Conventional wisdom says that Republicans need a major attitude adjustment on cultural and social views in both substance and tone. That may very well be true. But the concern from Democrats regarding the GOP's miseries has a tendency to inject one exceptionally terrible piece of advice into the mix: namely, that conservatives should stop griping about Obamacare.
As you all know, there is no such thing in Washington as a flawed government program, only a desperately under-funded one. Ideological rigidity, despite what you may have heard, is not a monopoly of the right. Nevertheless, a law so poorly conceived will surely be poorly implemented. Those who support it will be spending political capital defending it for many coming years.
Obamacare isn't popular today, and there's no reason to believe its appeal will grow. Let's start with the expectations of supporters. For those gullible enough to believe that politicians can make them healthier while constructing more efficient and less expensive systems, there is the promise of dissatisfaction. And for those who support the Affordable Care Act for less ideological reasons, they'll soon realize that the infinite promises of the theoretical Obamacare can't match reality.
Even government officials seem worried about the future of things like the government-run exchanges, an integral component for the future expansion of Obamacare (which most of you will have no choice but to join). Henry Chao, an official at the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services charged with administering the technology used by the exchanges, recently tasked himself with the lofty goal of making sure "it's not a Third World experience."
Way to dream!
Then there is the cost -- and not the government debt, but the cost we really notice. President Obama guaranteed that Obamacare would "lower premiums by $2,500 per family per year." Yet, national health expenditure projections from the CMMS estimate that premiums climbed by 8 percent in 2012. Though the law is not even implemented, companies are passing through the price of mandates and taxes. The Society of Actuaries predicts that individual premiums will spike at around 32 percent on average. This week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Americans not to worry too much because there are always subsidies available.
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