Some will read the Washington Post's revelation--that the administration is not addressing its mistakes in processing the online health insurance enrollments of tens of thousands of consumers--and conclude that the Obama administration is singularly incompetent. Perhaps so, but even with the best software system, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) cannot function in the real world under any administration.
The Affordable Care Act fails to account for fundamental human nature. Faced with paying expensive new mandated insurance for full-time employees, employers simply will cut employees' hours. Presented with high new premiums that essentially subsidize insurance for sicker older people, healthy young people simply will refuse to enroll. Without adequate Medicare reimbursements--a cost-cutting measure used to help sell and pass the ACA--physicians simply will stop taking poor patients.
The Affordable Care Act defies efficiency and effectiveness by shifting decision-making power away from patients and their personal physicians to federal bureaucracies--the most inefficient and ineffective level of decision-making possible.
The ACA replaces free choice and competition with senseless and coercive mandates, such as forcing even conscientious objectors such as elderly nuns to participate in the provision of controversial contraceptives and sterilization surgeries.
Congress should heed the lessons of the ACA and enact measured reforms that drive costs down by letting consumers choose policies across state lines, provide safety nets for the poor through high-risk pools, increase personal choice and cost-saving accountability with health savings accounts and respect First Amendment principles protecting conscience.