Michael Tanner

With ObamaCare still as unpopular as ever — the latest Rassmussen poll shows Americans favoring repeal of the new health-care law by a 53-40 margin — the Obama administration has developed a new theory as to why. We simply don’t trust government enough.

Donald Berwick, who is leaving his post this month as director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services, told The New York Times that health-care reform was a lot like the moon shot. Americans weren’t rocket scientists, he noted. They didn’t understand everything the government was doing, but they still believed in the government’s ability to send men to the moon. Why couldn’t it be the same with health-care reform, he lamented.

Well, perhaps because NASA wasn’t trying to shoot most of us into space. On the other hand, all of us will be impacted by this health-care law. Indeed, health care involves some of the most personal, private and important decisions in our lives.

Or maybe its because we’ve already seen enough results of ObamaCare to have a pretty good idea that it’s not going to work.

For example, a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows family premiums increasing by a whopping 9% this year, three times more than the previous year’s increase. The average family policy now costs more than $15,000 per year. Not only has ObamaCare failed to slow premium growth, but at least 2 percentage points of that increase is directly attributable to the health-care law’s provisions.

Michael Tanner

Michael D. Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, heading research into a variety of domestic policies with particular emphasis on health care reform, welfare policy, and Social Security. His most recent white paper, "Bad Medicine: A Guide to the Real Costs and Consequences of the New Health Care Law," provides a detailed examination of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and what it means to taxpayers, workers, physicians, and patients.