Why Oba­macare is col­laps­ing

It’s ex­actly what Obama and Clin­ton wanted all along

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Mon­ica Crow­ley

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has fi­nally ad­mit­ted that ev­ery­thing it told us about Oba­macare was a lie. Dur­ing their hard sell, the Democrats — start­ing with Pres­i­dent Obama — swore up and down that the “Af­ford­able” Care Act would lower costs, ex­pand choice and al­low you to keep your health plan and doc­tor. They knew none of those things were go­ing to ma­te­ri­al­ize — ever. Be­cause they also knew that Oba­macare was never about health care. It was only and al­ways about gov­ern­ment power and con­trol. Over you.

This week, the ad­min­is­tra­tion im­plic­itly con­ceded that Oba­macare is be­ing smoth­ered by an ar­ray of ex­is­ten­tial prob­lems. Av­er­age pre­mi­ums, they said, will spike by a whop­ping 25 per­cent next year. And that’s a low-ball es­ti­mate, given that pre­mi­ums in places like Ari­zona are in­creas­ing by a stag­ger­ing 116 per­cent and New York by a breath­tak­ing 80 per­cent.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion also ad­mit­ted that at least 20 per­cent of con­sumers will have only one health in­surer from which to choose. With less or no com­pe­ti­tion, costs will con­tinue to rise while choice shrinks. So much for keep­ing your plan and doc­tor. You’ll be lucky to even find a doc­tor at all. Physi­cians are leav­ing Medi­care in droves be­cause of the pit­tances paid to them in re­im­burse­ment.

Sub­si­dies are also dis­ap­pear­ing, Oba­macare co-ops are col­laps­ing, fewer peo­ple are en­rolling and loss ra­tios are soar­ing. The long-an­tic­i­pated death spi­ral is here.

Mr. Obama, Hil­lary Clin­ton and the Democrats own this catas­tro­phe, but none of it comes as sur­prise — least of all to them, who de­signed it to im­plode. The built-in col­lapse is pro­ceed­ing right on sched­ule.

Mrs. Clin­ton is, of course, the grand­mother of so­cial­ized medicine, hav­ing spent much of her pub­lic life push­ing for it.

Since Oba­macare’s pas­sage, the left has ef­fec­tively moved the goal­posts so far to the ex­treme that sin­gle payer will no longer seem like a rad­i­cal ap­proach but the log­i­cal so­lu­tion to fix­ing the pro­gram’s prob­lems. Mrs. Clin­ton is al­ready ar­gu­ing that sin­gle payer is the ob­vi­ous next step, a fait ac­com­pli.

That, of course, was the endgame all along. The Oba­macare ar­chi­tects rigged the sys­tem to fall apart so they could ride to the res­cue with sin­gle payer.

That was al­ways the left­ists’ ideal vi­sion. In 2003, Illi­nois state Sen. Barack Obama laid it out: “I hap­pen to be a pro­po­nent of a sin­gle-payer uni­ver­sal health care pro­gram. But as all of you know, we may not get there im­me­di­ately. Be­cause first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Se­nate, and we have to take back the House.”

But Democrats fac­ing re-elec­tion in 2010 and 2012 did not want to have to vote for a highly un­pop­u­lar sin­gle-payer sys­tem, so they pur­sued an eas­ier po­lit­i­cal path.

They de­signed a health care scheme that was as close to sin­gle payer as was po­lit­i­cally pos­si­ble and stacked the deck so that it would be the in­evitable re­sult.

A pa­rade of left­ists tele­graphed that in­ten­tion. When Oba­macare was passed in its fi­nal form in March 2010, Sen. Tom Harkin said, “I think of this bill as a starter home. It’s not the man­sion of our dreams, but it has a solid foun­da­tion.” He added, “By pass­ing this leg­is­la­tion, we will achieve a pro­gres­sive prize that has eluded Con­gresses and pres­i­dents go­ing back to Teddy Roo­sevelt.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chimed in, “Once we kick through this door, there’ll be more leg­is­la­tion to fol­low.” Mr. Obama him­self told Rep. Den­nis Kucinich, “We’ve gotta start some­where.”

This is why they pur­pose­fully built col­lapse into the pro­gram: They want em­ploy­ers to drop pri­vate cov­er­age and push ever more Amer­i­cans into gov­ern­ment-run care.

They have al­ready started to ar­gue that we tried the mar­ket ap­proach, but gosh golly, it just didn’t work, so we’re go­ing to have to go the full so­cial­ized medicine route.

The night of the Supreme Court’s King v. Bur­well de­ci­sion, which up­held fed­eral sub­si­dies in states that did not es­tab­lish their own ex­changes, Mrs. Clin­ton re­leased a fundrais­ing email, in­di­cat­ing that she was ready to go far to the left, and de­stroy the Repub­li­cans as vil­lains.

“This rul­ing is a re­minder that while progress never comes easy, if we keep work­ing, keep push­ing, and never, ever give up, any­thing is pos­si­ble,” she wrote.

“The next pres­i­dent, “she con­tin­ued, “will ei­ther pro­tect and ex­pand health care for ev­ery Amer­i­can, or undo the progress we’ve made.”

Her lan­guage is code for mov­ing Oba­macare quickly and seam­lessly into a sin­gle-payer sys­tem — un­der the guise of “im­prov­ing health care for all.”

The real rea­son is to fi­nal­ize the crit­i­cal cor­ner­stone of what Mr. Obama in 2008 called the “fun­da­men­tal trans­for­ma­tion of the na­tion.” After all, if the gov­ern­ment con­trols your health care, the gov­ern­ment con­trols you.

Mrs. Clin­ton knows this. So does Don­ald Trump, who will re­peal and re­place this so­cial­ist night­mare with mar­ket- and pa­tient-based so­lu­tions.

On Nov. 8, we have one last chance to take back our health care — and our free­dom. Mon­ica Crow­ley is ed­i­tor of on­line opin­ion at The Wash­ing­ton Times.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY ALEXAN­DER HUNTER/THE WASH­ING­TON TIMES

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