Fortunately for fiscal conservatives, GOP Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina still has his head screwed on straight. Last week, he blasted GOP enablers of the welfare state. He notes that "multiple studies have suggested that every 1 percent increase in premiums increases the number of uninsured by approximately 200,000 to 300,000 individuals nationwide." The slacker mandate has raised premiums by at least 1 percent since it was enacted, DeMint adds, meaning "that hundreds of thousands of individuals have lost coverage -- because they were priced out of the individual market, or because their employers decided to stop offering coverage -- as a result of the new requirements."
This is no textbook hypothetical. No less than the Service Employees International Union Local 1199 -- one of Obamacare's biggest cheerleaders -- dropped health care coverage for children in late 2010 because of costly mandates, including, you guessed it, the slacker mandate. "Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible," the SEIU 1199 benefits managers wrote in a letter to more than 30,000 families, "and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible."
Chris Jacobs, senior analyst for the Senate Joint Economic Committee, points to a new study by the left-leaning Commonwealth Fund that reveals that the benefits of the slacker provision have "disproportionately accrued to affluent and wealthy families." Moreover, this unfunded mandate is fostering greater dependency -- and providing employment disincentives -- by encouraging high numbers of young adults to reject other forms of insurance in order to take advantage of "free" parental coverage.
Where does presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney stand? Despite repeated assurances that he will abandon Obamacare in its entirety, Romney is surrounded by GOP socialized medicine helpmates. In January, Romney adviser Norm Coleman said, "(We're) not going to repeal the act in its entirety ... you can't whole cloth throw it out."
Earlier this month, Romney named former Utah GOP Gov. Mike Leavitt his transition leader. Leavitt supports and has profited handsomely from Obamacare's health care exchange mandate. Then there's the Romneycare mandate in Massachusetts, conceived by Obamacare architect and MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, which includes the very same slacker mandate provision enshrined in the Democrats' law.
Who needs enemies when you've got Republican Surrenderists for Obamacare waiting in the wings?