The experience of the Popeye's chain is illustrative. The company currently offers insurance costing workers just $2.50 per week, yet only 5 percent sign up for the plan. Under Obamacare, those workers would pay about $25 per week — or they could simply pay a $95 fine once a year. By 2016, the individual penalty will be $695. That's still less than the annual out-of-pocket cost of insurance, making this an easy decision for young, healthy workers who would prefer to use their limited funds in other ways. And, should they get sick, Obamacare still requires insurance companies to sell them policies.
Liberals argue that the hassles of Obamacare are worth the price to end the problem of the uninsured and associated cost-shifting. But Obamacare doesn't accomplish that goal. Last summer, the Congressional Budget Office estimated 30 million people would still be uninsured nationally by 2022.
Instead, Obamacare provides increased costs, regulatory hassles, perverse incentives and an uncertain future for all Americans.