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Tooth-fairy economics is poor public policy

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: July 17, 2012

Obamacare supporters like to argue Oklahoma can't afford not to take the subsidies and federal money involved with the new law. They say Medicaid expansion will net billions more in federal funding. They approvingly cite the $3.583 billion in federal subsidies Oklahomans could get.

Don't worry. It's all “free” money!

The problem is that your dad was right: Money doesn't grow on trees. Not even government money. Federal tax revenue comes out of your pocket the same way state and local taxes do. What's worse, as with most federal programs, Obamacare spending is expected to exceed collections.

Of course, the federal government can borrow money, but that just passes the financial burden on to our children — with interest — or the government can print money and spur inflation, which indirectly slashes your salary.

Obamacare supporters like to claim this mammoth spending spree will be worth it because it will somehow drive down health care expenses: We'll spend money to save it ... Trust us!

But Oklahoma's Medicaid enrollment has surged. Costs have doubled over the past decade. Have you noticed insurance rates plummeting as a result?

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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