AJOC EDITORIAL: No fixing Obamachaos

The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona is a tiptoe through the tulips next to the stampede of Democrats fleeing the effects of their law known as Obamacare.

Tons of angry reality armed with razor-sharp hooves and horns is barreling toward Democrats in the form of millions of canceled policies, skyrocketing premiums and deductibles, lost network providers and what can only be described as the greatest website failure of all time.

Washington, D.C., is a funny place. Last month it was only the anarchist, arsonist, hostage-taking, racist, suicide bombers in the Republican Party who wanted to repeal or delay Obamacare.

Now blue state Democrats like Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire along with endangered red state Democrats like Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and our own Sen. Mark Begich are desperately trying to undo all the damage the law they rammed through is causing.

Damage, by the way, that has been predicted for years by those radical know-nothings in the tea party who tried every means at their disposal to save the country from this epic boondoggle while being rewarded for their foresight with ridicule heaped upon derision and defamation.

Unfortunately for the Democrats who must stand for reelection next year, putting powdered sugar on manure doesn’t make it a donut.

The “fixes” being proposed — from Landrieu’s “Keep your plan Act” to Begich’s proposal for a cheaper “Copper Plan” with lower premiums exchanged for higher deductibles — are only going to make the problem worse and throw millions of people as well as the insurance markets into further chaos.

Landrieu’s legislation is purely unworkable, and Begich’s ignores the reason why both premiums and deductibles are doubling and tripling for the young and healthy or otherwise previously insured through the individual market.

Under Obamacare, insurance companies are subject to price controls that limit the differences they can charge based on age, gender or health status. That means premiums must rise for the young and healthy to subsidize the risk for the older and sicker.

A lower premium for the former group as proposed by Begich will force the insurance companies into insolvency, because paying more out-of-pocket expenses under a higher deductible does nothing to subsidize the customers in the latter group for whom the insurers are being forced to cap prices.

Based on what we are seeing among the millions in the individual market, it is certainly easy to understand why President Obama unconstitutionally delayed the employer mandate until 2015. The maelstrom of criticism now doggedly dragging down the White House and its Congressional water-carriers will resemble the splashes of a kiddie pool in comparison.

Andrew Jensen can be reached at [email protected].

11/20/2013 - 4:02pm