Shrewdly, his budget assumes the repeal of Obamacare — a huge political winner.
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But separate from the specific health impacts, the wisdom of Ryan’s assuming the repeal of Obamacare in his budget is that it forces anyone who is paying attention to recognize immediately that Obamacare is hugely, unaffordably expensive.
Imagine Paul Ryan facing a Democrat in conference over the budget:
Democrat: “Mr. Ryan, we need to keep Obamacare fully
Ryan: “OK, but that change adds $2 trillion dollars to our national debt over the next decade. How are you going to offset that to keep a budget that balances ten years from now?”
We know, and not just because President Obama told us last week, that he thinks deficits — and by extension our national debt — don’t matter. But they matter a lot to the American people, and every chance Paul Ryan has to make the left support endless spending and endless deficits is a chance to wake a few more Americans up to the inevitable financial debacle the nation faces if we stay on the Obama path. Highlighting the cost of Obamacare is a smart part of such a strategy.
Again, it is nearly shocking how many conservative or Republicans get in front of a microphone and have no understanding of the subtle brilliance of Ryan’s move. It is not just ideology. It’s good politics.
It would be one thing to criticize Ryan’s approach to Obamacare if the law were extremely popular, if it were working as the president claimed it would, and if there were broad acceptance, particularly in conservative circles, that this is a fight we have lost forever.
None of these is the case.
Obamacare and its impacts are unpopular: According to Rasmussen Reports, nearly twice as many Americans have a very unfavorable view of Obamacare as have a very favorable view of it. Fifty-four percent of likely voters expect the U.S. health care system will worsen over the next two years. Three quarters of us think the law will cost more than originally projected and most believe it will raise rather than lower costs. And nearly half of likely voters believe that Obamacare will do more economic damage than spending cuts. (It’s disappointing that it isn’t much more than half, since government spending cuts will likely help the economy outside of anything but the shortest-term analysis.)
Obamacare is having opposite impacts from those the president promised: Barack Obama famously assured us that his signature “achievement” would cause health insurance premiums to drop by $2500 per year for a typical family of four. Instead, just the opposite is happening, and insurance costs are skyrocketing across the country.
No rational person would have expected anything other than what is happening right now: there is no way that a combination of guaranteed issue and eliminating higher premiums for preexisting conditions could cause anything other than a dramatic price increase since it encourages people to wait until they get sick to buy insurance (a concept completely at odds with what insurance is supposed to mean, namely financial protection against unknown future risk).
Obamacare also adds many more patients to the system while discouraging doctors from taking new patients, and discouraging potential future doctors from entering medicine as a career. More demand for services, less supply of services. An eighth-grader could have told you what this would do to prices, but Obama remains clueless.
Even the dupes at CBO are now belatedly recognizing what Obamacare health insurance subsidies will cost, recently raising their estimate of the average annual subsidy to $5,510 from their original 2010 forecast of $3,970. In just over two years, their estimate for the per-subsidized person cost of Obamacare is up nearly 40 percent… which, probably not coincidentally, is just less than my family’s health insurance premiums have increased over that same time.
Separate from the numbers — though the jump in cost is painful to and noticed by average Americans — Obamacare is also costing jobs and hours worked for those fortunate enough to have jobs, particularly among lower-skilled and younger workers who often get jobs in retail and restaurants.
And we’re also learning that Obama’s promises “if you like your doctor, you can keep him” and “if you like your plan, you can keep it” were both lies. How will your typical American mom feel about Obamacare when she realizes that she now must wait longer and spend more for her child to see a doctor other than the doctor her family has been happy with for the past decade?
Attacking Obamacare is good politics and, perhaps the best indicator, good business: The ObamaCare Survival Guide remains in the top 100 books on Amazon.com, and number one in categories of social policy, health law, and health policy. It is also number 3 on the New York Times bestseller list for paperback advice books. Another book, Betsy McCaughey’s Beating Obamacare, ranks first through third in three different Amazon sub-categories. Note that these books are not about “Explaining” or “Understanding” Obamacare, but rather “Beating” and “Surviving” it.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?