3 Ways to Make Obamacare Less Completely Awful


I'm no fan of Obamacare, which to my mind competes with Medicare and Medicaid as not simply godawful but a deeply offensive use of government power.

The federal government should no more be in the business of guaranteeing health insurance than it should be in the business of surveilling its citizens or bombing foreign countries independent of war resolutions. I think the Supreme Court's decision to rubber-stamp the individual mandate even as it rewrote the law to make it constitutional is one of the great blunders of American jurisprudence.

As a libertarian, I ask you: What else is new? Obamacare is not just a dumb law but a deeply offensive one (on this at least, the American people have my back). That doesn't mean it can't be made less dumb and less offensive.

And so, in my latest column for The Daily Beast, I suggest three immediate reforms to Obamacare that would make it less horrible.

They include allowing people of all ages and situations to buy catastrophic plans, forcing insurers to compete in a national market for customers, and, most important, reducing impediments to vastly grow the supply of medical care in all possible ways. This last is really key. Government programs are never going to lead to the sort of innovation that will extend and improve lives. It's always going to be crazy dreamers, nut-job visionaries, and greedy bastards who do that.

Think about it: Nearly three dozen states have "certificate of need" laws governing when new hospitals can be built or existing ones can expand. In those states, existing providers can effectively veto new competition. That's idiotic under the best of circumstances. Under Obamacare, it's downright criminal. Columbia economist Frank Lichtenburg calculates that in terms of medical interventions, nothing beats pharmaceuticals when it comes to increasing and extending the quality of life. Yet under Obamacare, it's still going to cost $1 billion and 10 years to bring new drugs to market.

Read the whole piece.