• Three Obamacare Myths That Refuse To Die - There was never any "market-

    From Ubiquitous@21:1/5 to All on Fri Jul 19 21:05:04 2019
    XPost: alt.politics.obama, alt.politics.usa, alt.tv.pol-incorrect
    XPost: alt.politics.democrats

    Every time the question of Obamacare’s constitutionality comes up, we
    hear a lot of noise about how conservatives intend to ”strip” health
    care from millions of Americans, a lot about how Republicans are
    committing political suicide, and a lot of historical revisionism. Take
    these comments from David Weigel of the Washington Post, which
    summarize a number of Democrat talking points neatly.

    “You can dream up some lawsuit against Medicare itself, sure, but every
    legal attack on the ACA has focused on the parts designed to make it a market-friendly compromise,” he tweeted. “This is why a lot of Dems
    (and Rs) think that if the hail mary Texas lawsuit succeeds — if the
    ACA is torn up by judges on a technicality — the ‘just fix it’ era is
    over. Democrats will have learned that compromise doesn’t work and run
    on single-payer.”

    For one thing, in the end, Democrats didn’t “compromise” on Obamacare.
    The passing of Obamacare frayed our contemporary political order in
    ways from which we have yet to recover. For the first time in history,
    a major political party pushed through a national reform of the economy
    without any buy-in from half the nation. And since its passage,
    Democrats have demanded that Republicans help “fix it.”

    Put it this way: If George W. Bush and the Republicans had used every procedural tool to unilaterally jam through partisan legislation that “privatized” the Social Security system, there would be zero
    expectation that Democrats should help Republicans fix it.

    And no Republican could vote for Obamacare, because there’s wasn’t a
    single genuine conservative proposal that made it palatable (even if
    Democrats insist that an idea hatched in the Heritage Foundation in the
    late 1980s is consecrated GOP policy.) Not even moderate senators from
    Maine, not John McCain, not one Republican, would go for it. And these
    were politicians who would often cross party lines.

    They couldn’t do it because the imaginary liberal concessions consisted
    of little more than worthless bipartisan hearings, roundtables, and platidunious letters that the media dutifully framed as Obama’s
    willingness to deal.

    In his big let’s-get-this-done speech in September 2009, Obama reached
    out to Republicans by promising to maybe shelve the “public option” in
    state marketplaces (already opposed by a number of now-extinct Blue Dog
    Dems) and maybe include a small-scale trial program for medical
    malpractice lawsuit restriction (which liberals had already basically
    put the kibosh on). The supposed Obamacare compromise, conveniently
    enough, was Obamacare’s very existence. It was this or single payer.

    Even back then, the left’s internal health-care debate rested atop the
    notion that American voters had not yet evolved to where they could
    accept the superior morality of socialized medicine. Even these days,
    folks like Paul Krugman support single payer while also conceding that
    it “just isn’t a political possibility.” Obama, who was a single-payer
    advocate when he ran for the presidency, essentially acknowledged the
    strategy when he tacitly endorsed a plan that would rid the country of
    his signature achievement.

    In any event, in the real world, the only negotiations that mattered
    were between liberals who were worried about capturing votes needed to
    pass Obamacare—and any bill that placed health-care spending under
    government management was the kind of incrementalism Democrats could support—and moderate members who were worried that their careers would
    be destroyed if they backed anything approximating socialized health

    No one was passing a single payer plan in 2010. The only legislative
    debate was between two wings of the same party. The idea that Democrats
    have spent any time searching for common ground on health care policy
    is absurd. If they wanted to fix it, they would try and build consensus
    and start from scratch.

    Secondly, there is no “market-friendly” aspect of Obamacare. I can’t
    really conceive of anything less “market friendly” than forcing people
    to buy things.

    But if I were compelled to come up with some ideas, I’d probably start
    with a plan that mandates exactly what rent-seeking corporations would
    sell my captured “consumers.” Obamacare doesn’t only force Americans to
    buy a product, it tells businesses what that product must look like.
    And those government-approved plans are larded with expensive coverage
    that social engineers, not consumers, have determined Americans need.

    That is to say, every Republican lawsuit against Obamacare would have
    made health-insurance more market-friendly. Although one supposes
    people who believe that contrived price-fixed government-subsidized
    state “exchanges” are healthy capitalistic ventures have a different
    definition of what “market friendly” means. Maybe it means anything
    that doesn’t through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    Finally, the individual mandate isn’t a “technicality.” Democrats have
    always belittled Republican challenges to Obamacare as quixotic long-
    shot partisan ploys. Yet a number of them have been successful,
    including a suit that found “cost sharing reduction” payments—designed,
    like most of the law, to hide the cost of Obamacare by shifting cost to taxpayers while bribing insurance giants to participate—to be
    unconstitutional. Obama, as his wont, simply ignored the courts.

    If anything, in fact, it was the Affordable Care Act that was saved on
    a “technicality.” As Erin Hawley reminds us in The Federalist, in NFIB
    v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court rescued Obamacare by changing the
    meaning of the individual mandate’s “penalty” to a “tax.” Yet, even in
    that closely contested decision, “the essential feature” of a tax is
    that “it produces at least some revenue for the Government.”

    There is no revenue from the individual mandate anymore. Obamacare, we
    were told at the time, could only function with an individual mandate.
    How is it working now?

    Even today, reporters struggle to perpetuate the individual mandate
    sham. We recently learned, for example, that “Biden vows to bring back Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty for not having insurance.”

    The severability question is an important one, but in many ways the
    broader fight over the individual mandate is at the heart of competing
    visions of governance. One philosophy rests on the notion that the
    state should able to compel citizens to buy things the government tells
    them are for the common good, and the other on the idea that markets
    and individual choice are most effective way to lower costs and improve

    Progressive, of course, have never been able to explain what governing principle they believe stops the state from forcing individuals to
    purchase whatever politicians deem important enough. That’s probably
    because their governing principles are predicated on whatever moves
    their policy goals forward.

    Watching Democrats come up with schemes to "catch Trump" is like
    watching Wile E. Coyote trying to catch Road Runner.

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