Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Unintended Consequences of Government Policy

We all tend to take our personal experiences and compare them (favorably) to the world at large. Sometimes, this creates an accurate picture of the world and sometimes it doesn't.

I was thinking about this today after my husband told me certain decisions he'd made in response to Obamacare. Remember, President Barack Obama promised that, not only would you be allowed to keep your insurance and your doctor, but that your rates wouldn't go up.

Well, guess what? Our health insurance rates are going up and our coverage is going down. In and of itself, this is bad enough. But the higher cost for health insurance has created some unpleasant and unintended consequences.

And uncertainty. Because we are uncertain about what health care costs will be like next year, my husband decided to cut down his United Way contribution. Way down. His reasoning is that he can donate more later if our health care doesn't cost as much as he thinks it might. While I hate cutting that contribution, it makes sense to me.

And the whole situation got me to thinking: if rising insurance costs--remember, our insurance wasn't supposed to go up under Obamacare--is causing us to cut our charitable donations (at least in this area), what will those increases do to others? Is this the Hope and Change We Can Believe In?