As it was made apparent in my blog post regarding think tanks, I have decided to cover the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as Obamacare) for my white paper. I feel as though I, and certainly many others, do not know a lot of the issues revolving around Obamacare, other than the fact that it has been highly controversial. Because of all of the political banter between the candidates of this recent election, it seems to have clouded the public perception of what Obamacare means to do. I for one am no expert, but the goal of my white paper is to clear the air and investigate the inner workings of the act and the financial repercussions people can expect.
One of the primary factors that people are at odds with are the Obamacare taxes. I found a report published by the Heritage Foundation, written by Curtis Dubay, which notes that the numerous tax hikes will cost taxpayers more than $500 billion between 2010 and 2019. The act itself contains 18 separate tax increases, and funds raised will make up nearly half of the revenue for Obamacare. The report highlights certain sections of the act which can be seen here. The takeaway from the authors is simple. This think tank describes an impact of slow economic growth for the country, reduced employment, and suppressed wages. The report is quoted as follows:
“In addition, higher tax rates on working and investing will discourage economic growth both now and in the future, further lowering the standard of living…these economy-slowing policies could not come at a worse time. PPACA tax increases will impede an already staggering recovery.”
In the “New Direction” section of the report, the author believes that the current tax code is in desperate need of fundamental reform, suggesting the idea of a “flat tax” for all wage and salary income at one rate, providing for only minimal deductions, credits, and exemptions. He believes that this new code would raise the same amount of revenue as the system currently in place, but in a more efficient manner.
My family has a personal stake in Obamacare. There are a lot of things in the act that I don’t agree with. However, it provides protection for patients with pre-existing conditions. So at this point my support is with Obamacare. Some may say I am ignorant for this approach, (or many other things) but at least I am making a stand somewhere. But that is the point of this paper. To expand my knowledge regarding this particular policy and come to some personal, rational conclusions.