Friday, November 15, 2013
The Democrats Deadly Dilemma: Why Obama and his Democratic allies are doomed
So far he has gotten away with anything he wanted no matter how much it cost the country. But now it is not just costing the country; it is costing his political allies. You can do just about anything in politics but that.
And because of this they are fleeing the sinking political ship like rats. Today, 39 Democrats broke ranks to vote for a Republican-sponsored bill that would do what Obama said he wanted to do in his speech yesterday (and what he promised before Obamacare was passed): keep your current health care policy.
But Obama says he is going to veto it if it comes to his desk. Why would the President veto a bill that would ensure that insurance companies could do what he promised they could do yesterday?
There is a very simple answer to this question: Although he wants to appear as if he wants insurance companies to be allowed to do this, he doesn't really want them to do it.
If insurance companies continue to offer the same health policies they offered before, then fewer healthier people will join the exchanges. And if they fewer healthier people don't join the exchanges, then, because of the high percentage of high-risk participants, rates on policies purchased through the exchanges will increase.
In other words, the very success of Obamacare depends on the success of driving people now insured through the individual market into the exchanges. But it also depends on people being able to keep their policies like Obama said they would.
In other words, the two criteria necessary for Obamacare to succeed are mutually exclusive:
If people are allowed to keep their current policies, then rates will increase, which will doom Obamacare. If, on the other hand, people are not allowed to keep their current policies, then they will rebel, which will also doom Obamacare. Since either people will be allowed to keep their current policies or they won't, either rates will increase or people will rebel. In either case, Obamacare is doomed.
There does not appear to be any way around the horns of this dilemma. In fact, something even worse is likely to happen.
In fact, the pressure of this dilemma has been to increase even more by the failure of the Obamacare website. What the failure of the website has done is bring about the worse possible outcome of the President's health care legislation. In most dilemmas, you are forced to make a choice between two unacceptable alternatives--in this case raising health care insurance rates or making people angry by throwing them off the plans you told them they could keep.
What the failure of the website has done is ensure that the President and his Democratic allies are impaled, not on one horn of the dilemma or the other--but on both of them.
Because of the technical problems that are preventing people from signing up for health care, it is everything but an absolute certainty that people will not get back their cancelled policies. Under the Presidents plan--and the Republican bill passed today--insurers are not required to keep offering these policies and there is no incentive for them to continue to offer them.
In addition, it will be almost impossible for the exchange to sign up enough people to keep rates low, even if the site is fixed before the end of this month--another promise Obama made which he cannot keep.
And the timing of things couldn't be worse for Democratic congressmen: The announcements of rate increases will arrive next September or October, right before mid-term elections.
High rates and lack of choice. Oh, and one more thing, because of the inauspicious timing of the Obamacare schedule, many people will be without health care policies on January 1, when, under Obamacare, they are required to have them.
If this political coffin needed another nail, there it is.
I'm trying to think of what is going on right now in the minds of those people who predicted just a week or so ago a drubbing of the Republicans at the polls next year because of the threatened government shutdown. In fact, does any even remember that now?