When it comes to the government writing legislation, there are a lot of unintended consequences of their actions. Price controls on gasoline in the late 1970s kept the price low, but had the unintended consequence of making gas artificially scarce, creating gas lines and rationing. Fuel efficiency standards in cars make new cars more expensive, and thus make it pay to keep old, dirtier cars on the road longer. The Endangered Species Act is meant to protect certain animals, but because of the legal and regulatory headaches it creates for landowners, it perversely encourages them to "shoot, shovel, and shut up."
A provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows insurers to charge smokers higher premiums may have discouraged smokers from signing up for insurance, undercutting a major goal of the law, according to a study published this month.
The surcharges, of up to 50 percent over nonsmokers' premiums, also showed no sign of encouraging people to quit.
This, yet again, demonstrates the limits of government "problem solving." Sometimes, by trying to make things better, they actually make them worse.
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