Liberal Writer: Obamacare Threatens Liberalism

by Sean Hackbarth

Here are two quotes of the day, both on Obamacare.

First, the New Republic’s Franklin Foer on how the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov is damaging the liberal programme [via memeorandum]:

A two-page bill could have extended Medicare and provided universal coverage, but by relying so heavily on the private market, and straining to avoid the taint of Big Government, the Affordable Care Act is the Russian novel of social policy, now totaling 20,202 pages. Loopholes and exemptions abound. As Ezra Klein has grimly warned, “Far from introducing innovation and efficiency into the system, the decision to build a complex, 50-state public-private hybrid has introduced towering complexity into the project, and seems, potentially, to be beyond the government’s capacity to do well.”

Of course being a magazine that thinks that technocratic liberalism can solve all problems, he thinks that if the messiness of politics (and consent of the governed) can be bypassed, smart people could design the correct system–i.e. single-payer. This ignores all that we know about the inability of experts to collect, analyze, and act on dispersed knowledge.

Next, there’s Matt Lewis, who notes an Obamacare tax that will hit small businesses on January 1:

If you buy coverage on your own or work at a small business, insurance companies will be taxed for the privilege of selling you that product. Aside from being a horrible precedent, it’s truly weird, inasmuch as it means we are taxing something that we’re subsidizing at the same time. Interestingly, big businesses self insure, so they won’t be on the hook for the new health insurance tax. Groups that represent small business have banded together to fight this tax.

Over the last few years, I’ve written a lot about the Health Insurance Tax. Here’s my latest at FreeEnterprise.com on how it’s already hurting small businesses.

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