Government & Politics

The ObamaCare Conundrum

Democrats prepare their best defense for the GOP's repeal efforts.

Thomas Gallatin · Jan. 6, 2017

With the convening of the 115th Congress, the Republican majority quickly began to act on its promise to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare. On Wednesday, the Senate passed a budget resolution to include reconciliation instructions for repealing Barack Obama’s signature legislation. Predictably, leading Democrats came out swinging, leveling various baseless accusations against Republicans while raising bogus claims of the glories and successes of ObamaCare.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), seeking to play off Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, warned, “The Republican plan to cut health care wouldn’t ‘Make America Great Again;’ it would ‘Make America Sick Again.’ They seek to rip health care away from millions of Americans, creating chaos in our entire economy.”

And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi parroted this doom and gloom act with her own dire predictions: “This [is] an assault on the health security and financial security that goes with what the Affordable Care Act has done for the American people. So make America sick again? Is that what the Republicans want to do? I certainly hope not.” She also went on a fibbing frenzy about reduced costs, increased insurance access and improved benefits, saying, “The Affordable Care Act has been a big success.”

In what alternate universe does she reside?

As is almost always the case with socialist government programs, the dire warnings voiced by proponents about the catastrophic consequences should their programs be abandoned are a window into the bankrupt nature of the very programs themselves. How many Americans lost their good, affordable health insurance plans due to ObamaCare? How many Americans were able to keep their doctor? How many Americans have seen the $2,500 in yearly savings that Barack Obama promised? Where are the across-the-board decreases in the overall cost of health care?

It’s no secret that ObamaCare is proving to be precisely the colossal failure conservatives warned it would be. Sure, it provided insurance for some Americans who were previously uninsured (in some cases by choice), but it did so by redistributing our wealth, and by punishing millions of previously insured Americans who were perfectly happy with their health insurance plans. And what of those windfalls in savings Obama promised? Well, today the average American has seen their employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise by an average $4,300, all while deductibles and copays have gone up, too.

The truth is that Democrats know they’re tied to a sinking ship. They know they don’t have the power to stop repeal, so their current goals are purely political maneuverings. By touting the myth that ObamaCare somehow saved American health care, they hope to establish in the minds of as many Americans as possible the belief that it was a good law before spiteful Republicans did away with it.

Second, as Republicans have introduced a replacement plan, Democrats will work to make it as problematic, inefficient and ineffective as is ObamaCare. In doing so, they hope that Republicans’ replacement law becomes the political albatross that ObamaCare has been for Democrats.

Whether it works or not, as David Harsanyi notes, “Whatever the resulting plan looks like, though, from here on in Republicans own health care. And if the GOP fails to repeal Obamacare, it will be a function of incompetence and spinelessness, not a lack of ideas.”

Republicans will need to stay focused on the message and on the task in order to advance legislation that protects the Liberty of American citizens from these socialist power grabs. The process of dismantling, removing and replacing ObamaCare will be long and arduous. For a law that was so large and intrusive upon every American, moving too quickly could create even greater problems — at least in the short term. But because much of the implementation of the law was built upon Obama’s lawless executive actions, Donald Trump can undo many things in relatively short order.

Unfortunately, while ObamaCare has clearly failed, it has succeeded in its socialist goal of convincing a majority of Americans that it’s the government’s job to provide every American with health insurance. This is the true legacy of ObamaCare. A Pandora’s Box of government-guaranteed health care has been opened, making the return to our founding principles of constitutionally limited government all the more difficult.

The lesson? Promote Liberty above all and citizens prosper; promote phony security over Liberty and tyrants rule.

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