Effects of the “AFFORDABLE” Care Act

There has been some heated discussion about how the USCCB did or could have been more or less supportive of Obamacare… which we should really all be calling the “AFFORDABLE” Care Act, perhaps with a quizzical twist of “uptalk”.

Over at American Catholic find the observations of The Motley Monk.  A taste:


Prior to the passage of Obamacare, eminent economists were sounding the alarm that the so-called “Affordable Care Act” would have deleterious consequences. It would end freedom of choice in healthcare. Large large numbers of doctors would have to leave the practice of medicine or form “concierge” practices catering solely to people of means. The health insurance market would be altered in such ways that carriers would have to drop individual policies in the short term and perhaps corporate policies in the long term. And, despite all of the promises, millions of Americans would be left without healthcare insurance. Some economists even warned that Obamacare had the potential to bankrupt the United States within a couple of decades.

Having fallen for a political promise that would translate their assumptions into law, the USCCB—similar to most Catholic members of Congress—either didn’t read the bill’s contents or allowed their experts to tell them that Obamacare presented no substantive problems. It’s also pretty clear the economists the USCCB may have consulted failed to warn that Obamacare would ultimately hurt the very people Bishop Murphy and the USCCB were lobbying so hard to protect.

The outcome of those efforts?

Currently, 4.8M+ Americans have lost or will lose their health insurance (with perhaps 100M+ more to come, if competent economists are to be believed). Thousands of doctors have been dropped by health insurance carriers, are leaving (or likely to leave) the practice of medicine, or forming concierge practices. The doctor shortage is expected to grow, perhaps creating long waiting lines for people who need immediate medical care. Untold numbers of Americans cannot keep their doctors or medical treatments, as the President himself promised on many occasions.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. wmeyer says:

    One of the greatest problems we now face is that many (most?) voters have little or no real understanding of economics. Were this not so, there are many politicians whose careers would already have been cut short by their preposterous lies.

    While that is at least moderately understandable for the average man in the street, it is utterly incomprehensible as an excuse for the USCCB. These are very well educated men, and if they are economically illiterate, they should be ashamed. Let those without a clue immediately read (at least) Henry Hazlitt’s short Economics in One Lesson.

  2. Ben Kenobi says:

    It isn’t that they are economically illiterate – it’s that they read the wrong men. Yes, Obamacare, if properly enforced will result in the economic destitution of young people. Do folks care? I really don’t see much evidence for this. Even on conservative sites, I hear, “we have an entitlement and we intend to receive our entitlement”. Yet, no one seems to question where the money comes from in the end. The numbers are already bleak. Young folks are not doing well. Housing is well priced out of our means already. Jobs are drying up and getting cut back. My fellow staff and I have cut back our hours for a year in anticipation of Obamacare. This has resulted in personal cutbacks for me and I know I’m not the only one. I am fortunate in being out of debt, but trying to raise personal capital is difficult.

    Where am I going to find the funds for an additional 200-300 a month insurance? I am healthy, I pay as I go for the small, occasional costs that crop up. The money is simply not there. I see that Obama is threatening jail time for all those who refuse to comply. The mandate will be enforced for the simple reason that the powerful and well-connected are already exempt and the exemptations will be extended such that the only ones who are paying are the ones who can scarcely afford to do so. The money is simply not there – it has been spent. The money isn’t there for the entitlements that already exist let alone an additional burden.

  3. LarryW2LJ says:

    One of the Amateur Radio Volunteer Examiners on the team that I work with is a lawyer. His specialty is Medical Law. He told me that he is currently “swamped” (his term) with cases involving doctors who wish to retire and end their practices before ACA goes totally into effect.

    I’m just a layman with no real experience in these kinds of matters, but common sense tells me that this news is not a good thing.

  4. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    “Affordable” care indeed! Our government managed to spend $300 million on a website that didn’t work, so it seems utterly logical that healthcare costs will go down. It proposes to insert a new level of bureaucracy (which has a long track record of lowering expenses) between doctor and patient. What could possibly go wrong!

  5. Facta Non Verba says:

    Government programs often end up hurting the very people intended to be helped. The data / evidence of the results of the social programs from Johnson’s “Great Society” supports this proposition.

  6. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    I almost forgot this: more and more young healthy people without children need to sign up to make the system pay for itself, and these are (many of) the same people who can now stay on their PARENTS’ insurance until they are 26. I guess it works in Chicago (and Miami, and probably other places) to have people vote twice, and to have dead people vote, so paying for a system on the backs of those who are freeloading makes absolute, perfect sense.

  7. Sonshine135 says:

    I think it is important to remember that the USCCB was pushing universal health care initiatives up and until the law contained mandates for abortion drugs and birth control. In 2010, I was telling many of my Catholic friends that the USCCB should be careful what they wish for, because they were going to get it. It was always destined to be a failure. You need to respect the economics that drive such solutions.

  8. wmeyer says:

    It isn’t that they are economically illiterate – it’s that they read the wrong men.

    If they read only Keynesians, and believed them, that borders on willful ignorance. Moreover, the Church teaches the importance of subsidiarity, and that’s another strike against the Feds. There are myriad reasons the bishops should have known better.

  9. incredulous says:

    Apparently our Catholic leaders are merely goosestepping cheerleaders for the DNC. They are pro gun control (how’s that working for the Swiss Guard and their Beretta’s or Sigs or whatever military arm they carry now?), pro-Obamacare (hence pro abortion, pro death panel, pro rationing of health care), they are anti democratic (the dems used every illegal procedure they could find to jamb obamacare down our throats and now they modified the law multiple times to benefit their cronies), they are for the elimination of national borders (pro illegal immigration). Further, they don’t care that honest, law abiding non citizens wait in line for years to get into this country and they want to encourage lawlessness and unfairness to those that respect our laws.

