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

Monday, October 16, 2017


During Barack Obama's presidency, Obamacare was propped up through a series of questionable legal maneuvers. Legislatively mandated taxes and penalties on those who did not join the program were postponed in direct contravention of the Affordable Care Act. Subsidies to insurance companies that were not approved by Congress were made and ruled unconstitutional by the courts. And all of the other problems associated with a poorly designed and even more poorly implemented health care program were kicked down the road so that voter anger was delayed. Now, the Trump administration, along with a do-nothing GOP congress is left to pick up the pieces.

The Democrats, of course, now promote the meme that it has been the GOP actions or inaction that has caused Obamacare to implode. That Trump is "sabotaging" Obamacare. That may very well be an effective political strategy among those who are not well informed, but it's mendacious politics (as if there was another kind).

Now that Donald Trump has rescinded what the courts have ruled as illegal subsidies to insurance companies, you'd think the world would has come to an end. The editors of the Wall Street Journal comment:
... The payments [subsidies] are illegal. The Affordable Care Act leaves the subsidies contingent on an annual appropriation, but since 2014 Congress has declined to dedicate the funding. The Obama Administration wrote the checks anyway, and the House of Representatives sued. Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer last year ruled that the Obama Administration had violated the Constitution, and an appeal is pending.

Mr. Trump continued the payments on the hope that Republican health-care reform would repeal ObamaCare and moot the subsidy dispute. That did not happen. Now the Administration has decided to follow the Constitution, and fidelity to the law should trump the policy merits or political risks.

The left is accusing Mr. Trump of—this is a partial list—sabotaging the Affordable Care Act; conspiring to harm the poor; sending a wrecking ball into the American health-care system; killing people. One frequent citation is a Congressional Budget Office report from August that predicted premiums would increase if the subsidies ended, which is true.

Yet CBO also noted that the added expense would be covered by subsidies for individuals that increase with premiums. The market would continue to be stable by CBO’s report, and the change won’t invite the ObamaCare death spiral that Democrats would love to pin on Republicans. More generous individual subsidies mean the insurers now predicting Armageddon will still get paid.
The reason that many, many voters are fed up with both parties is the level of outright dishonesty that has now pervaded two party politics. The Dems, who absolutely, positively created the mess that is now Obamacare, refuse to work with the GOP in any meaningful way to come up with a better alternative. The GOP is generally innocent in all of this, but might extend an olive branch to the Dems by losing the phrase "repeal and replace," and creating a new healthcare program with a far better cost profile and relatively few changes in coverage "for the poor," to retain the name Obamacare. By the way, a one-payer federal program is NOT even a remotely viable solution.

Sadly, the elites who run both parties care a lot about political advantage and the result is bad leadership and even worse progress toward health care the is driven by concern for our tax dollars and the people who need coverage.