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News Link • Obama Administration

One cheer for Obamacare

•, by Robert Robb
 I don’t want to be misunderstood. This is not a defense of the program. I continue to believe that the incentives in Obamacare are so badly misaligned that it will implode.

However, regardless of whether Obamacare ends up being a valued new entitlement or an expensive, failed experiment, it will have launched or reinforced some beneficial health care trends. Perhaps tellingly, they are unintended.

The first beneficial trend is to weaken the link between employment and health insurance. This link is counterproductive. It hurts the global competitiveness of U.S. firms, since health care isn’t the responsibility of most foreign companies. It reduces the mobility and market leverage of workers, since changing jobs can put health care at risk. And it encourages overconsumption of health care, since those making the decision pay directly for only a fraction of it.

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