This is part 3 of a 9 part series by the entire staff of Pocket Full Of Liberty regarding the failures of President Obama during his time in office.
The problem with left wing policies in general is that they always view the world the way they think it should be, and never for how it really is. Our current President, Barack Obama, has this disease in spades. A perfect example of the gap between left wing promises and reality is the steady dirgelike funeral procession that is the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Here is a short list of its failures to add to the set of Obama Failures Pocket Full of Liberty has been documenting:
“We’re going to bend the cost curve”
No, you aren’t, Mr. President. If you understood anything about supply and demand, you would have never signed Obamacare into law. When you insist that insurance covers “free” contraceptives and “free” preventative care checkups, it’s a fact that premiums will rise. Of course ACA supporters won’t see it that way, and will continue to blame anything but the perverse incentives they put into place that are driving costs higher without providing any new value. The worst part of the law is just how much it doubled down on the failures in the current system and handed even more power over to a few insurance companies instead of improving the challenges that beset our highly regulated health industry.
“Obama is fighting for me and is fighting against Big Insurance”
Obamacare is a win for big insurance. You are mandated by law to buy their product. Never has government forced every American to buy a product by law. President Obama, Pelosi, and Reid worked with insurance companies to build this monstrosity. Further, the more regulation and expansion of what HHS considers Essential Health Benefits means only corporations of significant size can even afford to operate under those circumstances. Ask yourself: Who gains from an individual mandate? Perhaps insurance companies who had no way of forcing healthy people to buy their product. Even better for them, they get new customers who weren’t in the market before, but who are now using other people’s money (subsidies) to buy their product.
“If you like your plan you can keep it”
Wrong again. The ACA changed what your plan had to consist of the day it was signed. To put it bluntly, Obama lied. Even better are the CBO estimates:
“Their analysis finds that approximately 3-5 million people will lose their employer-based insurance under what they view as the likeliest outcome of the law, noting that “because of the ACA, about 3 million to 5 million fewer people, on net, will obtain coverage through their employer each year from 2019 through 2022 than would have been the case under prior law.”
Up to 20 million people could lose this employer-based insurance in 2019 under a more drastic scenario”
This estimate is before the “executive decree” that the employer mandate be delayed. There’s a strong case to be made that this will increase the incentive for employers to drop coverage since there will be no penalty.
Even more interesting is this example by Governor Jindal of how Medicaid expansion would have moved many people in his state off private insurance and on to Medicaid. (See the Third reason “Why Obamacare Sucks” from a previous PFoL post for more on why you might prefer not to be on Medicaid.)
“Medicaid expansion would have moved up to 171,000 Louisianians off private insurance and stopped another 77,000 people from obtaining private insurance. To cover 214,000 low-income uninsured people in Louisiana, Obamacare would add more than twice that number – more than 450,000 people – to the Medicaid rolls. This makes no sense.”
To paraphrase Governor Jindal, Obamacare is a big failure because “It makes no sense”. If you wanted to attack what’s wrong in our medical system, you should have looked at what was holding it back: price transparency, choice and competition. Just look at how price is set by the AMA if you want to blank out into abject horror. Perhaps a “constitutional lawyer” with experience in community organizing might not have a penchant for understanding the complexity of the healthcare market, and has been forced to show that by numerous delays in implementation of the law America “just couldn’t wait for”.
My favorite delay was when HHS realized that they have no way of confirming whether people are eligible for the tax payer funded subsidy, and decided they are going to use the “honor system”. With that, I think the CBO score just rose to Bazillion Biden Bucks with the invitation for fraud just rolled out by Secretary Sebelius.
The Affordable Care Act not only decreases price transparency, but increases costs, all while reducing choice for patients and doctors and mandating business for insurance companies. The nice thing about being a conservative is that you know eventually they’ll have to implement your ideas since their’s never work. Reality is a harsh mistress and usually the reason left wing ivory tower policy fails.
So America, it’s up to you. Are you brave enough to trust in free market based solutions, or will you cling to bad policy and its inherent false security?
It remains to be seen if we are a free people still capable of self government. It will be interesting to find out.