Our outgoing president was on the campaign trail in Florida today, where he served up some high-octane flaming garbage about Obamacare. He didn't merely voice disagreements with Republicans -- or mount a nuanced, if self-serving, defense of his law. He flat-out lied. Repeatedly and unconvincingly. This is really embarrassing stuff:
"They don't even have a pretense of a plan," @POTUS says of Republicans' health care plan. "Nothing, zero, nada."— Emily Cahn (@CahnEmily) November 3, 2016
“None of what they said has happened” Obama says, referring to Republican warnings about Obamacare— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) November 3, 2016
In fact, the GOP has proposed a very detailed Obamacare replacement plan, spearheaded by the highest-ranking elected Republican in the country. It entails a robust tax credit program, safeguards against coverage denial for continuously-insured consumers, Medicaid block grants, health savings account expansion, and incentives for state-level solutions. Obama may not like the plan, but that doesn't change the basic fact of, you know, its existence. Denying reality doesn't change reality. As for the ludicrous claim that Obamacare's critics were universally wrong in all of their predictions (a comprehensively debunked article of faith on the Left), I'm not sure even Obama's assembled crowd of partisans believed him. Conservatives warned that Obamacare would raise premiums and out-of-pocket costs, reduce choice and competition, bend the cost curve up, throw people off of their plans, deny people the ability to keep their preferred doctors, and that the model would collapse under its self-created adverse election problem. Literally all of that is happening. Obama's assertion is almost diametrically opposed to the truth, as evidenced by the projections released by his own administration. In fairness, watching your own signature "accomplishment" fail spectacularly in real-time, vindicating virtually all of your opponents' arguments must be humiliating -- especially to someone with an infamously massive ego. So delusion is an understandable coping impulse. Plus, lying to Americans' faces about Obamacare is sort of his thing.
Back in the real world, as you're already aware, Obamacare's glorious open enrollment period is underway, and the "great" news keeps piling up. We've covered the departures of several insurance titans from most Obamacare markets, forced out by the law's demographic failings and fatally flawed model. It looks like another major player in the industry is setting the stage to withdraw from participation in 2018, which would trigger another bout of premium spikes and cancelled plans one year from now. Timing is everything, and math is math:
Anthem now says it may quit Obamacare too.— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) November 2, 2016
Not the headline that the White House wants on day 2 of open enrollment. https://t.co/nZhNAxwHHD
Health insurer Anthem Inc., which has so far stuck with the Obamacare markets as rivals pulled back, said it may retreat in 2018 if its financial results under the program don’t improve next year. Anthem’s comments up the stakes for the Obama administration as the enrollment season for 2017 Affordable Care Act plans begins, with consumers already facing fewer choices and higher premiums in many markets. “If we do not see clear evidence of an improving environment and a path towards sustainability in the marketplace, we will likely modify our strategy in 2018,” Anthem Chief Executive Officer Joseph Swedish said on a call Wednesday discussing third-quarter results. “Clearly, 2017 is a critical year as we continue to assess the long-term viability of our exchange footprint.” Anthem expects to post a narrow profit margin next year in exchanges created under the ACA, following losses that Swedish called “disappointing.”
Now seems like a good time to remind you that Democrats are exclusively to blame for this law, which they sold to the public with a pack of lies, distortions and exaggerations. They now want more government control, more federal coercion, and more taxpayer-funded spending to "fix" their mess with failed "solutions." Meanwhile, Obamacare apologists are busy parroting a specious talking point that 85 percent of Obamacare enrollees are eligible for significant subsidies to defray the costs of their increasingly expensive plans, so concerns about skyrocketing rates are overblown. As John Sexton points out, this argument avoids several inconvenient facts: (1) Subsidies don't grow on trees; they're paid for by John Q. Public. (2) Approximately half of the consumers participating in America's individual healthcare market are not eligible for subsidies. That's millions of people. (3) Even with taxpayer help, many would-be Obamacare enrollees have discovered that they still can't afford the "Affordable" Care Act.
One of the Left's most feeble spin attempts amidst the law's manifest failings is that the disaster they endorsed and passed -- over the will of voters, and at great expense to taxpayers --is only affecting a relatively small group of people, so everyone should just relax. Setting aside the enduring statistical fact that Obamacare is harming more people than it's helping, another fact is that it is also betraying the vast majority of Americans who get coverage through their employers. Premiums keep inching higher for tens of millions of these people. The promise was significantly lower rates for everyone. And then there are the rising out-of-pocket costs, to boot:
Employer-based health coverage: Average annual deductible for single coverage is up 49% over the last 5 years— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) November 2, 2016
I'll leave you with a refresher that Hillary Clinton's so-called plan to "fix" the law she first proposed and still supports would result in millions of (relatively) unaffected and insulated Americans in the employer-based market being dumped into the dysfunctional Obamacare market. Pay no heed to any of that, Obama insists, and ignore those lying Republicans, or whatever. Pathetic.