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Letting Obamacare Fail Means Letting People Suffer Longer. That’s Unconscionable

By  |  July 18, 2017, 07:12pm  |  @stevengberman

President Trump committed a terrible act of political cynicism today when he told White House reporters “We’ll let Obamacare fail and then Democrats will come to us and say ‘How do we fix it?” and followed that up suggesting that more Republicans will be elected in 2018.

This is unconscionable, because people in America are suffering and need relief right now, not in 2019.

To listen to Democrat talking points, you’d think that America was one giant hospital and everyone had pre-existing conditions requiring expensive and rare treatment. But everyone knows that’s simply not so.

Most people see a doctor because they have a common, acute, treatable condition, like the flu. Most people can easily get the prescription medicines they require at the local grocery store pharmacy. Most people don’t need all the “health” coverages mandated in Obamacare, and most people will never need rare, expensive treatments.

But we’re all paying for it.

Premiums are increasing at an unsustainable, double-digit rate, while benefits, choice of providers, and deductibles are shrinking dramatically. That means health care is costing the average family (not on public assistance) more.

I personally know families who simply stopped buying health insurance because they can’t afford it. They make deals with doctors they know, or just don’t go to the doctor, even to treat problems that should really require a doctor. They don’t want to sign up for Medicare since that limits choice even more.

I personally use Medi-Share, a Christian medical sharing ministry, which is exempt (thank God) from Obamacare regulations. I pay about half the premium I would be paying if I bought an individual plan.

At the small business I used to work for in management (and own a stake in one of the subsidiaries), I helped craft our insurance plans. Back in the mid-2000s, we hopped between carriers to get a low initial experience rate, then when the premium jumped, we’d jump again. By the time Obamacare hit, we had moved to a hybrid self-insured/high deductible health plan (HDHP) to help stabilize premiums. We didn’t like our employees paying hundreds of dollars a month only to shell out more when they need care.

Eventually, those HDHP plans went away, because Obamacare killed them. In 2013, we sold to a large multinational corporation, and they eventually integrated the employees into their big-company plan. I left in 2015, before that happened. The people I know who still work there are paying hundreds of dollars a month only to get a huge deductible, limited network plan–or they’re paying thousands a month to get what used to be normal coverage.

These are the people who are suffering. Those “corner cases” and sob stories make for selling newspapers and getting website clicks, and they make wonderful political grandstanding, but in fact they are not the problem. The problem started when government-social-engineers like Hillary Clinton (remember Hillarycare?) and Barack Obama believed they could turn the U.S. into Sweden or Canada, neither of which have the population or economy of California.

California’s legislature just punted on its own version of universal single-payer, because even they realized that it was impossible to pay for. (SB 562 would have cost $400 billion, more than twice the entire state budget.)

Obamacare was supposed to be a hybrid–a transition to allow every American to have health insurance and supposedly obtain health care. But health insurance and the number of people enrolled is a terrible measure of who can obtain care, at what cost, and at what quality or frequency.

But the Democrat talking points keep rolling on–22 million “will lose healthcare,” or is it 23 million? What about the 150 million that will lose healthcare benefits they used to have and in fact had grown accustomed to because they can no longer afford to pay for things they never use?

Obamacare created this mess, and now Republicans, who have the opportunity we’ve been waiting for the last seven years, the opportunity every Republican lawmaker campaigned on, the opportunity Trump campaigned on, have kicked every American voter to the curb.

They’ve failed at proper governing. The president failed to lead, and Congress failed to summon the fortitude to do what is necessary.

And now we’re at the end of the dead-end road called Failure Alley, and Trump had the nerve to say we will just let people suffer for a few more years.

There’s certain issues that every president can kick down the road, like Social Security entitlements (always predicted to be 15 years away from failure), Medicare, and the national debt. As long as the Treasury can print money, we can pay bills, and the public, like frogs in slowly boiling water, don’t feel it while the pot heats up.

Obamacare is not one of those issues.

We saw what happened to Obama when the Tea Party movement hit in 2010. Watch what will happen to Congress in 2018. It’s going to be very, very ugly, and we are going to end up with people much, much more populist and less conservative than the original movement.

The Trump-GOP establishment has already begun blaming conservatives for this debacle. They would rather work with Democrats and go to a treasury-bankrupting single-payer solution than helping Americans get reasonable, free market health insurance.

This is no longer a political issue. It hurts average Americans. Republicans won’t be able to explain this away, and neither will the president, who sees himself above party (he calls Republicans “they”).

In a supreme act of political selfishness and cynicism, our elected government has betrayed the people it purports to serve and has failed to correct the injury. America will not forget.