While the media has been fixated on Republican infighting over how to deal with Obamacare, it has completely ignored the panic-induced irrational rhetoric coming from Democrats on the same subject.
No, they aren’t openly forming circular firing squads like Republicans do – progressives put their agenda above ego and public disagreement. But they are worried because, while Obamacare was built to fail, it wasn’t expected to fail so early. That failure puts at risk the progressive dream of single-payer health care in the United States.
We are moving past the “cost estimate” stage of Obamacare into reality of what Obamacare will mean to Americans’ pockets. As the state exchanges get ready to go live on Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services released the cost of insurance premiums for individuals in some states, and the numbers aren’t good.
Sure, progressive “journalists,” such as New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, took a thesaurus to White House press releases and published rewritten end zone dances, featuring lines like, “I grant that glitches and setbacks have occurred, mostly but not entirely because of fanatical Republican sabotage effort.”
While Chait was claiming premium “savings” and declaring, “I have yet to see a single conservative grapple with the positive developments,” serious analysts such as the Manhattan Institute’s Avik Roy brought some honesty to the table. He writes, “HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like—in 2016—to its own findings. Neither of those numbers tells you the stat that really matters: how much rates will go up next year, under Obamacare, relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect.”
In fact, Roy found that comparing apples to apples and not apples to Subarus, “Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent.”
When the comparison is an honest one it is not much of a “positive development.”
This fact has progressives worried. Obamacare was designed to fail, but it was designed to fail eventually, not quickly. Progressives, with the help of the media, would blame a failure a few years from now on the “free market.” But failure from the start will force the blame fall where is squarely belongs – on government control.
How, you may ask, could an exchange set up, governed and subsidized by a government bureaucracy be called a “free market”? It’s already happened.
When Walgreens announced it planned to drop the insurance it has been providing employees because of Obamacare, none other than the Washington Post hailed it as a great development for them. Those 160,000 employees would not be able to keep the plan they had if they liked it, as the president repeatedly promised. Instead, they would be “joining a growing list of large employers seeking to control costs by having employees shop for coverage in a private marketplace.” (emphasis added)
Of course, there’s nothing “private” about it. But that lie is out there, with the credibility of none other than the Washington Post behind it. Which was the point. People who don’t pay attention will now be exposed to it, and it will spread.
Developments of this sort are now commonplace. The list of companies dropping coverage or cutting hours to avoid Obamacare’s costs now number more than 300 and is growing every day.
With this growing pressure and increasing public realization of the failures of Obamacare, its proponents are getting desperate. The plan is in motion. The law is in place. No matter how much spin they put on it, this lemon seems ready to collapse at the starting line. This is leading to some unhinged behavior.
This week Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., called opponents of Obamacare “anarchists” for working within the normal functions of government to defund it. The president’s senior advisor, Dan Pfeiffer, said the White House is “not for negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest.” Ironically, he said this Thursday, the day before the president announced he’d spoken to the president of Iran, and while he is in the midst of negotiating with Syria over chemical weapons. No to talking with Republicans, yes to Iran and Syria.
Were the President a beer spokesman he might say, 'I don’t always associate with terrorists, but when I do, I prefer they be real terrorists and have been responsible for murdering Americans.' It’s appropriate, I suppose, because he is the “worst president in the world.”
The president himself is engaging in an ever-growing rhetorical meltdown. In his continued effort to sell Obamacare to the public, he’s been giving speeches about its virtues. Part of his rhetorical repertoire is the claim that “there's no serious evidence that the law … is holding back economic growth." The absurdity of this lie can be explained only by desperation or, as he has claimed in the cases of Fast & Furious and the IRS targeting of his political opponents, the president simply hasn’t read or seen any media stories about all the layoffs and cuts in hours.
As more of the train derails the rhetoric will become more desperate.
That’s why a one-year delay, the strategy being discussed now by Republicans, shouldn’t be pursued. A delay gives Obamacare time, and time is life. That’s why the president has delayed as many of the most egregious parts of the law. The further away from launch it collapses the more likely their plan to blame the private market is to work. Republicans should be doing what they can to speed up the inevitable collapse and suing to force the administration to have Obamacare implemented as it is written, as they wrote and passed it. After all, as they’ve been constantly reminding everyone, “It’s the law,” not “mostly the law.”
What Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, did this week was invaluable in that it forced the problems the government created to the top of the consciousness of the American public (though the media is trying to undo that damage). But the collective attention span of the American people is short. In a year or two it will be forgotten. The best chance to destroy Obamacare is to get out of its way and let nature take its course.