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The costs of Obamacare

Free healthcare for everyone!

Sounds amazing, right? Well don’t bother dreaming about it yet, because universal healthcare could be a taxpayer’s worst nightmare.

In case you’re not familiar with it, a universal healthcare system exists when a country’s government provides health coverage for all its citizens. In essence, the federal government would foot the bill for your healthcare.  

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is the closest America has gotten to implementing a universal healthcare policy. The ACA still requires people to pay for health insurance, but offers it at lower costs and aims to expand healthcare coverage in America. Sure, lower health insurance bills would be great, but considering all of the flaws in Obamacare, is it really worth it?

As noted by the New York Times, very few doctors and hospitals hold Obamacare in high esteem. In fact, in a 2016 survey conducted by the Merritt Hawkins for the Physicians Foundation found that, out of 10,000 randomly selected American physicians, only a mere 3.2% rated the ACA an “A” on a familiar grading system that mirrors that used in most American schools. CNN pointed out that most physicians believed the ACA to be just average in its effectiveness.

Obamacare is by no means universal healthcare, but if it were, just think of how much it would impact taxes. Universal healthcare is supposed to save people money, but tax hikes take money out of Americans’ pockets just as much as high insurance premiums. If you compare the income tax rate of America, a country without a true universal healthcare system, to a country with universal healthcare, you’ll see a drastic difference. A 2014 report by BBC found that a single American on an average salary pays an income tax of 22.7%, while the same person in Belgium pays a ridiculous 42.8%.

So there’s really no difference between having universal healthcare and having to pay for your own healthcare. Because after all, you would still be paying a hefty amount anyway, just indirectly through your income tax.

Paying for healthcare might be a pain, but if doing so was like getting pricked by a needle, paying taxes would be like getting impaled by a needle the size of Los Angeles. Universal healthcare really doesn’t deliver what it promises, definitely doesn’t come with enough benefits to really make it worthwhile.