Now all of the guessing, punditry, forecasting and prediction are over the Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare! Lets all get into some really terribly reckless activities so we can injure ourselves and take advantage of this government program free-for-all.
Seriously, Im not advocating anyone go out and do something stupid. We have enough people every day doing that its called the Government (ba-ding!) Im throwing some more accessible humor into my columns these days in an attempt to grow my readership to a few people in my family that like more of the slapstick stuff, and not as many topical jokes. Hopes this new approach reaches my intended audience.
In any event, what we have here is a situation more seriously than my failure to communicate with some members of my family. It would appear that President Obamas greatest legislative achievement has been ratified by a conservative Supreme Court, and everyone should be dancing in the aisles, setting off fireworks and having massive parades in his honor.
But is this Obamacare a great thing? Weeeeelllll, I dont know about that.
First of all, unemployment is still pretty high, hovering between eight and nine percent. A good thing all of us are getting state-sponsored health care, am I right? Because the only thing that stinks more than not having a job is not having health insurance.
Well, slow your roll, cowboy. As SCOTUS amply put in its ruling, Obamacare will act as a tax a tax upon people and a tax upon businesses. What usually happens when taxes go up? Businesses have to either lay people off or close their doors.
One thing is almost certain. Businesses faced with higher taxes do not hire more people. So, I have a very bad feeling that one day in the near future, well look back at eight percent unemployment as the good old days.
Okay, well, second, I guess we can all have better health care while we sit on our couches, eat Cheetos, drink Yoo-Hoo and watch re-runs of the View. I may not be working, but, Im going to be healthier. Again, not so fast.
As I mentioned in previous columns, there will likely be a huge disconnect between the public and the health care sector in the aftermath of Obamacare. Currently, our health care system works under the capitalist model. Its expensive to be a doctor, and it takes quite a long time. I have friends whose struggles I've witnessed first hand, both in terms of completing the work and finding the finances. I would have no idea how medical schools could justify the amount of work they require and the cost they command if doctors will eventually be paid by the government. Therefore, you will either see no further doctors (because why would you work hard for fifteen years and pay $250,000 for a medical degree when youll be making $45,000 a year from the government), or you will see a decline in the cost of medical school and the time it will take to complete a degree. This will, of course, mean that our physicians wont have the levels of training that we currently enjoy.
I havent even gotten into the pharmaceuticals yet. We can forego some medical training if and only if our doctors know enough to give us great medicine. But, you see, the incentive for creating new medicine will not exist if the government is paying pennies on the dollar for research, development and prescriptions. There will end up being four or five pills for us to take one if we have a cold, one if we have the flu, one to help use sleep and a bullet if our health problems are too extensive or serious to be fixed by the other three pills. Isnt that a fantastic thing? Healthcare, simplified!
The SCOTUS ruling could have an ulterior motive (which I will delve into for my next column). But, as it stands, the result will be disastrous for us as a country. I feel the ground slipping away, and the world turning topsy-turvy. Everything, from our jobs, to our education, our finances and our inevitable health care will be affected. Our taxes will go up, as will unemployment, and our options will be terribly limited if we have a garden-variety illness, let alone a serious one.
In this instance, I have a bad feeling that we should have been careful for what we wished for because were all gonna get it.
Christopher Markham writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.