- Last Updated: 3:51 PM, July 5, 2013
- Posted: July 05, 2013
Finally, President Obama has recognized his health-care reform isn’t working out the way he said it would. So this week he delayed implementation of the employer mandate for another year, to Jan. 1, 2015.
That’s an embarrassing retreat on a signature issue. That he attributed it to complaints from employers suggests he’s been getting an earful about the harm it’s doing to jobs and business. Even the man who wrote much of the bill — Sen. Max Baucus — says it could be a “train wreck.”
No doubt, too, the delay reflects complaints from Democrats who don’t want to go into the 2014 elections with this healthcare albatross around their necks.
We don’t blame them. But we’re not sure delay helps them all that much.
Writing in the Weekly Standard, Jim Capretta, a health-care expert with the Ethics and Public Policy Center, notes that in some ways it makes the whole law harder to defend. How, for example, will Democrats explain relieving employers of their mandate to provide insurance while the IRS can tax workers for not meeting their individual mandate to buy insurance?
It also means that House Republicans — who have been slammed by the Beltway press corps for having had nearly 40 votes to repeal ObamaCare — suddenly don’t look so unwise. To follow on Nancy Pelosi’s famous crack about having to pass the bill to find out what’s in it, it’s looking more and more as though the GOP knows more about what’s really in ObamaCare than the president.
The White House says the delay is just a matter of a few last-minute fixes. But the problems we’re seeing suggests something opponents have been arguing all along: The whole thing’s just plain unworkable.
Even the simplest of laws can often have unintended consequences that can make things worse than before they were passed, even by the admission of the people who were in favor of such laws in the first place. Prohibition was a good example. Here is the eighteenth amendment in its entirety:
After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
The Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.
Even the people who were against it would have agreed that it was pretty simple, but we all know what a mess it caused.
CAFE standards are another good example. The law was fairly simple. - Cars must certain meet fuel economy standards, but what was the result? Lame cars that nobody wanted. To get around this, the public and automakers turned to SUV’s (technically, light trucks) and the growth of that segment of the auto market exploded, not the result the people who were pushing for increased CAFE standards were hoping for. Most of the SUV’s got worse gas mileage than the cars they were replacing,
One could come up with an endless list of examples, but I think you get my point. Laws do not necessarily solve problems, and even the simplest of laws can make things worse.
Now what’s going on here with ObamaCare? First of all, we must look at why it ever came into existence in the first place, and even though it is a nightmare of regulations some 20,000 pages long, in my opinion, it comes down to three things.
- Obamaego: He wanted to do something big, that he would be remembered for. Why couldn’t he be satisfied with being the worst president in U.S. history? We all are going to remember that.
- Forced participation: Health care costs have become so ridiculously high that we were on the verge of millions of Americans making a conscious decision to voluntarily go without health insurance. The cost was becoming greater than the risk. Obviously, if too many healthy people opt out of the system, the system would collapse. Ironically, the solution has always been there right in front of everyone, and it is the exact opposite of ObamaCare. Less government regulation and increased competition through a cash based system of paying for healthcare would rapidly bring costs down. But we could never have that because of:
- Government control: I sure all of you have heard some of it, but no one yet knows all the ways that the government is going to use this monstrosity to control people’s lives and reduce their freedom.
Don’t let anyone tell you that this is about covering the 47 million (or whatever number you want to pull out of a hat) uninsured. Most of those people have no money to pay for health insurance now, and no law is
The ObamaCare nightmare.
going to magically make them have it. Almost all of these people already
have access to healthcare if they really need it. Hospitals don’t turn people away from emergency rooms. There is a difference between “being covered”, and having the ability to pay and not being a drain on the system.
So what’s going on now? Why the delay? Wasn’t this supposed be the greatest thing ever - the ultimate cure-all? The Democrats figure that it will be inconvenient for them, if people start to see too many of the negatives of ObamaCare before the 2014 elections. Well boo-hoo for them. So it might have a negative impact for them next year. It’s going to have a negative impact for all of us, for the rest of our lives.