When it comes to the death of Obamacare, Obama hasn’t been cycling through the five stages of grief very well.
As premiums skyrocket (but not as much as deductibles – the cost to actually use insurance), his promise to save the average household $2,500 a year clearly turned out to be a lie. There were no savings – and you didn’t even get to keep your plan if you liked it.
And even as over half of all Obamacare exchanges have failed, Obama is still in the denial phase, and that’s on full display when it comes to his latest defense of his signature healthcare law.
President Barack Obama touted his signature health care law on Thursday as a big, “first step” forward in health reform — likening it to a “starter home.”
“I have always said that for all the good the Affordable Care Act is doing right now, for as big of a step forward as it was, it’s still just a first step,” Obama said while defending his law to a crowd at Miami Dade College. “It’s like buying a starter home. It’s a lot better than not having a home. But over time, you hope you can make some improvements.”
Obamacare has expanded coverage to 20 million Americans and has helped drive the insurance rate to a historic low of 8.6 percent. But the law has raised concerns in recent months as some insurers have pulled out of the marketplaces, causing premiums to spike next year, some in excess of 50 percent in certain states.
The “20 million” statistic is a bit misleading when the average Bronze plan carries a deductible of $5,731, and $3,117 for Silver plans. It’s health insurance in name only for many of those on such high deductible plans.
The law, which has been a fixture in the presidential and congressional elections, has drawn criticism from Democrats in recent weeks, including former President Bill Clinton and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton who have raised issues around affordability for middle-class Americans who don’t qualify for Medicaid or health subsidies. Obama has acknowledged affordability concerns and said Republicans in Congress need to “set politics aside” and get on board to address those issues.
“Just because a lot of the Republican criticism has been proven to be false and politically motivated, doesn’t mean there aren’t some legitimate concerns about how the law is working now,” Obama said.
Ever notice that it’s liberal policies that are always in need of reform, whether it be the need for education reform, healthcare reform, or tax reform? It’s because they’re looking for government to solve problems the government created in the first place (which is a perfect strategy to create a demand for more government, admittedly).
Obama is still pressing for gun control, which should serve as evidence that the gun control measures he has managed to pass (through executive orders) haven’t worked. When he’s looking for even more government intervention in healthcare, it’s a sign that Obamacare hasn’t worked.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]