Obamacare: What Is It About, Really?

LFU_PantsonFire_AshPile_vFLast July, President Obama declared that his signature legislation “is doing what it’s designed to do”, which, back then, was providing “more choices, better benefits, check rising costs.” Six months later, with millions of cancelled policies, unwanted benefits and higher costs, it’s impossible to believe Obama’s design claims. Not even the Government’s objectives can be so thwarted so quickly. It would give face planting right out of the blocks a much deeper meaning. Surely, the preternaturally disengaged Obama is not that removed from reality.

So, what is Obamacare actually intended to do? On December 20, faced with a 55% disapproval rating over false promises, the President told us that “the basic structure of the law is working.” By that he meant that millions of people are able to get insurance. Of course, by everyone’s measure, more than 250 million people already have insurance so Obama was obviously referring to those who were previously uninsured.

But, insuring more people can’t be Obamacare’s purpose, either. Any dummy can figure out at least a couple of simpler, cheaper and actually effective ways of meeting that goal. And then there’s the Administration’s sleight-of-hand exaggeration of the number of uninsured in this Country. Significantly hyping the stated reason for an act is usually done to mask the real motivation. When all of the figures are sorted out, there are relatively few uninsured people who prefer to have insurance. Certainly, there aren’t enough to require 2,000 pages of a law so convoluted that people outside of D.C. had no clue what was about to hit them.

What part of the President’s numbers are phony? Pretty much every part. Supporters love to say that Obamacare, with all of its worts, is desperately needed because fifteen percent of the Country is uninsured. That percentage translates to about 48 million people, which is a pretty big number. But, to begin with, 48 million is inflated by twenty-five percent as it includes twelve million illegal immigrants. It’s not the best PR play to use those folks as justification for the chaos and unfairness raining down on millions after Obamacare cancelled their policies. Not if Obama really wants immigration reform during his presidency.

Beyond that, forty percent of the 48 million uninsured are between the ages of 18 and 35 years. That group is the most pursued demographic for Obamacare funding – the young enlisted to pay more than their fair share to cover total healthcare costs. So, why are they doing double-duty as those who need the law’s protection? The Administration can’t honestly protect them as uninsured while simultaneously funding Obamacare on their wallets. But, honesty doesn’t seem to have a lot to do with it.

Obamacare also claims to provide insurance to the uninsurable. So far, not so good. The law has its own risk-pool program which was supposed to be a stop gap for the uninsurable between 2010 and 2014. The Administration forecasted 375,000 enrollees in the first year. Last March, two and one-half years after its debut, the program was suspended with huge cost overruns and less than 125,000 enrollees. Next year, uninsurable people will be able to purchase policies through the exchanges. Supposedly.

What is the number of uninsurable people in this Country? In 2001, an HHS survey found that one percent of the population is uninsurable. There is no reliable data to indicate that the percentage has increased over time. Today, one percent is about 3 million people. While they, of course, deserve insurance at reasonable rates, no one deserves Obamacare which has yet to demonstrate any semblance of reason.

Then there’s the problem of Obamacare being barely a zero sum game. According to the Congressional Budget Office, by 2022 there will be 30 million uninsured in the Country in spite of the President’s signature law. This means that the net gain after eight years will be, at most, six million people. This is the same number as those who lost their policies to Obamacare’s rules in just the past few months.

So, what is Obamacare’s raison d’être? Why make false promises on top of phony numbers that are all discoverable once the gears of the law begin to grind? Why risk the wrath of voters? The answer surely is the takeover of 1/6th of the economy.

The real signature achievement of the Obama years is formidable government expansion. Obama’s oft-repeated, “If Congress won’t act, I will”, has created federal regulations concerning jobs proposals, the debt ceiling, all areas of the economy, climate change, drug regulation, public lands and anything else he desires. Obamacare is undeniably the apex of that pursuit. Measured again that goal, the law’s messed up mechanics are far less important than the control it exerts over people’s lives.

But, Obamacare’s control is a sword that cuts both ways. If enough people continue to bleed from one side, its control may be lopped off by the other.