The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Obamacare Revised

Way back in 2010 Barack Obama and his Democratic supporters established a Team of 2s and rammed Obamacare legislation (A.C.A.) through the Congress on a purely partisan vote. They did this by constructing a structurally unsound health care program on a mountain of lies:
  • costs would be reduced (false);
  • your current health care coverage would remain (false);
  • you could keep your doctor (false);
  • taxpayers would not be left holding the bag (false);
  • premiums would fall (false, except for those that are taxpayer subsidized);
  • insurers who were complicit in the law's creation would make money (false), and
  • healthy young people would support Obamacare (false).
As things began to unravel, Obama illegally (in my view) delayed implementation of certain aspects of the A.C.A. so that he and the Dems wouldn't be hurt politically.

Today, desperate to put lipstick on a pig, the Democrats claim that 10 million more people are covered by insurance than would have been without the ACA. But here's the problem—the majority are covered at taxpayer expense, making Obamacare an overly complex and unnecessary extension of existing Medicaid entitlements. Those who do pay something for their insurance have deductibles of 5, 8, or even 10 thousand dollars, making coverage for anything but a catastrophic illness an out of pocket expense.

Those of us who opposed the program from the beginning predicted that it would implode. It has. The latest insurer to drop out of the program is Aetna, who lost $430 million under Obamacare. The Wall Street Journal comments:
ObamaCare’s troubles aren’t the result of any business decision. The entire industry is caught in the law’s structural undertow. Despite subsidies, overall enrollment is flat, there’s too much monthly churn, and the exchanges aren’t attracting enough healthy people to make the economics work.

Blame the law’s architects, not Mr. Bertolini [CEO of Aetna], who must wonder what happened to the political goodwill he has tried to bank over the years. Aetna was inclined to accept the exchanges as loss leaders to support ObamaCare’s mission of universal coverage. The company led ObamaCare’s industry pep squad in 2009 and 2010.

The calculation then was that subsidies would open a new market, and consumers would be mandated to buy their products. But in the final frenzy to pass the law, Democrats decided that insurers made too much money and they imposed price controls on profit margins. Now insurers are accused of declining to throw away more money.

The ObamaCare implosion means that about a quarter of U.S. counties will have only one or two plans, and in some zero. Areas in Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas seem to be hardest hit, though the extent of the damage is still emerging.

Democrats figure they have insurers over a barrel because a Hillary Clinton Presidency is coming. She’s running on higher subsidies for beneficiaries, a taxpayer bailout for the industry, and a “public option” akin to Medicare for the middle class. In health care the solution to a problem caused by government is always more government, which will create new problems and beget more government.

Republicans have no obligation to participate. They had no hand in creating this mess and they’ve been mocked by Democrats and the media for years for warning about ObamaCare’s flaws and trying to repeal and replace the law. Assuming the GOP holds at least the House, they should insist that any “fixes”—which are fast becoming inevitable—create a rational health-care market. Democrats deserve to be held accountable for the collapse of their ideas.
Sadly, the Dems will not be held accountable for Obamacare or any of their other egregious missteps during the Obama years. The reason is simple—they are protected by their trained hamsters in the media.

One can only wonder what "Obamacares" await the country as part of a Clinton administration.