Warned You Then; Warning You Now

Laura Hollis
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Posted: Oct 27, 2016 12:01 AM
Warned You Then; Warning You Now

There is plenty of bad news about Obamacare. Premiums are set to skyrocket next year an average of 22 percent (a staggering 116 percent in Arizona). Of the 23 state co-ops that were originally set to operate, 16 have gone bankrupt, and the remaining seven are in dire financial straits. A significant number of major insurance companies, including UnitedHealthcare, Humana and Aetna, have pulled out of most (if not all) of the exchanges on the grounds that the financial losses are unsustainable. (Across the country, insurers have lost billions since 2014.) This leaves an increasing number of consumers with only one or two options to choose from. Most have lost plans and been forced -- sometimes multiple times -- into other plans, losing physicians in the process.

And there are plenty of writers (Kevin Williamson at National Review, Avik Roy at Forbes, Betsy McCaughey, yours truly) who are saying "we told you so."

It isn't gloating. We warned you. We shouted it from the rooftops. You were told that we were lying, or corporate shills, or that we wanted old people and sick people to die. To the contrary, we saw what was coming and wanted to avoid it.

Yes, there were -- and are -- legitimate concerns about people without insurance. But the rallying cry of Obamacare -- "We have to do something!" -- is precisely the wrong impulse. It is that self-imposed desperation that makes you targets for exploitation by every self-important ideologue, every liar, every charlatan.

That is why President Obama was able to lie to you over and over again about keeping your doctor and your plan, and get away with it.

It's why Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber could brag about "the stupidity of the American voter," and adviser Ezekiel Emanuel could argue in favor of bureaucratic rationing of health care, and get away with it.

It's why Congress could pass a 2,000-page bill that not one of the members had read in its entirely, and why then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could infamously say, "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it," and get away with it.

Now you know what's in it. Do you still, seriously, want to give these condescending jerks control over your and your family's health care?

The failure of Obamacare was -- and is -- inevitable. It has nothing to do with people in government being stupid or corrupt (though, yes, you can find those who fit that description). It's just basic economics. Consumers benefit when there are more choices, not fewer. Choices create options and competition. Competition ensures accountability and quality. And then there's the tried-and-true rule of supply and demand: When many people want something for which there is a limited supply, prices increase. When there is a plentiful supply of a good or service, producers have to lower prices to compete.

It is madness, therefore, to insist upon a system that further reduces consumers' options.

So if you are unhappy with Obamacare, here is this year's warning: Do not elect Hillary Clinton.

Clinton is the worst kind of charlatan. As the WikiLeaks dumps have demonstrated, she has nothing but disdain for huge swaths of the American public. Even her own staff complains that she refuses to listen. A sensible person would say, "This hasn't worked. So let's offer Americans more companies, more plans, more choices, because that's what brings down prices."

Not Clinton. Her plan to "fix" Obamacare will be worse. She will push for what she and Obama and the other central planners have wanted for decades, single-payer: one health care plan, run by the government and funded by taxpayers.

She will tell you it will be cheaper. That will be a lie. (They told us that Obamacare would be cheaper, remember?)

She will tell you that the quality of care will be excellent. That will be a lie. (If you don't believe me, consider that the government has provided appallingly poor care for 5.4 million Native Americans, and the Veterans Affairs scandal is another lesson in "government-run health care.")

She will tell you that it's a system that works beautifully in other western nations. She will not tell you that the National Health Service in England is going broke (as is France's system) and plagued by scandals; that Canadians wait four to five months to see a specialist (and Sweden isn't much better); or that Finland is a ridiculous comparison -- with 5.4 million people, it is half the size of Los Angeles county. She will not tell you that nothing along these lines has ever been tried in a country with over 300 million people.

She will not tell you that neither you nor your doctor will decide what your care will be. She will not tell you that some faceless wonk somewhere will decide that you don't get that appointment, that test, that medicine, that surgery, because, oops, we underestimated the cost, and there's not enough money.

She will not tell you any of this. But I have told you.

Many of you regret your trust in President Obama and his deceitful promises about health care. We warned you that what he was promising was false, because no system could work the way he was describing it. Why would you make the same mistake again?

Donald Trump is hardly the ideal candidate. But he has experience with both success and failure in business, and will be far more likely to encourage the competition and free market options that our struggling health care system needs.

Hillary Clinton will only give us more to regret.

Consider yourself warned. Again.