrific thing they want to do to uninsured poor people was always hyped as a feature from the very beginning. …and it’s just as mean now as it was when they first proposed it.

  4. The comments following the article are stunning.

  5. Ahh but health insurance companies are statutorily exempt from all American anti-trust laws, so they can and do collude with each other to set prices and provide bad service (they couldn’t get away with denying so many valid claims if they actually had to fairly compete with each other in a true capitalist market economy). If they had to compete they would be paying out 90 cents on the dollar, not keeping 90 cents on the dollar. We could fix the whole damn problem just by taking away their stupid antitrust exemption… how they got that in the first place amazes me (they bought it, of course), and when I learned about it, it was the very moment I gave up on America and stopped caring about the future of this country. Caring is too painful with crimes like this able to take place. Anyway, anyone who talks about a market setting prices in health insurance is either misinformed or lying. Probably misinformed, not many people know about the antitrust exemption and most people probably do think the insurance companies actually compete against each other in a true capitalist economy. They do not.

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