IN THE WAKE OF OBAMACARE
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), Barack Obama’s primary achievement, is proving to be a colossal debacle, as well as a bitter disappointment to many, just as some predicted it would be. Obamacare is little more than a gigantic onion of failure, and its website is merely the initial layer of dysfunction. Needless to say, few people are enrolling in the program, and this fact is a “death spiral” for it. Worse still, thousands upon thousands of hard-working citizens are discovering that they were bamboozled when the President was selling the system: "You like your doctor; you get to keep your doctor! You like your healthcare plan; you get to keep your healthcare plan. Period!" Their insurance policies have been cancelled because of ACA requirements, and their physicians are refusing to participate in what they correctly regard as an ill-conceived government monstrosity. Thanks to “Big Brother,” to whom the words “first, do no harm” have all the characteristics of an untranslatable language, many gullible Americans find themselves in shock. “How could this be happening?” they ask themselves. The President and his administration are busy, of course, attempting to qualify his words, while shifting the blame on Republicans and insurance companies for the fiasco. The aftertaste in the mouths of once trusting Americans is now one of foul rubbish.
You may be wondering who’s responsible for this burgeoning failure, which has cost taxpayers over a billion dollars. Dare one ask? Compelling as the question may be, the inquiry will suffer the same fate as those concerning the notorious misadventure of “Fast and Furious,” the Benghazi murders, the IRS scandals, the hidden surveillance of news reporters, and the NSA’s ruthless snooping. We can count upon a gaggle of Republicans to throw up their arms in outrage during televised hearings, as if with each gesture of indignation they can see and hear a political pinball counter reaching a record-breaking score. Democrats of course accuse their colleagues from across the aisle of attempting destructively to hoodwink the American people and to undermine the credibility of the administration.
The Supreme Court is no help either. If and when the sanctity of law is invoked, as it was during the controversy over the constitutionality of the ACA, the Roberts Court can be counted on to retreat like a dog with its tail between its legs, refusing to second-guess the wisdom of a prevailing political majority. But, for gosh sakes, isn’t telling us what the law is (and is not) precisely what the Court has been doing since Marbury v. Madison? Well, until recently anyway.
What do you guess will be the upshot of all this? There is sure to be a terrible political price to pay for Democrats. If the Republicans should manage to hold on to the House and re-capture the Senate in 2014, Barack Obama, who by most accounts has been one of the most loathed and divisive Presidents in modern times and perhaps in our history, may well suffer a devastating political fate. If he’s not impeached and convicted, it will be the color of his skin in a politically correct climate that saves him and nothing else. We have lived in volatile, even convulsive, political times since Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon left their sordidly dishonest imprints upon the presidency.
The dark shadow of impeachment may not be the last word. The American people may even come to doubt the competence of government bureaucrats to administer a sizeable slice of the economy. Fox News analyst and Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist, Charles Krauthammer, pictured below, has suggested that this prospect may constitute the legacy of Obamacare.
Well, maybe or maybe not. There’s no doubt that reform liberalism -- in which optimism about the efficiency of government, along with a vast technocracy to implement its “humanitarian” purposes, supplanted a philosophical insistence upon limited government, free market capitalism, and individual ingenuity -- will come under increased public scrutiny. Krauthammer believes that this will in turn affect American voting patterns for perhaps a decade or more.
I disagree with his assessment, at least in part. Americans will certainly not like being hit in the pocketbook and discovering that their healthcare is more unaffordable than ever, but the real question is whether most will possess the sagacity to place responsibility for this outcome where it belongs. I frankly doubt it. Millions of “low-information voters,” which is a euphemism for stupid, often parasitic Americans who depend upon and yearn for increased entitlements, haven’t yet figured out that there are three branches of government in this country. Some don’t even know what Obamacare is! How can anyone, especially a genius like Krauthammer, expect these people to bite the hand that’s been feeding them for years? It may be that, because we have a Democrat President and Senate, there will be an initial emotional reaction against that party. But I guarantee that any sentiment "to throw the bums out" will be short-lived. As the political climate becomes fraught with a recriminatory headwind in which Mr. Obama is at its epicenter, look for Hillary Clinton to distance herself from the man. What a sideshow this will be!
Republicans are currently leaderless and have already proven that they lack the collective will to dial back government. Just consider the last Republican administration. It has taken an indiscriminate “sequester” to reduce the deficit. Politicians of whatever party have proven that they’re not responsible stewards of our national wealth. But count on at least one constant: approximately half of America’s population will continue supporting the welfare state.
Not much will change long-term in American politics - not the Presidency, not the Congress, not the parties, and not the populace - as a result of our healthcare “Obama-nation” except the increased levels of confusion, frustration, and rage.
November 3, 2013