Is it possible that Obamacare is the only way to organize healthcare for the USA, and there is absolutely no other way to do it? The central argument for Obamacare has always been that it represents the best of all possible worlds. The standard retort to criticisms of Obamacare has always been that no one could do any better. Add to that the fact that it issued forth from the holiest of holies, Obama himself, and the word from on high has been that the smart money is on Obamacare, and anyone who attempts to repeal and replace will do so at their own peril.
In a way, that is the Democrat argument for everything. They always represent the best of all possible worlds and it is always a place where some consultants figured out what is best for us. In this particular case, the answer for a government health care program that would finally be 100 percent inclusive was to create a law that says everyone has to have health insurance or pay a fine.
Oila! 100 percent health care coverage for all, what an amazing accomplishment. Meanwhile, it turns out the prospect of free market competition was not included either, so no matter how much professional Democrat politicians love Obamacare, the health insurers themselves are dropping out. They are dropping out because they do not make money, but instead lose money. When they drop out, it necessitates rate hikes among the remaining insurers so they can make money. That dynamic alone is crashing the system.
Insurers cannot make money because young people do not buy into Obamacare and choose instead to pay the fine, which is cheaper. Many young to middle-aged adults are doing the same thing for the same reason. So the healthiest people, opt out, leaving the most costly patients over-represented, and the whole thing starts to leak like a sieve. And all the while, Obama tells everyone that if they do not vote to continue all this liberal madness he will take it personally.
What Obama did not count on was the simple fact that Americans take it personally when they are lied to, neglected, and abused, over and over again. Perhaps the most underrated and unexpected line of the Trump candidacy was the simple, yet unassailable ‘What do you have to lose?” He uttered that to an audience of black Americans, but it resonated with a lot of us.
Essentially, that leaves us preparing to watch President Trump;s administration move to repeal and replace Obamacare, and this amid howls and screams, mixed with plenty of lies, platitudes, and truisms. In short, there are four reasons we can be sure that Obamacare may be a disaster, but that does not mean replacing it will automatically result in disaster.
Four Big Lies About Obamacare
Big Lie #1: If we repeal Obamacare, 20 million people will lose health care coverage
- The Obama administration inflated coverage numbers by almost 42 percent.
- The actual gain in coverage between 2013 and 2015 was 14 million.
- In fact, only 2.2 million gained “private” coverage; the other 11.8 million went on Medicaid; the 2016 enrollment data was basically unchanged from 2015.
- Numbers of privately insured people actually increased 1 percent.
- Approximately 12 million are on Medicaid, which is so fraught with corruption and pays doctors so poorly, that most doctors would rather not participate.
- However, even though Medicaid is like having costly catastrophic coverage paid by the government, the fact is that everyone who is on Medicaid now, will stay on it afterwards, no matter what happens – everyone has agreed to that across the board.
Big Lie #2: If we repeal Obamacare, it will be bad for mental health care
Claims that millions of people whose mental health is insured now will lose coverage are based on Medicaid populations, and those people are not going to get kicked off Medicaid.
Big Lie #3: If we repeal Obamacare, that will lead to cutting drug prices, which will lower quality of health care
Only a lobbyist for big pharma would say something like that. Everybody knows that drug prices are artificially inflated in the U.S. — President Trump has been outspoken about the fact that there is no reason drugs here cost four to 10 times more than in Canada. There is always more than one way to do anything. One proposal for lowering drug prices in this country is for President Trump to institute “most favored nation” status for drug pricing, at which point the government could then invoke consumer protection acts and criminally prosecute pricing violations by the drug companies. that continue to abuse Americans.
In short, health care is a complex creature, and we need a long-term, creative, multi-pronged solution rolled out carefully, and upgraded continuously. It should also be as bipartisan a project as possible because it is for all Americans, not just people of one party, and the politicians in Washington D.C. are supposed to represent us all. Obamacare was a purely Democrat concoction, and that was a constraining factor as well. In retrospect, Obama was not the Pope, and Obamacare was not the word conveyed directly to him, come down from on high, which mystically revealed the only way to do health care in America.
There is something uniquely American about the refusal to assume there is only one way to do something. Something in the American spirit and character, when told there is only one dysfunctional way out of a problem, will always find a way to chop through the backwoods, blaze a new trail, and find a completely new way to look at the world.