Happy Birthday, Obamacare!

You know it doesn’t make much sense
There ought to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration.

Awright: the lyrics get smarmy as Stevie Wonder’s song continues. But it’s a sensational arrangement that brings back fond memories of many a happy disco night. (More in that vein? Here, from German TV at the time. Mature immature audiences only.) So far as quoted, moreover, the lyrics fit the occasion: if ever we are to celebrate March 23 (Obamacare Day), they’ll have to make us. Call it the Individual Celebration Mandate.

On the occasion of this birthday (Obamacare’s third), The Wall Street Journal reports that health insurers warn of very major premium increases come 2014, when the law’s coverage mandates kick in. The Washington Post has a fine story on small employers in my home town (Alexandria, VA) who have no earthly idea as to what the law will mean for them, except that it might wipe out their entire profits. In other news, the U.S. Senate has voted—with the support of the likes of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to repeal a tax on medical device firms. Said tax was one of multiple make-believe means to ensure that the Affordable Care Act would—in the President oft-repeated words—add “not one dime” to the deficit.

The actual number of dimes is something in the order of 62 trillion. AEI’s Chris Conover, who knows this stuff like nobody else, has the explanation and the chilling numbers. Must read.

Uncork the champagne, and then something harder. I Wanna Be Sedated.

Michael S. Greve is a professor at George Mason University School of Law. From 2000 to August, 2012, Professor Greve was the John G. Searle Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he remains a visiting scholar. Before coming to AEI, Professor Greve cofounded and, from 1989 to 2000, directed the Center for Individual Rights, a public interest law firm. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in government from Cornell University, and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Hamburg. Currently, Professor Greve also chairs the board of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and is a frequent contributor to the Liberty Law Blog. Professor Greve has written extensively on many aspects of the American legal system. His publications include numerous law review articles and books, including most recently The Upside-Down Constitution (Harvard University Press, 2012). He has also written The Demise of Environmentalism in American Law (1996); Real Federalism: Why It Matters, How It Could Happen (1999); and Harm-less Lawsuits? What's Wrong With Consumer Class Actions (2005). He is the coeditor, with Richard A. Epstein, of Competition Laws in Conflict: Antitrust Jurisdiction in the Global Economy (2004) and Federal Preemption: States' Powers, National Interests (2007); and, with Michael Zoeller, of Citizenship in America and Europe: Beyond the Nation-State? (2009).

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  1. johnt says

    Meanwhile there is total chaos in the blundering attempts to assimilate and integrate into a coherent functioning national system, different states, differences in coverage, not helped by the volcano of thousands of pages already being churned out by the bureaucratic monster in Washington. Already it’s a disaster.

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