ObamaCare: The Dumbest Political Move Ever?

stupid1ObamaCare may be viewed by historians as the dumbest political move ever.

As the program rolls out, the sham of the deed becomes apparent even to the dullards who supported Obama and the program. The Wall Street Journal observed:

… the public is learning that ObamaCare’s insurance costs more in return for worse coverage.

Mr. Obama and his liberal allies call the old plans “substandard,” but he doesn’t mean from the perspective of the consumers who bought them. He means people were free to choose insurance that wasn’t designed to serve his social equity and income redistribution goals.

Now the shame of the deed is systematically unfolding. It is an ugly, painful spectacle.

ObamaCare as Health Care Wrecking Ball

wrecking-ball1Nancy Pelosi famously enhanced her standing in the Legion of Stupids when she uttered her we-must-pass-the-bill-in-order-to-see-what’s-in-it nonsense. The bill passed and she (and we) still don’t know what is in it. Apparently we have to implement it (a difficult task) to learn what is truly in it.

Each day reveals more of the incompetence and Rube Goldberg-like aspects of this monstrosity. Uncertainty and confusion increase as the negatives surface. The incredible lies associated with the bill mount while access to health care and insurance drop. The incompetence of the government appears to be unbounded.

The following is generally now accepted by the non Kool-Aid set regarding ObamaCare: obamacare

  • It will destroy the finest health care system in the world.
  • It will cause unnecessary suffering and some premature deaths.
  • It will disrupt lives as insurance coverage is canceled.
  • It will raise the costs of insurance.
  • It will produce less health care and less quality.
  • It will not bend the cost curve favorably.

The list puts ObamaCare in contention for the dumbest piece of legislation ever. Additional negatives will undoubtedly surface as the creature fully reveals itself and the laws of unintended consequences play out.

These negatives are not the basis for claiming “dumbest political move ever.” Horrible outcomes for the citizenry and country are assured, but that alone is not enough to gain the title. Harming others has never bothered politicians. It is a natural by-product of their work. It takes more than that to qualify for the dumbest political move.

ObamaCare as Political Wrecking Ball

stupidThe reason why ObamaCare was so dumb politically was that it provided no – zero, zip, nada – chance for political benefits. It had nearly unlimited potential for political losses however.

The Democrat Party ram-rodded ObamaCare through without a single Republican vote. Few political positions have ever been delineated so clearly. Ownership of this political Frankenstein was never in doubt.

Simple mathematics (something that politicians are notoriously not good at) provides support for my claim. There are 300 million people in the country (more, but 300 million is a nice round number and good enough for illustrative purposes). The alleged need for ObamaCare was to cover 30 million of these 300 million who were uninsured (some estimates of the uninsured were as high as 45 million, again not meaningful for the current purpose).

The benefits were all focused on the 30 million who had no insurance. But it is likely that Democrats already “owned” 80% or more of these voters. There was virtually no political upside from this group. The remaining 270 million potential voters were split rather evenly between Democrat and Republican. Vote-seeking among this latter group had potential. Instead these Democrat voters were foolishly put at risk.

The Fatal Flaw

Otto von Bismark

Otto von Bismark

No other welfare program, to my knowledge, has been so clumsily handled. All depended on the tooth fairy; that is, they all pretended to provide “freebies,” but ObamaCare contained a fatal flaw.

Otto von Bismarck, the acknowledged progenitor of the Welfare State, knew there was no tooth fairy but was clever enough to work around that. By spreading costs over a large number of players, he created the illusion that something was “free.” Even if the total cost of a program might be known, costs at the individual level were to be hidden.

That is the essence of the modern welfare state — provide identifiable goodies to one group while not allowing members of the other group to know what it costs them individually. That is the fundamental essential in the scam that represents the Santa Claus State. Recipients see the gifts. The rest of us have no idea what they cost us.

ObamaCare was not designed to be funded out of general revenues. That was a crucial mistake, although the political climate at the time probably made that source of funding impossible. Nor was a new tax to cover the costs proposed (probably also politically impossible). Indeed, a new tax would have dismissed the “free lunch” notion upon which ObamaCare was sold.

