After Obamacare Fails, What Comes Next?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is going to fail.  The important questions are: 1) What will replace it, and 2) How much damage will it inflict upon us before it is replaced by whatever comes next?

Even Obama and his enablers do not really want Obamacare; they want a “Single-Payer” system.  It’s not a secret, or if it is, it isn’t a very good one.  They have stated publicly many times that “Single Payer” is what they really want.  They have also told us that they couldn’t get there in one step.



What they leave unsaid is that “Single Payer” is an accurate but intentionally inconspicuous way of saying: Totally-run-by-the-government socialized healthcare; in other words, it’s the antithesis of free markets.

Make no mistake, Socialized Health Care has been the Democrats’ goal all along, and Obamacare is just one or two steps short of getting us there.  So, when Obamacare becomes so dysfunctional that the nation cries for “steps to be taken,” in which direction will the next steps take us?

Imagine that we are on a path that is comprised of stepping stones.  If we take a step in one direction, we move closer to socialism.  If we move in the opposite direction, we move closer to free markets.  When we move towards one, we move away from the other.

There is no compromise; there is no “common ground.”  Since this doesn’t appear to be clear to some Republicans, I should note that merely slowing the rate of travel in the wrong direction is not common ground and should not be confused as a substitute for promoting stepping stones of our own that lead us in a better direction.  Finding “common ground” typically means that we have agreed to move farther from our destination yet spin it as a victory.

An interesting thing about this path towards socialism is that as the Democrats herd us from one stepping stone to the next and as the path gets farther from the solid ground that surrounds liberty, the stepping stones become increasingly less stable.  As stability decreases and as the stone upon which we stand begins to wobble and sink into the muck, the urgency to move to another stone increases.

Our health care system is rapidly deteriorating before our very eyes; Obamacare has quickly proven itself to be a disturbingly wobbly stone.  Soon there will be a great sense of urgency to jump to a more stable stone.  The Democrats have one ready: free health care.  They will demonize free markets and promote “single payer” (socialized health care) as the nearby stone on which to jump.  

So what stepping stone is the Establishment Republican Leadership preparing to offer the nation as an alternative to the Democrats’ final few steps into full-blown socialism?  Occasionally a Republican will throw out a good idea or two, but as far as formally organizing ideas into an actionable strategy, visible stepping stones to promote and rally behind, the Establishment Republican Leadership has been an intolerable failure.

Not since Gingrich’s “Contract with America” has the Republican Leadership organized or promoted, in a meaningful way, their own specific, visible, simple, and actionable stepping stones.  That was in 1994, and the Republicans had a wildly successful election victory that year.

It’s hard to beat something, even something bad, with nothing, but that appears to be the current Republican Leadership’s strategy.  Those Republicans are giddy with delight over the current discontentment with Obamacare, but they are not pressing their advantage.  If there was ever a time for the Republicans to present a specific and actionable alternative to the Democrat’s pathway towards socialism, now is the time.  If ever there was a time to contrast free markets with government-run programs, now is the time.  Instead, the Republican Leadership acts as if all they need to do is to let the dissatisfaction grow and that alone will be enough to sweep them to victory in the next election.

But maybe not; let’s take a closer look at what the Democrats are accomplishing right now.  Simply put, the Democrats’ strategy is to make health care so unaffordable that voters will jump at the opportunity to have the government pay for it.  The best way to make health care unaffordable is to wreak havoc with its free-market components.  The only tricky thing for the Democrats is to be the ones responsible for actively crippling the free markets while at the same time retaining the ability to blame free markets for not working well.

That is exactly what they have done.  For example, for years the government has given tax incentives to businesses but not to individuals to buy medical insurance.  There is no legitimate reason for artificially making it more expensive for individuals to buy medical insurance themselves and thus cheaper to obtain through their employer.  But by doing so the government has dramatically reduced demand for individual policies and thus decimated the free market offerings for individually purchased and controlled medical insurance. 

It is an obscenity to liberty and free markets that our government makes it more expensive for an individual to own his own medical policy, and cheaper if he turns control and responsibility over to a disinterested third party.  Without this deliberate destruction of the medical insurance markets most people would be able to buy and control their own medical insurance as they do their auto, home, and life insurance. The medical insurance market is the one that has been interfered with the most and it is the one in which dissatisfaction is the greatest.

