Republican Governors Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal penned a joint op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday arguing that Obamacare is fundamentally “unworkable.” And as a consequence, they say, the American public is going to pay a heavy and unnecessary price for Democrats’ floundering experiment with government-run healthcare:
Unworkable. That word best describes ObamaCare. Government agencies in states across the country, whether red or blue, have spent countless hours and incalculable dollars trying to keep the ObamaCare train on its track, but the wreck is coming. And it is the American people who are going to pay the price.
Fifty-five working days before the launch of the ObamaCare health-insurance exchanges on Oct. 1, the administration published a 600-page final rule that employers, individuals and states are expected to follow in determining eligibility for millions of Americans. Rather than lending clarity to a troubled project, the guidelines only further complicated it.
If the experience of those working with the ObamaCare implementation at the state level had been taken into account, progress might have been possible, but the administration has treated states with mistrust. Perhaps that's because we can see that the federal government is repeating mistakes of the past and we know that outcomes rarely reflect what Washington has promised.
Walker and Jindal also take issue with the president’s decision to arbitrarily decide which provisions of the law to keep, and which provisions of the law to unilaterally delay:
On July 12, three of the country's largest unions sent a letter to Democratic leaders in Congress stating that ObamaCare would shatter not only hard-earned health benefits, but also destroy the 40-hour workweek that is the backbone of the American middle class. ObamaCare defines full-time employment as 30 hours per week. No wonder these unions are alarmed: They are widely credited with helping to get the votes to pass this unworkable law.
The administration, recognizing that ObamaCare is a ticking bomb, earlier this month announced that it would delay until 2015 the requirement that businesses offer health-care insurance to its employees or pay a fine. Yet the administration didn't also grant relief to individuals.
Think about that for a moment: The Obama team, for now, has spared employers but not employees. The day of reckoning for businesses is put off, but not for everyday citizens. Many Americans may wonder: On what authority does the administration arbitrarily decide which aspects of a law not to enforce and which ones to keep?
Meanwhile, as sitting Republican governors, Jindal and Walker offer a unique perspective about Obamacare’s shortcomings, arguing that the law is increasing medical costs, killing jobs, and hurting seniors:
Governors have firsthand experience with implementing public-assistance programs. We know how important it is to care for our most vulnerable citizens and to ensure that people are healthy and able to work. We also know that a one-size-fits-all approach like ObamaCare simply doesn't work. It only creates new problems and inequalities. That's why if you look at all 50 states, you'll see 50 unique ways of handling Medicaid.
Health-care premiums are going up. Many businesses have stopped hiring, to avoid reaching the limit of 50 full-time employees where they are required to offer health benefits. Those businesses that are hiring often take on part-time workers to stay under the full-time cap.Older individuals seeking work are finding that companies are reluctant to take a chance on their potential health-care costs.
These are just a few of the problems resulting from a program that wasn't thought through before it was rushed into law. No wonder we hear that the Obama attack machine is gearing up to blame everyone but the law itself for the chaos that lies ahead.
As Mary Katharine Ham recently pointed out, 35 House Democrats and 22 House Democrats jumped ship by voting to delay Obamacare’s controversial employer and individual mandate provisions, respectively. (The president was not thrilled, natch). But because Democrats forced the legislation down the public’s collective throats (without any help from Republicans), this is their problem, politically speaking. Now, of course, we’re starting to see exactly what Obamacare has wrought, and Democrats are growing weak-kneed and nervous as election season approaches.
Perhaps Democrats should have listened to Republicans when they had the chance, instead of passing a law that Jindal and Walker insist the public never supported. After all, it’s not as if they weren’t warned.