From the Department of Unintended Consequences

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on August 14, 2012

Richard Epstein tells us why the implementation of Obamacare could turn out to be an utter and complete nightmare:

Now that the Supreme Court has held President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) constitutional, mounting evidence suggests that the statute’s most ardent defenders may well come to rue the day. During the legal struggles over the ACA, its defenders both on and off the Supreme Court took for granted the proposition that the law would deliver on its major promise, which was to extend affordable coverage to the over 47 million people who now lack healthcare insurance, without disrupting the protection that others currently enjoy.

Unfortunately, these bold pronouncements failed to take into account the old and powerful economic law of unintended consequences. Sometimes these are positive, which is why the selfish actions of ordinary individuals in competitive markets prove socially beneficial. Adam Smith said that each individual “is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.” But those unintended consequences often turn bad in connection with the many forms of government regulation that limit the scope of contractual freedom, which the ACA does in a big way.

The result may turn into an Obamacare quagmire. Public officials, at both the federal and the state level, are grappling with the Herculean task of implementing the law. Its internal complexity and flawed design make it a program that was built to fail. The most recent evidence of the ACA’s administrative breakdown comes via the New York Times in a story by Robert Pear—no enemy of Obamacare—who reports that the fine print of the ACA could leave the dependents of millions of low-income employees without coverage from either their employers or the ACA’s insurance exchanges.

Read the whole thing. Remember that Nancy Pelosi told us that we had to pass Obamacare to find out what was in it. We followed her advice, and look where that left us. Also, note that if you can no longer get coverage from your employers and have to get a new plan, that new plan may make it harder or impossible for you to see your regular doctor–violating Barack Obama’s promise that your relationship with your doctor would never be disturbed with the advent of health care “reform,” and that if you like your healthcare plan, you can get to keep it.

Say, wouldn’t it be nice to have a president and vice president who won’t govern in such an unbelievably haphazard fashion?

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