Peter’s post about about Obamacare and its effect on the national economy put me in mind of this recent Michael Ramirez cartoon.
To do the post justice, I should find a complementary liberal political cartoon showing how perfectly marvelous America will be once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. Doesn’t that take something like faith?
As an example of how such programs grow and develop beyond original intent, we can consider Social Security disability benefits. Avik Roy blogs about how Americans “game” that system.
The SSDBRA instructed the government to place greater weight on applicants’ own assessments of their disability, especially when it came to pain and discomfort; to replace the government’s medical assessments with those of the applicants’ own doctors; and to loosen the screening criteria for mental illness, among other things. The overall effect was to create a giant loophole, by which an applicant’s subjective claim that he was in pain, or mentally incapacitated, would be enough to claim disability.