My New Op-Ed: The Forgotten Man of Obamacare

October 29th, 2013

I published a new Op-Ed in the Daily Caller titled “The Forgotten Man of Obamacare.” Here is the intro:

Under Obamacare there are winners and losers. The clear winners — the ones the president talks about the most — will be those who need it most. People who are sick, those with pre-existing conditions, those who are poor, those who could not afford insurance beforehand, adults under the age of 26 and want to remain on their parents’ plans, and other groups.

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act should not diminish, or disregard the important benefits for those who are helped. But as the law is implemented, we are beginning to appreciate the full scope of the losers of Obamacare. These are the forgotten men and women of Obamacare.

Please read till the end. In my conclusion I stress that having these winners and losers is not necessarily a bad thing (I think it is), but it was not how the law was sold. The national conversation in 2008 was not premised on these facts. In fact, we were told the exact opposite–everyone would win. I question who would believe such hokey and change.

Maybe our collective empathy for the plight of those helped by the law should reduce our concerns for the middle-class. Perhaps that would have been an important national debate to have had in 2010, or during the 2008 election. But Americans never had the conversation that would sanction such a radical transformation of our society. Arguably, we had the conversation in the early 1990s with HillaryCare, and the American people spoke decisively against it.

Obamacare was sold to the American people with the promise of helping both groups. In addition to promising that the poor and sick would be helped, everyone else was promised that they could keep their doctors. They were promised that health care costs would go down. They were promised that there would be no new taxes (the administration reversed this position as soon as the litigation began to defend Obamacare’s constitutionality). None of these things proved to be true.

Had the full picture of this law been understood back in 2010 — the impact on both the winners and losers — rather than the sugarcoated version rammed through Congress on a straight party-line vote, it is doubtful the law would have ever been passed.

But now, we are stuck with Obamacare, and its 2010 veneer is quickly decaying into its 2014 reality.