Those engineering the nation’s transformation to socialism have been very clever; individuals turning over their personal health care responsibilities to their employers helps condition those individuals over time into viewing third-party control over their medical insurance as normal.

If a Democrat candidate’s platform in the next election was to socialize auto insurance, the idea would be rejected.  But if the Democrat Party had first, over years, decimated the individual auto insurance market, shifted control of it over to employers, and then made it unaffordable for either employers or individuals, well then, people would be receptive to the idea of government relieving them of their auto insurance responsibilities.
  
Obamacare takes this interference with medical insurance markets to a level at which those “markets” become completely dysfunctional.  To deflect blame away from themselves and to preemptively defeat attempts to redirect our nation back towards authentic free markets, Democrats use the term “market exchanges” within Obamacare in an attempt to give traditional free-market characteristics to a health care delivery system that is compulsory and clearly micromanaged by the government.

Democrats misappropriate economic terms such as “private companies,” “marketplace,” and “competition” in order to convey the false impression that these exchanges are free markets.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  These exchanges are anything but free or voluntary.  Virtually every component including products offered, prices charged, and profits allowed, is centrally controlled and micromanaged down to the smallest detail.  Obamacare regulations are over eleven million words and growing.  Customers are fined if they do not buy the products offered and private companies are directed in specific detail as to what products they may or may not offer.  Obama and Sebelius, outside of the legislative process, constantly and arbitrarily change the rules and dictate to everyone what they personally will or will not allow.  This is not a free market; this is the destruction of a free market.

Social engineers love a crisis.  Vladimir Lenin said, “The worse, the better.”  Obama’s past chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”  A corollary to that is if you don’t naturally have a crisis, create one.  That is precisely what Obamacare is doing; that is precisely what it was designed to do.

This last year many people lost their medical insurance; next year a whole lot more will.  When this self-inflicted crisis hits a critical mass, when millions find themselves without insurance or unable to afford the Obama-mandated policies, when the nation is in a general panic to find a solution, any solution, and when the nation is in distress and time is short the stage will have been set for Obama to push through the “solution” that he has wanted to implement all along: Government will take care of everything.

The Democrats will offer to bring everyone under the seemingly protective care of a benevolent government.  Complicated enrollment will be replaced by simple registration.  Issues of costs and affordability will dissipate as Obama graciously relieves us of our financial responsibilities.  The nation will once again be tempted to exchange liberty for another promise, another lie; Obama will magnanimously offer to bestow his gift of security upon us all. 

Republican politicians may soon be surprised to find that they aren’t running against a failed Obamacare, they’re running against free health care.

Picture a large number of voters panicked over the state of their health care.  If the choice is between voting for free health care versus voting for those who only offer to criticize free health care, it won’t be pretty for the Republicans, it won’t be pretty for our economy, and it won’t be pretty for those who need medical attention and now have to depend upon the benevolence of Obama, Sebelius, and their like to get the medical services that they were once able to secure for themselves.

The dirty little secret is that if authentic free market healthcare is destroyed not even the government will be able to afford the prices that will result.  Don’t kid yourself; there will be rationing, draconian and arbitrary rationing.

The Republican Leadership must not sit idly and allow this developing crisis organized by the Democrats to worsen.  Real people are being hurt; the strength, vitality, and liberty of our nation are being damaged.

The Republican Leadership whines that they are powerless to effect change until they control the Senate and the Presidency, yet they fail to formally communicate the specific actions that they would take if they were empowered by future elections.  Their chances of winning would dramatically increase if they gave voters something to eagerly vote for rather than merely something to begrudgingly vote against. 

This nation at its core believes in liberty and free markets.  This nation is eager to rally behind and support leadership that unabashedly articulates the values of liberty and competently outlines specific steps that need to be taken if we are to reverse our current course and begin our journey back towards authentic liberty.
 
Now is the time for the Republican Leadership to either earn their keep or be replaced.

For those of us who cherish liberty, for those of us confident in the magnificence of authentic free markets versus the horrors of centrally controlled economies, this is a battle that we must not lose; this is a battle that we are eager to fight; this is a battle that we can win.

Jack F. Huguelet
Email: JFHuguelet@comcast.net



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