Why are Republicans refusing to euthanize ObamaCare?

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Some of the 111 million viewers of Superbowl LI who stole peeks at headlines during commercials may have run across the article “Taiwan Bans Euthanasia of Stray Animals,” featured by a prominent news site, and found it hard to swallow—especially between bites of hotdog.

Causes for indigestion include the February 5 Channel NewsAsia article’s photo of 12 dead dogs being mourned by a protestor in Taipei. Some people probably found this sad. Those who did not choke up at this may have choked on their food as they imagined a not-too-distant-future Taiwan overrun with strays, like a beached Noah’s Ark without the benefit of God limiting the animal passengers to two of each kind.

{mosads}I personally belong to the narrower category of readers that choked on the startling realization Taiwan’s ban of mercy-killing stray animals resembles, bizarrely, the reluctance of Republicans and Democrats in Congress and even President Trump to put the Affordable Care Act out of its misery.


Like ObamaCare, Taiwan’s ban on euthanizing unwanted animals has been promoted largely by activists convinced turning a segment of the economy inside-out with government mandates is the best way to solve a supply-and-demand riddle. (In Taiwan, these activists bullied a veterinarian tasked with doing the hard but necessary job of putting down the unclaimed animals into taking her own life in 2016—a tragedy to which I draw no parallel here, though others may.)

ObamaCare and Taiwan’s ban each use one of the least-efficient approaches to solving their societies’ respective problems. The United States and Taiwanese governments have declared, explicitly or implicitly, the kinds of products (or pets) people should want—as if wishing made it so. Each of these governments has imposed these wishes on all in society, including proponents, dissenters, and timid malcontents too afraid to try something else.

Euthanizing ObamaCare would benefit Americans of every stripe, including people who love ObamaCare and former president Barack Obama. This is because market-based health care and health insurance offerings would immediately fill the vacuum created by repealing ACA’s mandates. The Obama administration wrapped these mandates around our health care system like a tourniquet, turning it gangrenous in its attempt to stop some bleeding.

Similarly, euthanizing animals no human wants or is willing or able to care for would benefit the entire population of Taiwan, including and especially animal lovers, who prefer not to see their domesticated, furry friends overrun by the walking dead of pets. If avoiding a pet-induced apocalypse isn’t a compelling enough reason—and evidently, it’s not in Taiwan—there are also expenses and inconveniences to consider.

It’s expensive and inconvenient—for everyone!—when a substantial aspect of a civilization is required to function contrary to the laws of supply and demand. In such circumstances, as Wang Chung-shu, deputy chief of the animal husbandry department, told The China Times, “It’s impossible for there to be no problems.” Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture says animal shelter quality will now deteriorate because of the ban on euthanizing the unloved beasts, and people once inclined to leave a bowl of milk on the stoop may start changing their minds, according to Channel NewsAsia.

The consequences of flouting the market’s supply-and-demand laws apply to a government’s intrusion into the health care industry as much as to society’s approach to animal control. ObamaCare’s 10 essential coverage mandates and guaranteed issue mandates have caused insurance premiums to skyrocket each year. Premiums for the benchmark plan the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service uses to track insurance costs rose by 25 percent from 2016 to 2017. Meanwhile, ObamaCare’s individual mandate coerces people to buy insurance they don’t want, on pain of a tax penalty. An unwanted insurance plan is worse than an unwanted pet.

The Taiwanese people have been preparing for the ban’s implementation for two years, a period set aside for them to build extra animal shelters, Channel NewsAsia reports. The American people prepared for ObamaCare for three years prior to its implementation, have lived with the law for four years and counting, and now wait on Trump and Congress to execute their promise to kill the law.

Anyone who has raised man’s best friend from a pup knows how hard it is, yet how right it is, in the infirmity of the pup’s old age, to put the pup down. Neglecting this mercy proves more difficult for everyone. Some would say it’s wrong.

ObamaCare is sickly. Trump and Congress should not let it linger. It’s time to put the dog down.

Michael T. Hamilton (@MikeFreeMarket) is a Heartland Institute research fellow and managing editor of Health Care News, author of the weekly Consumer Power Report, and host of the Health Care News Podcast.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Tags Barack Obama Healthcare Heartland Institute Michael Hamilton ObamaCare

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