Young people are already burdened. They are struggling to find full-time jobs, paying off student loans and raising children. Often, they are helping to care for their aging parents. Their paychecks are already docked for Social Security and Medicare, and now their health care premiums and/or deductibles will rise as well. Many of the benefits (if we ever get that far) will flow to those close to retirement.
This assumes that Obamacare will survive the next several months. If the website is not repaired soon, as Yuval Levin explained in National Review, the health insurance “death spiral” will result in larger numbers of sick than well subscribers. Insurers will be forced to raise premiums, which will, in turn, drive out even more healthy people, leading to higher premiums and then to insolvency.
Some on the right, foreseeing the failure of Obamacare, have argued that it was all part of a diabolical plan by the Democrats to achieve what they’ve always really wanted: single-payer.
It’s true that single-payer is their goal, but after witnessing the debacle of Obamacare, will voters be willing to trust the Democrats when they say, “And now for another huge new entitlement program. Motto: This time, it won’t crash”?
Rather than engaging in purification rituals among themselves, Republicans’ most crucial job in the coming months is to present a coherent alternative to Obamacare — one that deals with the problem of pre-existing conditions, increases competition, encourages personal responsibility (by, for example, permitting lower premiums for those with healthy habits), and cuts through the Gordian knot of health care regulation.
Let’s adopt Rahm Emanuel’s thinking and not allow the Obamacare crisis to go to waste.