Obamacare will not be repealed anytime soon, despite what you may have read in Forbes Magazine.
While the blogosphere squabbles over Obamacare the discussion has moved to people whose insurance doesn’t meet Obamacare’s standards: who will get their plan cancelled, who of those will actually get a better deal under Obamacare, who is getting much better service under Obamacare, who has to pay for services they’ll never use, etc. The discussion can get tiresome, but there are valuable lessons there if you look for them. Here is one truth that has emerged from the Obamacare debates: Forbes Magazine does little more than indulge the fantasies of billionaires.
I’ll confess to not reading enough of Forbes to know if that statement applies across the board, but the evidence piles up daily on their Obamacare coverage. Let’s take today’s fodder, an op-ed from contributor Steven Hayward titled: Obamacare Will Be Repealed Well In Advance Of The 2014 Elections.
No, it really won’t. In fact, Mr. Hayward, if you’re a betting man, I’ll wager a tidy sum that Obamacare will not be repealed on any day before the 2014 elections (you could use that extra time, seeing as it’s less than a year from the 2014 midterms and Congress has no plans to consider anything close to an Obamacare repeal).
Here’s Hayward’s reasoning:
“[I]f the website continues to fail, the push for repeal—from endangered Democrats—will occur very rapidly. The website is a sideshow: the real action is the number of people and businesses who are losing their health plans or having to pay a lot more.”
Hayward anticipates a call for repeal from Senate Democrats after facing angry constituents over the Christmas break: “With the political damage guaranteed to continue, the momentum toward repeal will be unstoppable. Democrats will not want to face the voters next November with the albatross of Obamacare.”
Yes, this is the sort of thing one might come up with if one were insulated from the frosty drafts of the poorest 98% of the country’s opinions. The people that are losing their coverage is mostly a sideshow. Yes, it’s hurting Obamacare, but these stories are balanced by stories of people whose health insurance has improved and gotten cheaper—in rare cases as little as a dollar a month. The real weight in Obamacare is in the Medicaid expansion, which will bring in at least a quarter million poor people not previously eligible, allowing people 26 and under to stay on their parents insurance, and in the provision that insurance companies will have to spend 80% of their revenue on providing care.
People losing their coverage is a bump in the road: Obamacare is good and is going to get better. The 80% clause will bring prices down, as will the steady trickle of healthy people signing up for health insurance. The kinks in the health exchanges will get worked out, and health insurance shoppers should eventually get more options.
Obamacare has weathered many storms: the Supreme Court decision, the 2012 election, the 2010 election and most recently, the government shutdown. The idea that Senate Democrats, who held strong against Republicans in the shutdown battle would suddenly drop this major victory as the spoils are starting to roll in because people are angry about coverage drops is laughable. So is Hayward’s claim that the House will want the Senate to go first on repeal and the Senate will do so (perhaps he missed the 40 or so times the House has voted to repeal Obamacare and the Senate ignored them).
There are probably people at Forbes who know that this is all really silly. They know their audience too, however—rich conservatives who want their opinions reinforced—and they will cater to them, no matter what the facts are.
Read More: 7 Reasons Why Obamacare Is Awesome