Saturday, July 14, 2012

An Alternative Reason Why Americans Hate Obamacare


A few weeks ago you posited the reason Americans hated Obama care was because nothing was in it for them. Since most are covered by health insurance, you state, there is little support to make sure others have health insurance as well. You may be right, but here are a couple of alternatives.

Americans generally don't like to be told (mandated) what to do, even if it helps them. The Boston Tea Party is an example. John Hancock was bootlegging tea to the colonies and undercutting the East India company monopoly. To counter, Parliament passed the Tea Act which would have allowed direct sale of tea by the East India company to the colonists, bypassing licensed merchants who charged a hefty mark-up. The Act would have resulted in significant supply hitting the American market and lower prices to consumers.

Of course, bootleggers like Hancock and his henchman, Sam Adams objected, but what is surprising is the support they received from the rest of Boston and the other colonies. The end result of the Act would have been more ample supply and lower prices but the colonists objected because they didn't like the mandate.

During the debate over Obamacare I was amused by the confusion (and disdain) some of the gasbags had over the objection to Obamacare. In the gasbag's view, Obamacare was a good thing for consumers, yet consumers didn't want it. How could that be? They must have missed the class on the Boston Tea Party.

The other rather simple reason Americans hate it is the Act is a step, a big step, to price control. There is overwhelming evidence price controls lead to less supply and negative outcomes to consumers. I'm not sure I need to give examples but we can look at airlines, natural gas, Nixon's wage and price control, and of course wage control during WWII which led to company-sponsored health insurance, all within recent history as shining examples of the failure of price control.

Yes, I do think the average person is that sophisticated.


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