Measuring the hidden health tax

It's November, which means the annual tax increase on American businesses and workers is about to take effect: increased health insurance premiums.

Employer and employee premium shares were rising every year before the passage of ObamaCare. That was one of the primary justifications for the overreaching legislation: the need to slow the growth of health care costs.

Of course, every credible health care policy expert and economist who looked at the bill correctly predicted it would have the opposite effect: that its employer and individual mandates would substantially increase demand for health care and thereby increase costs. Small businesses, especially, are afraid that when ObamaCare takes full effect in 2014, they'll have to move all their workers to part-time schedules to keep their doors open.

Even large businesses will consider dropping medical benefits for their workers and paying the IRS penalty taxes instead. And the law imposes unconscionable violations of religious freedom and free expression on religious institutions by compelling them to pay for care that violates the tenets of their faith.

Make no mistake, rising health care costs are a hidden tax. They hinder job creation and consume potential pay raises. Businesses realize less profit, workers take home less pay.

The prospect of even more expensive health care is bad enough in a bad economy. But the likelihood that many millions of Americans will soon lose their health insurance and be forced into government-run exchanges is even worse.

The solution is not politically juiced waivers - many hundreds have been granted by the Obama administration. The solution is a new administration that will repeal and reform parts of ObamaCare and replace them with policies that address the country's most fundamental health care problems: a lack of interstate competition, a lack of coverage for a few million people who otherwise would be uninsurable because of chronic, pre-existing conditions, and endless coverage mandates that limit consumer choice and drive up costs for everyone.

The solution is electing Mitt Romney president of the United States.