ObamaCare: A punishment for responsible budgeting

It’s important to go beyond these facts and understand what they really mean for those of us who live in the Badger State. Young people will be hit hard with premium increases. Those between 19 and 29 years old who have individual insurance will experience an average premium increase of $1,631 per year. A family of four that does not qualify for a subsidy can expect a 28 percent increase — from $8,528 to $10,912. For those who are covered by the small-employer group market, the average premium increase will be 15 percent.

These are just the law’s effects on individuals. There are also statewide implications. In Wisconsin, 46 percent of residents who would receive assistance through Obamacare would have already had insurance coverage. That would result in taxpayers spending millions of dollars without providing new coverage.

The law has also raised serious philosophical questions: Should the federal government force people to buy a product? What is the proper relationship between federal and state governments?

Even setting aside those legitimate issues, one practical concern remains. I look at the effects that full implementation would have on my state, and I can’t help but conclude that Obamacare punishes Wisconsin for budgeting responsibly and providing access to affordable and quality health care. It punishes young people, those who have responsibly purchased individual insurance, employers and employees of small businesses.

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