Monday, February 11, 2013

Obamacare: Bad law.

Ever since I first heard of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I've been saying that it is a very bad law. Everything about it, from its length (over 2000 pages), to the secrecy in which it was passed (nobody had been given time to actually read final version of the bill when it was passed), to the naked vote-buying that went on, to the artificial emergency-crisis atmosphere used to rush it through Congress, to the well-documented (but little-known) nature of the man who demanded it, indicated that it was a very bad law.

Nothing has happened that might suggest I was mistaken.

Indeed, many things great and small strongly suggest that I was right. At the small end is the HHS mandate. I don't mean to diminish its tyranny or its unconstitutionality, but I recognize that it doesn't really involve a whole lot of money or people (yet). On the other, we have the Energy and Commerce Committee's Obamacare Burden Tracker, which tallies up Congressional Budget Office estimates of hours spent on compliance with Obamacare. Their current estimate: 127,602,371 hours. To borrow from them:
What could be done in 127,602,371 hours?
  • Mount Rushmore, which took 14 years to build, could be constructed 1,040 times.
  • Halley’s comet, seen from Earth once every 76 years, could be spotted 191 times.
  • The Empire State building, which took 7 million hours to build, could be constructed 18 times.
Is 100% of the new regulatory burden wasted time? It's doubtful. But it is 100% cost, and I very much doubt it was factored into the original CBO estimate of how much the ACA would cost when it was being debated in Congress.  And 100% of that cost will come out of our pockets.  There is no such thing as a free lunch.

here's somebody who knows this stuff better than I do, taking it to pieces far better than I can. Salute to the Pittsford Perennialist.

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