    Since when did the Catholic church become another set of hands for the DNC and murderous federal government (illegal assignations without due process of the law by executive decree, etc.)?

    I’m tired of leftist “liberation theologists”, feminists and all those who have taken a pound of flesh out of the church.

  10. pannw says:

    @ incredulous I’m tired of leftist “liberation theologists”, feminists and all those who have taken a pound of flesh out of the church.

    Me too! They are an obstacle to my husband’s conversion. I agree with everything you said. Our leaders have become concerned with the material matters of the world to the detriment of the spiritual.

  11. Mandy P. says:


    I’m glad you mention your husband’s conversion being hindered because I have the same issues with family. I have quite a few relatives that are sympathetic to the Church and have seriously looked at converting but eventually went elsewhere because they were so turned off by those liberation theologists and ultra-feminists and the support the clergy and hierarchy seems to give those groups (be it out of agreement or fear of being politically incorrect).

    To be perfectly frank, I had a hard time getting over that as well in my own conversion. Fortunately I was able to overcome that stumbling block. I can’t help but wonder, though, if that isn’t a block to wider conversion to Catholicism than we know (which is ironic to think about considering how terrified our leaders seem to be of offending and/or scaring off people with more liberal sensibilities).

  12. SKAY says:

    I also agree with @incredulous.
    The (un)ACA was passed without one Republican vote. Apparently they can still add and subtract.

    The Democrats will be looking for more ways to tax us all and I think a federal property tax will
    look very inviting to them. I have always thought they will be going after private property at some point. The Bishops really need to think about that. Many taxpayers are just middle class with children and the more money that the federal government takes – the more donations will drop. With the history of this administration, I think that any Church property will be a big target.
    They also need to remember the history of this administration — they have no problem with making a promise they have no intention of keeping. I am sure the laugh about it behind closed doors.
    I learned a long time ago that advanced education does not necessarily mean common sense.

  13. Gail F says:

    I do not understand the USCCB’s support for this. I understand that the bishops want everyoen to be able to receive health care. But how anyone could think this was the way to accomplish that is beyond me. Likewise, I don’t understand the USCCB’s position on immigration. Both healthcare delivery and immigration are BROKEN, that much is obvious. But the solutions our gov’t is proposing are awful. Sruely, surely we can help the poor and welcome the stranger in a way that is effective and will work!

  14. C N says:

    The people I’ve talked to who looked into a new health policy say the penalty fee is much more affordable than the health insurance plan(s) they’re eligible for.

  15. Lin says:

    If the USCCB, priests, and religious would stick to their knitting, i.e., teaching and enforcing faith and morals, the rest would take care of its own accord!!! Catholics are responsible for voting in this pro-death administration and Congress. If Catholics heard sermons the ten commandments, heaven, hell, judgment, purgatory, sin, and a well-formed conscience, instead of “love is all you need” and everyone goes to heaven, it just might be a different world. Catechism! Catechism! Catechism! If taught properly, priests would have to man the confessional 24-7!! People would want to stay in a state of grace rather than plan to say a last minute act of contrition. And did I mention, much prayer and fasting I’d required for our priests. They are all under attack!

  16. smittyjr63 says:


    And save your money incase you have a medical emergency. Seriously. I just had my gallbladder removed and paid every cent of it out of pocket. Cost me over $5,000. With Obummercare and the deductibles alone, I would have almost paid this. At least I can pick any doc and hospital I want. And the really cool thing is that when you tell folks you have NO insurance, they usually let you pay 50% of the bill in full, so you get this gigantic break. I remember years ago when a $1000 deductible was too much for me. I have no insurance now, and don’t intend on getting any. I can’t afford the Unaffordable Careless Act….(please let’s not call it “affordable”, for you are only doing the idiots who created it a favor). It is truly “Unaffordable”, and it’s passed legislation was truly a Careless Act.

    Here’s a good rule of thumb…
    Can you afford a new car payment? If you answer “No”, than you CANNOT afford Obummercare.
    Let’s sink this ship, and boycott it. Pay the fine, and let Obummercare die.

  17. SKAY says:

    Unfortunately I think the fines keep going up.

  18. jhayes says:

    Skay is right. The $95 increases to $325 for 2015 and $625 for 2016. And those are minimums – if you earn more than a certain amount, the fine is a percentage of your income.

    And those minimums are for one person. A family with two children would pay a minimum fine of $2085 in 2016. For nothing.

    With the government subsidies provided through the online insurance exchanges, the cost of buying insurance may be much less than you expect – and the money you spend buys you real benefits rather than nothing.

  19. Ben Kenobi says:

    I’m not paying either the fine or registering for Obamacare. What’s Obama going to do? Arrest me? There are worse causes than going to jail because I refuse to pay for abortion funding.

  20. jhayes says:

    I’m not paying either the fine or registering for Obamacare. What’s Obama going to do? Arrest me? There are worse causes than going to jail because I refuse to pay for abortion funding.

    That only works if you earn so little that you don’t have to file income tax. On the income tax form you have to identify the insurance you have. If you say you don’t have insurance, you have to calculate the fine and include it in your tax due.

    I have been doing that for years here in Massachusetts, where we had Romneycare before Obamacare.

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