The Coming Health Care Policy Quagmire?

I might be open to the belief that Barack Obama’s presidency heralded and heralds “a liberal moment” similar to the “conservative moment” that led to and was reinforced by the presidency of Ronald Reagan. But that doesn’t mean the Obama coalition is not vulnerable and cannot be broken up early in its lifetime. I mean, after all, imagine what might happen to the coalition if Shikha Dalmia turns out to be right:

Not even the most ardent defenders of Obamacare — aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — claim anymore that the law will lower health coverage costs for Americans. How, then, will it achieve universal coverage, its central goal?

The short answer is, it won’t.

Last week, major insurers warned of double-digit premium hikes for small businesses and individuals when Obamacare goes into effect next year. Likewise, the nonpartisan Society of Actuaries this week estimated that costs to insurers that provide coverage to individuals will rise 32 percent on average within the first three years of the law, with premium increases sure to follow.

Similar analyses last year had already forced MIT’s Jonathan Gruber to admit that his projections that the law would lower premiums for young and old alike were wrong — even though his projections were instrumental in securing Obamacare’s passage. Gruber’s revised estimates now show that even the least affected states, such as Colorado, will experience premium hikes of nearly 20 percent by 2016.

Clearly, the word “affordable” should be scratched from the law for the sake of truth in advertising. But what about the “protection” part — namely, universal coverage?

That too is a lie.

Read the whole thing. I am, of course, rooting for Shikha Dalmia to be wrong; if she is right, the lives and health care of millions of Americans could and will be compromised. But we cannot afford to ignore the significant structural flaws inherent in Obamacare, or the massively deleterious consequences of implementing those flaws.

And as I never tire of stating/asking, wouldn’t it have been nice if we learned about those flaws by finding out about the contents of the Patient Protection (Ha!) and Affordable (Ha!) Care (Ha!) Act? You know, like we do with other pieces of legislation?

Alas, as we all too easily recall, some people had other ideas about how best to master the substance of the bill: