In my previous proposal regarding my white paper, I focused a lot on the implications of the taxes associated with the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act (Obamacare), and how they affected people, and small businesses. So I wanted to change my approach for this second post and look more into the public response towards the act, and to continue to delve deeper into the statistics and facts related to the act. For this post, my research led me to fact tanks like the Rand Corporation, and the Pew Research Center. Many of the reports that I uncovered are slightly out of date, with many of the topics discussing the possible rulings that may be given out by the courts. Regardless of how the law was upheld or dismantled, the Pew Research Center found the fewer than half of Americans say they would be happy with the decision. Most reactions “track along partisan lines. Most democrats would be happy if the law is upheld, while most Republicans would be happy if it is thrown out.” Find below a chart of American public perception regarding the act, and how the courts may rule upon it.
Further research turned me in the direction of an article on the Hudson Institute’s website, published on November 5th of 2012 by Christopher DeMuth, just hours before Election Day. It was an interesting read, covering the theorized results of what would happen to Obamacare depending on which candidate won the election. The report indicates that if Obama were to be re-elected, “Within a few years, a new political equilibrium will be in place, making the system irreversible and subject to only marginal adjustment.” Whereas if Romney were to have been elected, “Obamacare’s controls will be turned to freer, more competitive markets, laying the groundwork for legislative ‘repeal and replace.’” Furthermore, it would:
“involve bolstering the solvency of medicare, reforming Medicaid and, one hopes, limiting the tax subsidy of employer provided health insurance, which now distorts consumer behavior in the direction of wasteful consumption.”
The article goes on to discuss the possible difficulties of managing the system, which is often likened to the British and Canadian health care systems. “Managing the medical care of 313 million Americans will involve problems of scale and complexity unlike those of managing the care of 60 million Brits or 35 million Canadians.”
DeMuth made a rather staggering statement in regard to the future of American politics, and how they will be affected by Obamacare. A passage discussed the emergence of “government as an aggressive promoter of routine middle-class consumption. But the government’s promotion of the consumption of highly particular items relating to personal health will take the practice to an entirely new level.” This could prove to be yet another important factor to look into. Clearly all of this was speculative, but as my research continues, I am learning more and more about just how impactful this bill is, and will be.