July 16 2013

ObamaCare Strategery: Is the Delay Useful to the Administration?

Charlotte Hays

It is possible that some who oppose ObamaCare will let up in their ardor because of the one-year delay in the implementation of the employer mandate?

The delay signals the imminent collapse of this monstrous, jerrybuilt health care system, right?

Maybe we should take nothing for granted. We especially should take nothing for granted when we remember the lengths—including false claims and unsavory deals—to which this administration and its supporters were willing to go to pass this law. Should we expect less intensity as ObamaCare, the president's legacy, appears to be coming unstuck?  

Clark Judge has a glum warning about how the administration might use the employer mandate delay to its advantage. Judge is quoting from an obviously plugged-in source whom he identifies only as “a prominent Washington insider:”

The just-announced full-year postponement in implementing the employer mandate was not an admission of failure, I was told, but an application of strategic delay. The idea was to put off some of the most objectionable parts of the law while aggressively signing people up. Remember, this insider went on, most of the people Obamacare targets have health insurance now. By luring them into the program, the administration gets them to surrender their current coverage. That way, when, after the 2014 midterm elections, the employer mandate starts to bite and calls for repeal become more urgent, these millions will be locked into the president’s system without a safety net.  They will become a core constituency for blocking repeal.  There is nothing that can be done to stop this....

The insider acknowledges that there is an alternative view circulating among conservatives. This view is that opponents of ObamaCare should double down on their opposition to the law. The insider attributes the GOP failure in the 2012 presidential election to not having a candidate who could make a persuasive case against ObamaCare. Judge embraces this second point of view:

I would campaign to replace the Rube Goldbergesque monument to the hubris of the administrative state with, yes, expanded health savings accounts, as well as with a federal law making it legal to sell in all states any health insurance policy approved in one state.  And I would remove laws designed to preserve medical-service monopolies. Of these last, some are intended to protect hospitals from competing facilities that focus on particular conditions, procedures, or diseases, usually at an enormous quality and price advantage. Others protect doctors offices from multi-office competitors, including national ones. In short, I'd stop government from regulating the business of healthcare, which has become an admission room for rent seekers.

There were plenty of good arguments for a better form of health care reform when ObamaCare was rammed through Congress. We don’t lack for good ideas. What is needed is fortitude—and the ability to smell a rat. If the insider’s first theory is correct, the administration, not surprisingly, is as willing to be devious and ruthless in saving ObamaCare as it was in foisting it upon us. So this is a wake-up call for those who hope to see the end of ObamaCare and a better health care system for all of us. Let's not be duped.

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