Obamacare can teach us a lesson
“If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period” is destined to become one of the most important statements ever uttered by a president of the United States.
It’s going to be code for big government failure.
Barack Obama made his assertion on June 15, 2009, and he and other Democrats said it or something similar again and again and again and again during their campaign to win public support for their Affordable Care Act.
We know better, now.
The Democrats lied to us about our health care plans and other facets of Obamacare; the Obamacare concept was and is fundamentally and fatally flawed; and politicians with grand schemes are no match for a free market economy.
Obamacare’s wrinkles deepen by the day. The website doesn’t work. “Navigators” can’t navigate. Security is weak to non-existent. Financial projections are collapsing.
And then there’s the wart – the health insurance cancellations. Millions and millions of them. People are being kicked off of policies they like and can afford because of
The political fallout is growing, and congressional Democrats know it. Those up for re-election in 2014 see their blood in the water.
The highest-profile Democrat to speak out has been former President Bill Clinton, who desperately wants to become Mr. Hillary Clinton, the First Gentleman, in 2016.
He chides that Obama “should honor the commitment the federal government made and allow people to keep the insurance they have.” Note that Clinton didn’t say “the commitment Obama made.”
Another concerned Democrat is North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, who is up for re-election (dare we say “un-election”?) in 2014. She wants congressional investigations and supports a bill put forth by Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, who also is up for re-election (“un-election”) in 2014.
Landrieu’s bill, “Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise” (S.1642), tries to put the genie back in the bottle by forcing insurance companies to offer 2013 plans on the individual market indefinitely and to continue offering a number of plans they’ve already cancelled because of Obamacare.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California likes Landrieu’s bill, probably because she’s received 30,842 calls, e-mails and letters from unhappy constituents.
In announcing her support for the bill, Feinstein said, “We must ensure that in our effort to reform the health care system, we do not allow unintended consequences to go unaddressed.” She says Landrieu’s bill is “a commonsense fix” and “a simple fix to a complex problem.” (It’s neither.)
West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin, who is not up for re-election next year, is with Landrieu, and he also wants to extend the Obamacare enrollment deadline to Jan. 1, 2015. Two months ago, he supported a one-year delay until he voted against a one-year delay.
Manchin: “We are a consumer nation. We have the great entrepreneurs. We can make this happen, but we’ve all got to be on the same team right now, and that’s Team America to make this happen.”
Stop laughing, please.
Obama is his own team, and on Thursday, he broke with worried Democrats by announcing that he, himself, would allow people to keep their current health insurance policies for a year. He can’t do that, of course, but his statement was an attempt to scuttle the Landrieu-Hagan-Feinstein-Manchin bill.
Landrieu gave the president the cold shoulder by saying she’ll continue pushing her bill.
What will eventually happen to Obamacare? It will have to be put out of its misery, to be replaced by simple laws that target specific problems. We shouldn’t have to hand our lives and well-being over to politicians and bureaucrats.
That said, we also shouldn’t forget Obamacare. We need to remember it for generations to come, and it should serve as an example of what can happen when we become too reliant on a government that is too big and too powerful.
That, in fact, should be President Obama’s legacy.