It wouldn’t be fair of me to blame the Democratic Party’s humiliating November defeat on any one issue.
Hillary Clinton isn’t Snapchatting images of her new haircut while President Donald Trump steers the ship of state simply because she’s only slightly more likeable than a pit viper. The Democrats constructed their coffin from the myriad scandals which plagued the Left; from the abuses of the Obama Administration to the excuses for Hillary. But they nailed it shut with Obamacare.
Imposed under fraudulent circumstances, rife with governmental overreach and despised by the thinking public, Obamacare was the one weak spot for which the Left never came up with even-halfway believable armor. Despite promises, doctors and plans disappeared, premiums skyrocketed and complaints went unheard. And a public, marched at gunpoint into purchases they didn’t necessarily want or even need, heard Obamacare architect Jon Gruber call them “stupid” for getting played. People got mad, and then, last November, they got even.
Thus did the Republicans storm into Washington, D.C., buoyed in no small part by popular sentiment that Obamacare deserved to join Hillary in the same bin with the “Atlanta Falcons — Super Bowl Champions!” gear. They held not only the Oval Office and majorities in both Houses of Congress, but the heavy side of the scale in governor’s mansions and state legislatures. The people gave them the steering wheel, the shifter and both pedals; all they had to do was run Obamacare down in the street. And then, this week, the GOP jerked the wheel at the last moment and jumped the curb.
Rather than repeal the Democrats’ greatest gaffe, the Republicans have announced a plan which will, for most intents and purposes, do little more than repackage it. The American Healthcare Act will not eliminate Obamacare’s wasteful purchase and insurer subsidies.
It won’t bring back the doctors, plans and quality of care banished by Obamacare. It won’t end the punitive “Cadillac Tax” levied on those willing to spend more. And, in what I consider the single-biggest reason why “Obamacare Lite” deserves a spot next to those “Matt Ryan, Super Bowl MVP” t-shirts, it not only doesn’t end the protection racket-esque “penalties” squeezed out of those who choose not to buy coverage they don’t need, it alters the system so that penalties are paid directly to the insurer. Because that’s why America sent the Democrats packing; we were worried Big Pharma and the insurance companies weren’t taking enough of a cut.
Most of the post-electoral debate about the fate of Obamacare has been disappointing, to say the least. Moderate Republicans have discussed ways to “fix” the system; either unwilling or unable to admit that fixing Obamacare is tantamount to reanimating a corpse. Now, they’ve trotted out a Frankenstein’s monster of legislation; stitched together from some of the worst parts of its predecessor.
When the Democrats tried it, it turned on them, with visible — and ugly — results. If the GOP decides to try it again, they’re as foolish as Hillary’s investors if they think we won’t break out the torches and pitchforks.
— Ben Crystal