It was September 2013. Obamacare was coming in full force. The law was written in such a way that if the program failed, it would not jeopardize Obama’s re-election bid.
Democrats sponsored town halls to prepare constituents for the health insurance exchanges in their states, or on the federal exchange if that state had opted out. Covered California was advertised as the gold standard for state exchanges.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters stepped up as one of its most vocal promoters. She hosted a town hall in St. John the Evangelist Church in Gardena, CA, hoping that she would whip up sentiment among the poor, impoverished black and Hispanic communities to buy into the Affordable Care Act. (And yes, she represents a large portion of Torrance, too.)
Left-wing activists showed up to denounce any military action in Syria. Great. But when it came to health care, I asked attendees how the government planned on paying for all of this. Kaiser Permanente refused to participate in the Obamacare exchanges. Tennessee had experimented with a similar government-run healthcare program, which was dead on arrival. I proceeded to list the numerous failures associated with any government-run health care system. I got a lot of puzzled looks or outright hostility.
Rep. Waters danced through a two-hour numbers show, then opened the floor to public comment. A long line of dissenters signaled their displeasure. A janitor for Los Angeles Unified asked why his hours were cut, but illegal aliens were getting free health care. Another woman, who had driven all the way from Studio City, announced that the death panels were in the bill, to everyone’s shock (except me and a few others).
I told her that health insurance premiums were skyrocketing all over the country. Doctors were fleeing the medical profession. The regulatory burdens forced on private physicians was also pushing them out of business. Then I fired at her: “Obamacare can go straight to hell!” mocking her derisive tirade against the Tea Party movement in 2011, the first time that Waters faced blowback for her incendiary, abusive comments. I should have denounced any form of government intrusion into health care beyond enforcement of contract and prosecution for criminal behavior.
This national attempt was doomed from the start. Precursor programs had already failed. Massachusetts had implemented the first Obamacare-style program under Mitt Romney. The costs have spiraled upwards since then. Health insurance is not the sure-fire cover that Bay State residents hoped for. Upscale Boston residents still struggle to find a family physician.
In 2014, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin wanted to implement a single-payer system for the Green Mountain State. The whole program fizzled before it started. Democratic lawmakers in Montpelier balked at the price tag. As if this quasi-communist enclave north of New York needed another tax driving out the diminishing youthful, entrepreneurial class, along with middle class homeowners and senior citizens. Rhode Island flirted with a single-payer system, too; but by then the Ocean State lawmakers wanted to end their own Obamacare state exchange. Brief reminder: the above states were Democratic trifectas.
Today, state exchanges are failing nationwide. The cost overruns are hideous. Other blue states like Oregon and Maryland have already shut down their state exchanges. The horror stories in California have also confirmed the dismal failure of Covered California, the supposed golden standard bearer. Obamacare is already going to hell.
Yet here in my over-taxed, impoverished state, the same lawmaker who champions illegal aliens at the expense (morally and financially) of law-abiding citizens is planning to usher California into a single-payer model.
I cannot believe this. We the citizens of the United States must still debunk government-run health care. President George W. Bush debated this issue to a standstill: “Single-Payer health care is bad health care.”
But the Democratic Party, which built itself on slavery to the state and socialism as its creed, has been fighting for government-run health care since the Truman Administration. Democrats are already in diminished disarray, but this single-payer fantasy endures. Why? It’s a sad testimony to conservatives’ failure of messaging and engagement. Yes, we need to outline the needs for market-based medicine, and to expose the corrupt destructive elements of single-payer health systems, a.k.a socialized medicine.
Yet we are too nice when discussing the faults, failures, and pure moral failings of this universal disaster. Socialism kills, people. It leads to unsanitary hospitals, stagnant innovations, personnel shortages, and forced hospices. Republicans need to pummel (politically) anyone who pushes maintenance of Obamacare, or an expansion of state control into medicine. Organizing for Action has reassembled precisely to defend Obamacare? One problem: it’s indefensible. There is no common ground anymore!
We should start fighting against it on those grounds, rather than resting on repeated arguments based on facts, logic, and proof. We have all of that. Now we need to harness political power for long-standing, free-market reforms.
Shame on any Republican who offers a bill keeping Obamacare exchanges in states. All of us would still have to pay for that! We need a full repeal of this law. It will be hell for us if we don’t. If it takes a Republican supermajority in the Senate to ensure a complete repeal, so be it.
In the meantime, Republicans can enact clear reforms independent of repeal:
1. Permission to purchase health insurance across state lines.
2. Repeal all mandates—All of them!
3. Allow doctors to form co-ops.
4. Allow consumers to form their own insurance risk pools.
5. Enact tax credits for health savings accounts
6. Removing the arbitrary cap on the number of doctors who seek medical degrees.
7. Get rid of the useless statewide licensure process.
Bold reforms require bold political action. What are the politicians waiting for? It’s time for all Americans to shout at Washington DC:
“Obamacare can go straight to hell!”