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

Sunday, July 01, 2012

As It Should Be

I think it's fair to state that the United States is drowning in a sea of debt, increasing at a rate of $4 billion dollars a day under this President. Even worse, the crushing burden of underfunded or unfunded entitlements suggests that our nation will someday be unable to fund the broken programs that so many people depend upon. Even worse, the political class, lead by a President who seems to have a flexible view of reality, has decided that continued borrowing and indebtedness, government spending, and an even bigger government will somehow make all of this go away.

On top of all of this, Barack Obama, driven by ideological zeal, but little understanding of the dynamics of the healthcare problem, introduced a major new entitlement. We have no accurate projection what Obamacare will cost (but early indications from the non-partisan OMB are not encouraging). We have no real idea what unintended consequences will accrue. But more important than all of this, the 2,000 page monstrosity that is Obamacare will do little to fix the structural flaws in our healthcare system—a system where too many dollars are spent with too little result.

In an article that makes a few rational suggestions on what the structure of real healthcare reform might be, Holman Jenkins writes about the folly of Obama's efforts:
This was always the fatal problem of ObamaCare. Reality could not have instructed President Obama more plainly: The last thing we needed, in a country staggering under deficits and debt, a sluggish economy and an unaffordable entitlement structure, was a new Rube Goldberg entitlement. The last thing we needed was ObamaCare. The nation and the times were asking Mr. Obama to reform health care, not to double-down on everything wrong with the current system.

Even with this week's Court success, he failed—and it's not as if there wasn't a deep well of policy understanding in Washington that he could have drawn on to take the country in a better direction. Regardless of any Supreme Court ruling, reality will pass its own judgment on the Affordable Care Act and it won't be favorable.
As I mentioned in my last post, I'm pleased that the liberal wing of SCOTUS, joined by the Chief Justice, ruled that Obamacare was constitutional. I was even more pleased that in so ruling, SCOTUS agreed with the President's own lawyers who argued vehemently that the mandate was, in fact, a tax.

But as it is currently structured, Obamacare is much more than a tax, it's a solution that fixes the wrong set of problems. That's really no surprise, given that it was the spawn of those who clearly have no deep understanding of what the problems really are.

It's now up to the American people to decide whether Barack Obama's "solution" to healthcare is the right one at this time and under these circumstances. Obamacare and the President's failure to establish a climate in which the economy can recover are the key issues in the coming elections. That's as it should be.