October 2 2013
Some ObamaCare supporters think that the problem is just that President Obama didn’t do a good enough job of selling it: the president just needs to talk more.
Well, now ObamaCare has launched and no amount of presidential palaver can cover one aspect of the reform: health spending is going to skyrocket. According a chart by Forbes health blogger Avik Roy, ObamaCare will add $7, 450 to the health care costs for an average family of four between 2014 and 2022. Roy writes:
Let us hope this family hasn’t already spent or borrowed the $22,500 in savings they might have expected over this same period had they taken candidate Obama’s promise at face value. In truth, no well-informed American ever should have believed this absurd promise. At the time, Factcheck.org charitably deemed this claim as “overly optimistic, misleading and, to some extent, contradicted by one of his own advisers.”
The Washington Post less charitably awarded it Two Pinocchios (“Significant omissions or exaggerations”). Yet rather than learn from his mistakes, President Obama on July 16, 2012 essentially doubled-down on his promise, assuring small business owners “your premiums will go down.” He made this assertion notwithstanding the fact that in three separate reports between April 2010 and June 2012, the Medicare actuaries had demonstrated that the ACA would increase health spending. To its credit, the Washington Post dutifully awarded the 2012 claim Three Pinocchios (“Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”)
The story right now is the so-called glitches, which HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “a great problem to have.” Maybe less great if you’re Ms. Jane Q. Public trying to sign up for ObamaCare and not a federal government worker who'll not have to rely on ObamaCare.
The technological glitches, moreover, are symptoms of how unworkable ObamaCare is likely to prove. I realize it is complicated to seize control of one sixth of the American economy, but they’ve had three years to prepare. Is this the best they can do? Maybe they should have jumped at the chance of a delay offered by House Republicans.
In a way, ObamaCare is similar to Roe v. Wade. Roe was a ruling by the Supreme Court but because the public had not had time to reach a consensus on the issue of abortion instead of settling the matter, Roe ignited a forty-year battle.
The Democrats used temporary control of the presidency and both houses of Congress to ram through legislation without listening to Republicans. Never has a bill of such importance been passed by one party. The haughty refusal to listen—let alone compromise—has given us a massive piece of legislation that has created one of the most divisive moments in American history.
Since the issue wasn't decided properly in the first place, with input and ideas from both political parties, it will be tearing the nation apart for some time to come.