Near the end of Human Action Ludwig von Mises declared that it was the “primary civic duty” to learn the teachings of economics. The public’s growing furor over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — popularly known as “ObamaCare” — beautifully illustrates Mises’s point. No one has any business being shocked — shocked! — that millions of Americans will lose their current health insurance (including the present, irritated, writer), because such an outcome was obvious all along. Furthermore, the hilarious snags with healthcare.gov are merely a sideshow; the true problems with ObamaCare run much deeper than a malfunctioning website.
The Basic Structure of “ObamaCare”
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was formally signed into law on March 23, 2010. There are numerous provisions that kick in at various stages, through 2020. For our purposes in this article, there are four key elements of the ACA that merit our attention: