The Uncertainty Edition
Representative Barr often says that uncertainly is one of the key problems stiffing economic recovery. This is a fairly standard conservative line, which says that businesses are unwilling to expand due to the uncertainty of future taxes or regulation. One of the key complaints by conservatives, like Rep. Barr, is that there is a great deal of uncertainly regarding Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. Businesses are afraid to hire, according to this theory, because they are uncertain about the impact of the new law on their health care costs for their employees.
What is Barr’s solution to this uncertainty? Create more. Barr has voted with the majority Republicans many times to repeal Obamacare. This week he voted with the majority to delay implementation of various aspects of Obamacare. In other words, delay and extend out the uncertainty.
The reality is that the only way to prevent uncertainty is to never allow anything to change. Change is the foundation of uncertainty. But change has been a constant in human history. (Perhaps some day I’ll address the irony of that statement, but not now.) The other way to deal with uncertainty is to get past it. Once you are past it you will no longer be uncertain. Once Obamacare is implemented there will no longer be uncertainty about its impact. All of the speculation, all of the dire warnings, will then have to be weighed against the actual impact.
The reality is that Obamacare will be implemented. Unless Obama is removed from office the law will move forward. Even if Republicans sweep out the Democrats in 2014, various aspects of the law will already be in effect.
The insurance exchanges (AKA the free market in action) will begin operating in October. By November there will no longer be any uncertainty about the impact of the exchanges. The individual mandate will go into effect next year. And so by the 2014 elections in November, we will know the impact of Obamacare, and there will no longer be any uncertainty.
So if you don’t like uncertainty it would seem that you would want to find out the reality. But it is possible that what conservatives really fear is that reality. We will find out in a few months.