Obamacare has been with us for over half a decade now. How is the law working? Not very well; terribly, in fact. It is a stupid law, one that was designed stupidly by people who were under the impression that they could craft a hopelessly complex piece of legislation, impose it onto 1/6th of the largest economy on the planet, and that things would go smoothly from then on out. Things have not gone smoothly. The law is very plainly a disaster and it is getting worse with each passing day, even though our impossibly vain president and the half-bright Democratic caucus insist otherwise. Meanwhile, next year is not looking up:
It’s looking like a lot of people are going to have little Obamacare choice next year.
One-third of the United States may have just a single insurer to pick from on Obamacare marketplaces in 2017, an analysis released Friday suggests.
Seven entire states are projected to have just one carrier in 2017: Alaska, Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming, according to research by the Avalere consultancy.
And more than half of the country, 55 percent, may end up having two or fewer insurers to choose from on those government-run exchanges, Avalere said.
“And there may be some sub-region counties where no plans are available,” a report by Avalere on its analysis found.
It is worth recalling the great and frenzied public debate that surrounded the drafting, passage and promotion of Obamacare. One side insisted that it would not work; the other side insisted that it would. The latter was clearly wrong and the former was clearly right: the law is not working, it never really worked all that much to begin with, and it will assuredly continue to get worse. Those of us who were opposed to Obamacare back then were derided for being short-sighted, inflexible, ignorant, unable to see outside of a “rigid ideology.” The vindication of the past six years has been bittersweet: we were right, we continue to be right, and all it’s costing us is the stability of the American health care industry and the health of our fellow Americans.
If I sound bitter, it’s because I am somewhat bitter. You should be a little bitter too. The American people have been had: we have been taken for a ride by a dimwitted political ideology that pulls its hair and shrieks and collapses into hysterics every time someone suggests, “Hey, perhaps the government really won’t be able to perform this massive, byzantine, recklessly slapdash undertaking all that well.” That is more or less how this embarrassing failure of a law was passed: by a screeching chorus of duplicitous con artists who hold your constitutional rights your livelihood and your well-being in utmost contempt. Nancy Pelosi doesn’t care about you; neither does Harry Reid; Barack Obama can barely mask his tired disdain for the American body politic, and it is obvious that he really cares not a whit if you lose your insurance or can’t purchase overpriced health care plans in his government-run marketplaces. These people don’t care. They just wanted to pass a stupid law, one that they thought would cement their otherwise-unremarkable and forgettable professional legacies. It does not matter to them if you can’t get health insurance. It does not matter to them if you’re left worse off because of their actions.
We are stuck with this law for a long time: certainly for the next four years, probably for well over the next decade at the very least. Maybe it will never go away. There is also the strong possibility that it will eventually be replaced by single-payer healthcare, a policy which has haunted the American progressive imagination for a century. I have argued before that there is at least tangential evidence that this law was designed deliberately poorly in order to facilitate a quicker and easier transition to a full government takeover of the health care industry. That may be the case. But the more likely possibility is this: Obamacare is just another law, designed by people who are not very intelligent, championed by people who don’t care about the deleterious outcomes of their policies, and foisted upon a public that will have to suffer under its consequences for years and years. This is America under the Affordable Care Act; this is where we live now.