O-Care Still A Key Issue
Published on TheHill.com on June 30, 2015
You could almost hear the sighs of relief coming from the liberal and establishment media after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of President Obama last week in the King v. Burwell case. “Thank God that’s over,” they seem to say. “Now the ObamaCare issue has run its course. We won’t have to face it in 2016.” The media has proclaimed the issue over, and the healthcare law vindicated in the courts and in public opinion. Some have even suggested that Republicans are hurting themselves by opposing it or calling to repeal and replace it.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Their reasoning is just the kind of myopia that hampers the view from inside the Beltway as Washington tries to relate to the rest of the nation. The ObamaCare issue is far from over. In fact, it has hardly begun to have its real impact.
Now that ObamaCare’s future is assured by the court, voters will have no other outlet for their passionate hatred of this law than through the presidential elections. And what better target to run against than the author of one of its predecessors, HillaryCare?
Those who are enrolled in health insurance provided under the Affordable Care Act are suffering, having to pay up to $6,000 in deductibles for even minor procedures. They can’t find doctors or hospitals to get the care they need, and often see no more than a nurse, even when they really need a doctor.
Every American has to have noticed the fundamental deterioration in medical care under the president’s program. Resources are rationed, and actual care from a medical doctor is becoming increasingly scarce.
And then there are the premiums. ObamaCare premiums started too high and keep growing year after year. The fundamental defect of the program is that it attracts mainly sick people; the administration’s hopes that the premiums of the young and the healthy would carry the load is proving to be a delusion.
Their anger at past premium hikes and the dread of future hikes is palpable. Remember that almost half of those now under ObamaCare had insurance before they were forced to abandon it and move to more expensive exchanges for their coverage. The extra premiums and deductibles pay for insurance they don’t need, didn’t want and wouldn’t have chosen if they had the choice. Each year’s premium increase — this year running to 25 percent or more — only stokes their rage.
And the rest of us have to worry about the price of ObamaCare because about 90 percent of enrollees get subsidies at our expense. We know that a new entitlement has been created and fear that it is here to stay. We see no benefit to it in our own lives, and we worry that it will crowd out the entitlements we do need, like Social Security and Medicare.
To the politicians, the ObamaCare issue seems to have faded with the court’s ruling. But polling still reflects strong disapproval, which has been the case ever since it was proposed, with a wide gap between approval and disapproval numbers — something that also hasn’t changed.
Just as the president didn’t dare defend ObamaCare to the fullest in the elections of 2010 and 2012, choosing at times to ignore his own signature legislation as the campaigns unfolded, Democratic senators will be hog-tied trying to defend this program.
Liberals: Don’t fool yourselves. ObamaCare will be just as strong a drag on your candidates as it was in 2010 — and maybe more so.
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