Government Doesn't Know Best

Terry Paulson

11/18/2013 12:05:00 AM - Terry Paulson

Charles Krauthammer, former Democrat turned conservative pundit and columnist, said on Fox News, "If ObamaCare truly self-destructs,... it would really set back American liberalism for a decade at least.... It would discredit the entire enterprise of the expansion of government, which is at the heart of 'Obama-ism.' That's why I think the liberals are running scared. It's not just one election, it's the whole ideology that the government knows best."

Shoveling dirt on the grave of liberalism is as premature as predicting the same for conservatism. The tension between liberals and conservatives has provided a self-correcting force in American politics.. We've voted our way from Carter to Reagan/Bush to Clinton to Bush II and now to President Obama.

When one party is in ascendance, independents ride that horse until conditions warrant a switch. America's dynamic political tension helps right the ship of state from political excesses by either liberals or conservatives.

Tired of a war in Iraq and Afghanistan and facing an economic downturn, voters responded to President Obama's promise of hope and change. But in five years, President Obama has turned a powerful first impression into a loss of trust and confidence.

Campaigns are build on promises. Trust comes from delivering on those promises. The disastrous rollout and growing dissatisfaction with his signature healthcare overhaul has given voters a jarring wakeup call.

In two Fox Polls conducted November 10-13, only 36% of Americans approved of President Obama's handling of healthcare; 61% disapproved--an increase of 10% in one month. In a second poll, 50% now feel that the president knowingly lied when he told Americans that if they liked their plan, they could keep it.

Though optimistic that those losing coverage would get a better plan through the exchanges, President Obama's lengthy response to GOP Whip Eric Kantor on February 25, 2010 leaves no doubt that he knew his promise was not true for all: "The eight to nine million people, that you refer to, that might have to change their coverage, keep in mind of the 300 million Americans that we’re talking about, would be folks that the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, would find the deal in the exchange better. ... Yes, they would find coverage, because they have more choice and competition, so let’s just be clear about that."

In his push to sell Obamacare, he may have been clear to Rep. Kantor, but he certainly wasn't as clear with voters.

So why believe him now? His call to reinstate the plans that have been canceled is more political than practical. As usual, before speaking to America, he met with Democrats alone. There was no meaningful legislative negotiation and no evidence of him communicating with insurance companies or state insurance commissioners who must approve such offerings. His press conference was designed to stop the bleeding but only further proves that Washington doesn't have the competency to manage healthcare.

The America's Health Insurance Plans, an insurance company trade association, immediately responded to the President's fix: "Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law, Obamacare, could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers. Premiums have already been set for next year based on assumptions of when consumers will be transitioning to the new marketplace ... If now fewer younger and healthier people choose to purchase coverage in the exchanges, premiums will increase and there will be fewer choices for consumers."

There's no easy reset button. Washington leftists have no understanding of what private companies face. Companies can't pass on losses to future generations. They have to work with a budget; they have to make a profit to survive. Insurance is about managing risk; Washington sees insurance as another entitlement that provides benefits now and pays later...if at all.

Every improvement is the result of change, but not every change is an improvement. Obamacare is not an improvement. Are you ready to switch horses?