The intended funding of the program must have caused Otto von Bismarck to roll over in his grave. By allowing those with insurance to pay for the program, his century-old rule — never let the payers know what it cost them individually — was violated. ObamaCare was on its way to killing the tooth fairy that Bismarck had so cleverly created!

The Dumbness

Obama dumb as me, andrew sullivan 4 blogThe beneficiaries (the 30 million uninsured), to the extent there will be any beneficiaries, were primarily Democrats already. There was little political advantage to be gained from this group. 

The larger group (270 million) would gain nothing unless they believed Obama’s lies (which was the lies were essential). Eighty percent of this group liked their existing insurance. A majority of the country did not want ObamaCare to be implemented. Forcing this legislation on the public was akin to poking a hornet’s nest with a stick.

Democrats were promised that there would be no pain and only gain from ObamaCare. They were told they could keep their old plans and their doctors. They would receive expanded coverage, better insurance and the average family premium would decrease by $2,500 per year. If you were stupid enough to believe this nonsense, what was not to like?

Did Democrats with insurance believe these lies? Probably most did, after all they were Democrats. Government wouldn’t lie. Certainly not a government controlled by Democrats and run by their Wunderkind, Barack Obama! Government would never hurt them.

Now the ObamaCare turkey is home to roost. Most promises were outright lies now being documented by what  advocates knew would happen before the legislation was passed. 80 million families were projected to lose their existing insurance coverage. That represents over 200 million of the 270 million group. Whether Republican or Democrat, these people were sold down the river by ideologues pursuing the Holy Grail.

The lives and budgets of most Americans are in disarray as a result of ObamaCare. Nothing can save this turkey. Health care matters will worsen as this program moves deeper into implemetation. So too will the desperate promises and lies coming from Washington. Both Republicans and Democrats are being hurt. But one party is not surprised and is in full “I told you so” mode. The other party is in panic and has a “How could they do this to us?” reaction. People from the latter group will be switching groups and no one from the former group will.

The political insanity of ObamaCare is best understood in light of the following:

  1.  It couldn’t work. Many people knew this even before the legislation was passed.
  2. Approximately 50% of the group that were going to be adversely affected by its implementation were Democrats.

ObamaCare is exposing the myth upon which the Welfare State rests. Democrats are learning that there is no tooth fairy and that their Wunderkind President is just another scheming, lying politican.

If anyone knows who thought ObamaCare was a politically smart move, send him over to my house where I will arrange a high-stakes poker game. He obviously understands nothing about numbers, odds or common sense.

Net Result

politicsThe Democrat Party just presented the hapless Republican Party with the biggest political gift in history. Democrats shot themselves in the foot (perhaps the  head) with the imposition of ObamaCare. The wound threatens the Democrat hold on power. It may even prove to be an existential event for the Party and Liberalism itself over the longer term.

Liberalism is unlikely to die, but this event likely represents its zenith. Those of us alive today have likely witnessed the event that will cause its long and slow decline. That is the only positive of ObamaCare.

The Republican Party is feckless and ineffective. It deserves to be put out of its misery by one of the ObamaCare death panels. Instead, it has been thrown a lifeline. Ironically, the overzealous pursuit of Liberalism’s Holy Grail, universal health care, has spared the Republicans, at least temporarily.

Republicans will stay Republicans as a result of the fiasco of ObamaCare. Some Democrats will become Republicans as a result of the disillusion. At this point it is the only way to escape their own party.

Politics will go on. After all, it is a relative game. One party always appears strong because the other is weaker.

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8 Comments

  1. You’re ignoring a more glaring point. It’s complete FASCISM as the state has literally taken over a sixth of the biggest economy the world has ever seen, and will decimate it. Historians will look at this as the single worse piece of legislation in the history of the world as it simultaneously reduced a free nation to virtual enslavement, destroyed the biggest economy the world has ever seen, and ruined the best health care the world has ever known. That’s the trifecta of destruction right there.

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