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ObamaCare — The Gift That Will Keep On Giving

A Diagram of ObamaCare

A Diagram of ObamaCare

In an earlier piece entitled ObamaCare — The Death of Liberalism it was speculated that this signature piece of legislation would prove to be an albatross around the neck of Obama and the Democrat Party:

The Democrats may have backed themselves into a corner from which there is no escape. They have taken an existential position on ObamaCare; they are all in and must fight for their Frankenstein monster no matter what.

The potential for disaster is inherent in the fact that the program is not fixable. As bad as the public dislikes what they know about it now, this dislike will increase.

For Republicans, it will be the gift that keeps on giving. The passage of time only makes matters worse because more adverse effects become apparent:

The botched sign-up process is bad, but it is only the beginning. Here are but a few of the consequences from ObamaCare:

  • Sticker-shock has yet to be felt by the public. Premiums are not going down, they are going up — and substantially! That people are unable to sign up because of the incompetence of the implementation may, in retrospect, be considered a positive. The roar from the public when they learn how much more they will have to pay is likely to be deafening.
  • Dissatisfaction will extend well beyond sticker-shock. People are having their insurance, which they were assured they would be able to keep, canceled.
  • Jobs are not being created as a result of ObamaCare.
  • Full-time jobs are turning into part-time jobs in order to avoid the regulations associated with ObamaCare.
  • Some people will lose their doctors in the shuffle.
  • Waits to see a doctor will extend as the demand-supply relationship shifts. More people will be demanding more medical care.
  • The existing supply of doctors will be insufficient to deal with the demand. Queues and rationing are inevitable.
  • The practice of medicine will become more demanding and less rewarding.
  • Patient-doctor relationships will deteriorate.
  • Those doctors who are able are likely to retire early, further exacerbating the supply issue.
  • The best and brightest will no longer go to medical school. Talented people can make good livings without all these headaches and income constraints.
  • Eventually the supply imbalance will be remedied but with less qualified and talented medical personnel.

This Holy Grail of liberalism, pursued since the days of FDR, has finally been attained, but at what cost?

Winning this battle may very well cost the victors the war. Adverse effects, many of which are not perceived yet, lay ahead. This “gift” is one that will keep on giving for Republicans who vehemently opposed the program. It will get progressively (no pun intended) worse for Democrats. Robert Stacy McCain compares the deterioration process to George Bush’s Iraq issue:

What this resembles, quite frankly, is the way George W. Bush’s popularity tumbled in his second term after the insurgency in Iraq started inflicting significant casualties on U.S. troops with no apparent end in sight. Bush was re-elected in 2004 because voters believed (by a relatively narrow majority) that we should “stay the course” in Iraq, and that the insurgency was being defeated. But as 2005 gave way to 2006 and the U.S. death toll in Iraq kept mounting, the perception began to grow that we had taken on an impossible task, that our troops were stuck in a pointless mission they could not win, and there was a political backlash that caught most Republicans by surprise.

ObamaCare is a quagmire, and Democrats have no exit strategy.

One cannot overestimate the damage this program will inflict on the notion of big government and its supporters.

Current rage will only increase as the ramifications of the program become known. Additional lies, deficiencies, costs and disruptions are coming. These revelations will stretch out over the next couple of years. Each one will diminish support for the program and those who imposed it.

Obama’s arrogance will not allow him to scrap arguably his only accomplishment (one need stretch the definition of “accomplishment” to apply it here). Initial reactions have already been so bad that a re-start of anything nearly as comprehensive would be political suicide. The Democrats will choose to try and ride out the pain and dissatisfaction.

Strategically and tactically, history may look back at this obstinance as the greatest political miscalculation of all time. For the country, one can only hope it is a turning point in the march to Statism.

Hubris is never good. Hubris absent competence is devastating.