Leftist policy tactics seldom fail to fail, as has been shown in Obamacare.
It’s substituted lies for truth, coercion for liberty, socialism for free markets, a comprehensive mishmash of obscurity for prudence, centralism for state initiatives and haughtiness for common sense.
A consequence of all of this — and the enlistment of Medicaid to make things more nearly work — could mean horror for 300 million people.
That’s right, 300 million, the population of the entire country, and that’s a whole lot more than the 20 million unfortunates you keep reading about in stories maligning the Republican Senate health care proposal. That number, which could be recalculated with different assumptions, refers to those who might not be insured down the road under the Republican legislation as compared to Obamacare if left alone.
But Obamacare left entirely alone would see deductibles soar to the point of helping out only if you’re in something approximating critical condition. Premiums? They would increase to the point of you better be a millionaire. Insurance companies, compelled, for instance, to charge the highest prices to those least at risk, would keep deserting the program to the point of no program.
A favored Democratic solution is to spend us into oblivion to take care of everything, including further increases in Medicaid already increased beyond fiscal functionality. Add Medicaid to unadjusted Medicare and Social Security, get to the year 2025, and federal revenues would be sufficient only for their sustenance and interest on the debt.
That conclusion, by the way, comes from the Congressional Budget Office, the same agency that came up with the 20 million number used as a bludgeon for any Republican uncaring enough to want to fix things.
The fiscal issue, the debt issue, is something that could mean a crisis devastating the whole nation, and the Senate plan addresses that while presenting rejuvenating ideas for health care.
It would undo the penalty-supported mandate and that would mean fewer people on insurance, it is said, but not necessarily. The plan would also save insurance policies from the absurdity that they now have to cover everything — even men have to be covered for pregnancy, for instance. Banish the nonsense, say hello to lower prices and guess what you get: more insurance policies sold.
In a variety of ways, the plan would give the states more say in what happens, including on Medicaid, and that’s a benefit. There are ways to help people leave Medicaid, get their own insurance or health savings accounts, get healthier, and improve the government program while saving money. This is not guesswork. Some states have done remarkable things already. Give dual sovereignty a chance.
But look, it is said, the Republicans want to give the rich a tax break while giving the poor less. The tax break would actually give the poor a lot, namely more jobs (that Obamacare has been killing) and higher wages through more investment. Right now the economy is picking up in anticipation of tax reforms that open doors to growth, and the Obamacare 3.8 percent tax on net returns on investment lessens investment.
Nobody out there would say the Senate plan is all it should be, but let’s see Congress debate amendments proffered by Democrats and Republican holdouts, just maybe improving what is most amiss while bringing the contentious into handholding.
What people should worry about are the lies to stop the good works, such as those an architect admits were told to get Obamacare passed or that President Barack Obama himself told when he said if you want your insurance plan you can keep it.
The big lie has been with us for decades, the one that says any adjustment in overspending entitlement programs will make thousands suffer. The right fixes in our health care system could in fact benefit 300 million people.
Jay Ambrose is a columnist for Tribune News Service.