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Jerry Shenk


Obamacare: Waiting for the Ka-BOOM!

by Jerry Shenk
 

Democrats and their national media surrogates are working tirelessly to deflect Democratic responsibility for force-feeding Obamacare to an unwilling nation by misrepresenting it as a “Republican” problem.

Meanwhile, factions within the Republican congressional majorities are tripping over each other to enact some version of “reform,” when, for seven years, the House alone voted perhaps forty times to repeal and, later, replace the monstrosity.

The Democrats’ desperate propagandizing notwithstanding, from a practical standpoint, congressional Republicans will shoulder the blame for the Democrats’ healthcare debacle only if they act half-heartedly before Obamacare ultimately detonates. That would allow the Democrats and their media allies to blame the failure on Republicans by insisting that Obamacare was working before “heartless” Republicans tampered with it.

Republican reluctance is explained by Congressional Budget Office estimates that more than 20 million people would “lose” coverage, a number the left exploits as “evidence” of Republican indifference to American citizens. But, Avik Roy, one of America’s foremost healthcare experts, observed that, in work it did last December the CBO contradicted its own estimates of that result:

When estimating “the effects of repealing the individual mandate as a standalone measure..., of the 22 million fewer people who will have health insurance in 2026 under the Senate bill, 16 million will voluntarily drop out of the market because they will no longer face a financial penalty for doing so: 73 percent of the total. ... [I]f the only reason you’ve stopped buying insurance is because the government is no longer fining you..., nobody has ‘taken away’ your coverage.”

In other words, nearly three-quarters of coverage “losses” would be for people who don’t think they need Obamacare-mandated coverage levels and are willing to forego it to escape one of Obamacare’s most noxious features, the individual mandate. Involuntary losses could be addressed by more-effective, less-expensive market-based replacement legislation.

Ironically, congressional Republicans tried to salvage the Democrats’ pet project, but not one Democrat voted in favor. Inexplicably, in March, Democrats celebrated an aborted House GOP attempt at Obamacare reform. In July, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer applauded the collapse of a Senate Republican healthcare proposal, saying, “We’re relieved.”

Earlier, Schumer called on Republicans to "work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long-term stability to the markets and improves our health care system." But Schumer failed to explain why his party had already blown two opportunities to do exactly that, first by passing Obamacare, unread, without a single Republican vote, and, again, when Democrats refused to admit and work with Republicans to fix Democratic blunders, instead casting GOP colleagues as “evil.” Democrats have a highly-parochial, one-dimensional view of “bipartisanship.”

But Democrats still own Obamacare. If repeal-and-replace isn’t a near-term option, all that remains is its inevitable explosion.

There’s no need to rush things. Republicans can still get it right: As state Medicaid costs soar and more exchanges fail, Republicans can repeal and replace Obamacare with only modest residual resistance -- if they’re smart enough to wait for the ka-BOOM!

http://www.ldnews.com/story/opinion/2017/08/01/obamacare-wait-ka-boom/529679001/


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