A look back, and a look forward
One year ago this week — March 23, 2010 — President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. Joe Biden called it a “big [flipping] deal.” Enthusiasts of the law predicted that Obamacare would reduce the deficit, save hundreds of thousands of lives, significantly improve national life expectancy, dramatically reduce medical bankruptcies, and massively improve infant mortality. I even recall a New Republiceditorial arguing that the passage of PPACA would mean no one would ever again have to die of cancer.
Democrats confidently proclaimed that the law would become more popular over time as Americans became more aware of its benefits. In Nancy Pelosi’s felicitous phrase, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Indeed, over the last twelve months, the law’s unpopularity has remained remarkably consistent, and we’ve only begun to find out what’s in it. The health-care system in Massachusetts upon which Obamacare was modeled has continued to deteriorate. Officials within the Obama administration have regularly pointed out Obamacare’s financial instability. Insurers have exited the market. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has handed out waivers to labor unions and other favored special interests, and to companies that would have otherwise been forced to drop coverage for their workers, bringing damaging headlines in their wake. The constitutionality of the individual mandate, to which liberals had not given a serious thought, was called into question by two federal judges, one of whom overturned the law in its entirety (the ruling was stayed pending an appeal).
Indeed, there has been so much bad news about Obamacare over the last twelve months, it’s easy to forget how many things have gone wrong. Here is a month-by-month recount.
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