Obamacare: Pride Goeth Before a Fall

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

An overriding law governs the results of the legislative process, but it wasn’t passed by a legislature, signed by an executive or reviewed in the courts. Enforcement is simple: The Law is self-policing.

Politicians avoid mentioning the Law of Unintended Consequences, because they wish to be rewarded for good intentions, not judged by the quality of their results.

Spontaneous enforcement of this axiom always startles politicians and their supporters who, despite numerous examples of its application, appear to remain unaware of the Law and of its indifference to their smug, self-important certainty.

The arc of the oblivious is long, but it always bends to bewilderment – and, inevitably, angry, hubristic denials of the unintended consequences of their pet programs.

Unread, never debated, long on promises but short on forethought, Obamacare, a program most Americans don’t want, the nation cannot afford, over which Democratic politicians have lost jobs and from which liberal constituencies seek exemptions, is Exhibits A through Z of the immutability of the Law of Unintended Consequences and the stubborn denials of Obamacare’s enactors and defenders.

Among other things, Americans were promised that millions of low-income citizens would receive coverage; workers at small businesses would get immediate choices of insurance plans; an employer mandate would provide coverage right away; states would create insurance marketplaces; and everyone having coverage would be able to keep it.

But, after three-and-one-half years to get it right, millions won’t be covered, workers won’t have promised choices, the employer mandate was (unlawfully) delayed, many states have (legally) declined to create marketplaces and preferred coverage will be lost by millions.

The administration has granted more than 1,400 arguably-unlawful waivers for politically-favored organizations among its liberal constituencies and special interests, and Congress, including the Democrats which imposed Obamacare on regular Americans, will receive a special deal holding them harmless from the economic impact Obamacare will have on the rest of us.

Obama promised that the law would reduce the deficit. It won’t.

Instead of "bending down the cost curve," as the president insists, the administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now reports that "[Obamacare] is projected to . . . increase cumulative spending by roughly $621 billion" from 2014 to 2022."

That’s spending on top of normal health-care inflation anticipated without Obamacare.

Workers suffer. Obamacare taxes and penalties have incentivized employers to switch to part-time workers rather than keep or hire full-time employees or to go or stay below Obamacare’s fifty-employee threshold.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the software meant to enable individual enrollment beginning October 1 doesn’t work.

USA Today reported insurance and health care analysts as saying "A so-called ‘family glitch’ in the 2010 health care law threatens to cost some families thousands of dollars in health insurance costs and leave up to 500,000 children without coverage. … the Kaiser Family Foundation said an average plan for an individual is about $5,600, but it goes up to $15,700 for families."

In perhaps its most ironic consequence, liberals who enacted or originally supported Obamacare don’t like or trust a program they’ve coveted for more than fifty years. Obama-backing unions have figured out that that their health coverage is threatened, and that the monstrosity will hit even the people it was supposed to help.

After decades of advocating some form of national health care, organized labor has finally "discovered" enough problems in Obamacare to publicly object.

Recently, labor leaders met at the White House to demand changes to the law which, as written, would leave lower-income workers ineligible for subsidies they were supposed to receive and outlaw union-negotiated Cadillac multi-employer plans. Some unions have urged repealing the law if it can’t be fixed.
It can’t be. Obamacare is too flawed to fix.

Considering its many formidable problems, why aren’t Obamacare’s enactors and supporters being made to explain how they got it so wrong?

And, since Obamacare is now known to hurt Americans it was intended to help, why do the president and congressional Democrats insist that we implement it immediately, incompletely and inequitably – or at all?

In that context, consider Obamacare’s potentially greatest accidental outcome: As Jeff Greenfield put it, "[D]elays, unintended consequences and bureaucratic snafus could make Obama’s signature domestic achievement a nightmare that haunts the rest of his presidency."

And fixes Obama’s legacy forever.

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." – Proverbs 16:18