Free Obamacare!

The Truth team wants me to let all my friends and family to know the truth about Obamacare. Well, I have tried my best.

David —

It’s crazy to think that there are groups in this country whose existence is based purely on hiding the facts about Obamacare from the American people.

So, from time to time, we’re going to call on the Truth Team to fight back by shining a light on the very real, very awesome facts about Obamacare.

This week, we’re talking about how the law is already lowering health care costs for millions of Americans by providing preventive care — without any out-of-pocket expenses. Yup, that’s right — free preventive care in ways that are potentially live saving: FREE annual check-ups, FREE mammograms and other cancer screenings, FREE blood pressure screenings, FREE diabetes screenings, FREE contraception, and FREE vaccinations.

This might not be news to you — but way too few of our friends and family members know about this.

If you’re proud that Obamacare guarantees that health care plans provide this kind of preventive care, share this infographic on all the ways Obamacare is providing care for millions of families:

There’s a reason the other side wants to keep these facts under wraps: When people find out about these benefits, they’re happy about it.

They start to realize that all the hot air about Obamacare might be nothing more than partisanship.

And most importantly, people start to take advantage of the law — because preventive care isn’t about the money saved, it’s about saving lives.

Obamacare is about helping people get the better health care they need — to keep us well by providing preventive care, and help us when we’re sick by lowering what folks spend on doctors, hospitals, prescriptions, and more.

That’s truly great news — and it’s up to us to make sure people know about it.

Thanks,

Erin

Erin Hannigan
Health Care Campaign Manager
Organizing for Action

The thing is that none of those benefits are actually free. The recipients may not be paying for them, but someone is. Now, when you are paying for something out of your own pocket, you are naturally concerned about the cost. You might decide you don’t really need that blood pressure screening or that contraception. You might shop around to find the most reasonable deal. If you are not paying for something yourself, you don’t really care what the cost is. Maybe you don’t need that check up, but who cares, it’s free. Maybe your health care provider is overcharging for procedures. Who cares, you’re not paying for it. That is the problem with providing anything for free. People will naturally want more of it that they would if they are paying for it. Economists call this increasing the demand for that good or service.

Under normal circumstances, increasing the demand for a good or service tends to increase the price for that service. As the price increases, demand starts to decrease while the providers of that good or service, sensing profit, will try to produce more of the good or service. Eventually the price and amount produced will reach an equilibrium, until something happens to change the supply or demand.

Under Obamacare, the demand for healthcare will increase, thus causing the price to increase. I am not sure if there will be any real incentive for healthcare providers to increase the supply of services, especially if there is some sort of price cap to control expenses, so there may not be anything that might slow down or reverse the increase in price due to the increase in demand.  Obamacare will not make healthcare more affordable in the long run because it cannot make it more affordable in the long run. You cannot defy the laws of economics any more than you can defy the law of gravity.

To make matters worse, eventually there will have to be some method of controlling costs imposed. As the cost of healthcare increases, it will start to occur to people, even in Washington, that the government cannot spend an infinite amount of money on healthcare. This means that either they are going to have to stop offering free healthcare and start charging something close to the actual cost of each test or procedure, or they are going to have to impose rationing. This means that the government will tell you whether or not you need that blood pressure screening or that cancer treatment. In order to control costs, they may very well decide to deny you treatment if you are old or handicapped. Looking at the matter cold bloodedly, it is difficult to justify spending money on  chemotherapy for a man who is 75 years old. He is going to die within a few years anyway, so why not just fill him with pain medication and let him go?

People mocked Sarah Palin for announcing that death panels would be a part of Obamacare. She was more astute than her attackers. I doubt if anyone who wrote the laws that make up Obamacare ever intended to create death panels, but it doesn’t matter. Something like death panels are going to have to be a feature. The economic logic of the situation makes them inevitable.

So, there you go. I have done as Erin asked and made sure everyone knows the truth about Obamacare.

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