The Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a Obamacare) is a very complex law, spanning over 906 pages. While some, like Nancy Pelosi, said that the law had to be adopted in order to “know what’s in it”, others very clearly knew what was in the bill. And they made sure the language was torturous enough to fool everyone into believing it’s an awesome law.

Jonathan Gruber, one of the main architects of Obamacare, was recently featured in a video (deleted since) where he bluntly says that

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies…  In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed”

In other words, we have yet another beautiful demonstration of the public choice theory, which says that politicians are rational actors pursuing their self-interests like anyone else.

With Obamacare, we had a party (the Democrats) that could basically pass any legislation they want because they could stop filibusters. However, they were not dumb; they knew that new taxes are highly unpopular and that wealth transfers are held in contempt.

So in order to get the law passed, they followed Orwell’s 1984 and tortured the language so that people would be deceived into accepting what they would normally not. For example, instead of talking an insurance bailout, section 1342 of Obamacare states that the “Secretary shall pay to the plan an amount equal to 50 percent of the target amount in excess of 103 percent of the target amount [and] 2.5 percent of the target amount plus 80 percent of allowable costs in excess of 108 percent of the target amount”. In other words, insurance companies that lose money will receive public funds.

So what now? Don’t expect Obamacare to be repelled any time soon. Many special-interest groups were created – lobbyists that redacted the Act, insurers who can be bailed out for reckless forecasts and whose product we must now purchase and hospitals whose services will be more in demand. In a public choice fashion, these groups will act in their self-interest in order to maintain/increase the benefits they receive of the mammoth healthcare law.

And because the cost (money and time) to lobby Congress is prohibitively high for the meager benefits (a few dollars a year more), the average taxpayer will have to foot an ever-increasing bill according to the latest CBO estimates.