RightWing.org) – In 2018, Democrats made healthcare the number one issue on the ballot, and it worked. During Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, they once again made ObamaCare a central theme. They claimed President Obama’s signature achievement was making healthcare affordable and accessible, in spite of facts to the contrary.
Obamacare was sold to the country as the means to make private health insurance affordable for those who didn’t have employer-based insurance plans. It also expanded Medicaid to more lower-income Americans. It’s primary components to make it affordable were taxes, regulations, and the highly-unpopular individual mandate.
Why Are Democrats Making Hay With ObamaCare?
While Democrats make hay of healthcare, ObamaCare itself is still deeply divisive. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 55% of Americans approve of it, and 39% disapprove.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Affordable Care Act has not delivered as promised. In fact, the agency says that the legislation failed to deliver affordable healthcare and created a new class of uninsured Americans.
In short, it never dealt with the underlying problems that cause healthcare and insurance costs to rise. Between 2013 and 2017, HHS said health insurance premiums on Healthcare.gov doubled, and premiums jumped another 26% in 2018. From 2016 to 2018, unsubsidized enrollment dropped by 2.5 million people.
Approximately 164 million Americans under the age of 65 get their insurance through an employer. Approximately 20 million people are insured through an Obamacare plan, and between 7.5 million to 8 million bought insurance on Healthcare.gov or through a state exchange. The majority, 12.6 million people, are on the Medicaid expansion program that is free.
Why Are Subsidies Important?
If one is self-employed or doesn’t have employer-based insurance, health insurance is costly. CMS says that a 60-year old couple living in Nebraska who makes $70,000 per year will have a premium of $38,000. Add in another $11,100 in out-of-pocket expenses, and the couple is paying $49,100 per year.
Across America, Obamacare did not deliver on its promises, especially for those in the middle class who don’t have employer-based insurance or don’t qualify for government subsidies because they make too much money.
Once again, the government is forcing people to pick between dependency on the government and betting on themselves over the long term, hoping something tragic doesn’t happen.
Why Is ObamaCare at the Supreme Court?
Texas filed suit in 2018 after the 2017 tax law ended the individual mandate. Why? If Democrats were fortunate enough to win the House, Senate, and presidency, they could undo the tax legislation that set the individual tax mandate at $0.
If the Supreme Court rules that the original requirement is unconstitutional, Congress can’t violate that order in the future.
There is another potential reason the Trump administration is supporting the legislation despite not having a plan of their own at this point. Republicans don’t have the majority of the House and only a slim majority in the Senate. They would need help from Democrats to pass new legislation, and that’s dead on arrival.
However, if the Supreme Court nullifies the mandate, and Trump wins re-election, it could force Democrats to the table to negotiate a better health insurance program.
It’s About Pride and Votes
Democrats risked much to pass ObamaCare in 2010. They played the long game, betting that people wouldn’t want it to go away once Americans adjusted to the government program. They were both right and wrong.
The reality is all of the talk about preserving ObamaCare is a red herring. Democrats know they will have to work with Republicans in the future or risk another backlash similar to when Republicans won the House due to ObamaCare with historical numbers in 2012. Nonetheless, it’s politically expedient with a public who hears they will lose their healthcare if Democrats don’t control the levers of power.
Democrats are banking on people not having the facts and Republicans who get so deep in the weeds that they only confuse the public more.
The reality is demonizing and fear-mongering works.
That’s why you’re hearing Democrats talk about people losing healthcare, despite ObamaCare’s colossal failure that affects approximately 20 million Americans out of the approximately 325 million.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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