Obamacare hits an iceberg called 'the rule of law'
The latest nonsense from the left is that President Trump forced the collapse of Obamacare. In fact, the iceberg hit this ship called the Affordable Health Care Act years ago, as Avik Roy reminded us:
[T]he reason ObamaCare weighed in at 2,000 pages is because the law passed by Democrats detailed, in highly specific language, how Washington would run the health care system from here on out.
While the HHS Secretary – in those days, Kathleen Sebelius – would have the authority to determine exactly how to implement Obamacare's rules, the Obama administration was (in theory) bound by the statutory law passed by Congress.
Now, in reality, the Obama administration was highly selective in enforcing the ACA as written.
Here are just some examples of ways in which Obama simply ignored the ACA and decided to do what he thought was best, regardless of the law:
The Obama administration decided not to enforce the law's employer mandate until 2015, and then delayed its enforcement a second time.
After millions of Americans complained that their insurance plans had been canceled – contrary to Obama's promise that "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan" – Obama declined to enforce aspects of the law that required those plans to shut down – until he was reelected.
The Obama administration decided – unilaterally – to waive Obamacare's individual mandate, by granting a "hardship exemption" to anyone for whom Obamacare's offerings were "unaffordable."
The ACA forced insurers to offer plans with reduced co-pays and deductibles for those with very low-incomes, but didn't appropriate the cost-sharing subsidies needed to pay for them.
Facing a rebellion from insurers, who were being forced to cover these individuals at a loss, the Obama administration decided to spend the money anyway, even though they had no legal authority to do so.
I could go on, but you get the point.
Last, but very important, Obamacare divided its "customers" into two groups: the subsidized and the others who couldn't afford the premiums!
The subsidized got a free ride, and the others couldn't afford the ticket.
I saw this often in my circles.
On one hand, I saw people who would praise the program because it got them the insurance they couldn't afford in the past.
On the other hand, I met many more people who simply could not afford the premiums and found the deductibles way beyond their budgets.
As a friend with a wife and two kids told me, "what's the point of paying $6,000 in annual premiums so I get to a $ 15,000 deductible? I'd rather do nothing and pay the penalty."
As Mr. Roy points out, Obamacare did all this damage through a total disregard for the rule of law, from rewriting the law with executive orders and mandates plus paying money to the insurance industry without the approval of Congress.
The bad news is that Obamacare has messed up our health care system .
The good news is that Obamacare is failing.
It was a flawed law from day one, and even a President Hillary Clinton would have been forced to do a lot more than fix it.