Crawling From The Wreckage

By every rational measure, Obamacare is a complete failure – a fraternity-rush-week of terrible assumptions and economic ignorance that have turned a sixth of this nation’s economy into a hapless dumpster fire.

Kevin Williamson takes stock of the failures – and, in this notable passage, breaks down the “why” of how we got here:

The architects of Obamacare are deeply distrustful of the role of for-profit companies in the health-care business because, in their nearly pristine ignorance, they falsely believe profits to be net deductions from the sum of the public good rather than measures of the creation of real social value. So they created incentives to set up co-ops, nonprofit enterprises that would administer Obamacare plans in particular states and jurisdictions. It was obvious from the beginning that if Obamacare’s perverse incentives created insurance pools that were older and sicker rather than younger and healthier, these co-ops wouldn’t be economically viable: You need lots of young, healthy insurance subscribers to offset the costs associated with your older, sicker subscribers. Many of us — myself included — assumed that the federal government under President Obama would simply write these co-ops huge checks to keep them afloat. We were half right: The government is writing them huge checks, but they are failing anyway, so fundamental is their economic unsustainability. Half of the co-ops have gone belly-up already, including large, prominent, splendidly subsidized ones in Kentucky, New York, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Hundreds of thousands of customers have lost their coverage as a result. Hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money has been poured into these enterprises, to no avail. Almost all of Obamacare’s basic promises have failed, it is an economic shambles, and it is a political mess .


Obamacare’s partisans were confronted with the economic facts long before the law was even passed, and their answer was: “Never mind the economics, we’re the good guys, and you want poor people to die.” Democrats argued that Republicans literally wanted to kill poor people, that their plan was for the poor to “die quickly.” This is a habitual mode of discourse among progressives: Reality doesn’t matter; only the purity of Democrats’ motives matters. Obamacare is what it is: Another damned five-year plan based on wishful thinking and very little else.

Read the whole thing.

And if you haven’t read Williamson’s The End Is Near, And It’s Going To Be Awesome, get out to Amazon and do it.  Now.

11 thoughts on “Crawling From The Wreckage

  1. Lately I’ve read Lefty pundits arguing that Obamacare is a success because by many measures ‘more people have access to healthcare”, or “America’s uninsured have dropped by x million of people.”
    These are false measures of success, and the shows how weak the pro-success arguments are.
    -Many of the people with new ‘access to healthcare’ are on medicaid. Medicaid is not an insurance program anymore than medicare is an insurance program. It’s an entitlement.
    -Many of the newly insured are only insured because they are mandated to do so.
    If the feds wanted to put more electric cars on the road, and they did this by ordering companies to build more electric cars, then gave millions away to poor people and forced others to buy them at their own expense, would you say call this a successful program?

  2. My premiums are going up 31% as of 01/01/2016. And I didn’t use my insurance once over the past year.

  3. Oh, but due to Obamacare, I am insured for pregnancy, mental health issues, and some in home care. Things I neither want nor need.

  4. I don’t think that they will pay for a sex change, Chuck, but I think you can get hormone shots gratis.

  5. PB, they already order companies to build more electric, and hybrid, vehicles and pay consumers to buy them. Even with the subsidies, the cars are more expensive and often have considerable drawbacks, yet it’s a surprise that government sales targets aren’t met. We’re then blamed for our lack of enlightenment.
    Is healthcare really all that different?

  6. I see in yesterday’s Star&Sickle that MNSure admin’s are in an uproar about a GOP rep who says they shouldn’t get millions more from the fed to fix Dayton’s folly.

    It’s been what, three years? We’ve built spacecraft in less time.

    I’m no longer living in MN….why should I still on the hook to cover the continuing debacle of Minnesota’s drug addled Governor?

  7. I was underemployed last year and a bit short of cash, so thought I’d swallow my pride and sign up for MNSure insurance. I couldn’t get their web site to work on my computer no matter which internet browser I used. So fine, I’ll purchase my own insurance and get the tax deduction. But it turns out you don’t get the tax deduction unless you sign up for insurance via the MNSure web site, which doesn’t work. And how much did they spend on this thing just so the DFL can say “Look, we did it. Isn’t Obamacare great!”.
    There’s a professionally produced YouTube video out there poking fun at Oregon for how many millions they wasted on their version of MNSure. Its pretty good.

  8. Should add…..I had zero issues working on the web sites of the various private insurance companies. They all worked great on my computer. Just MNSure’s didn’t.
    And the Bernie Sanders crowd says socialism is great. That the gov’t can do anything. Trying to get into MNSure is like trying to by bread in communist Russia.

  9. SmithStCroix wrote:
    PB, they already order companies to build more electric, and hybrid, vehicles and pay consumers to buy them.
    Ah, but the goal of the electric car subsidies program was to get more e-cars and hybrids on the road.
    Obamacare’s goals were much more ambitious than simply padding the rolls of people with an insurance or medicaid card. We were told it would slow the rate of cost increase, literally put money in the pockets of people who were already insured, decrease bankruptcy due to medical bills, and, of course, you could keep your existing doctor and health plan.
    The only talking point they have left is the ‘more people with access to healthcare’ because they can mandate that.

  10. “The only talking point they have left is the ‘more people with access to healthcare’ …”

    Which is, of course, complete and utter BS. Obamacare didn’t grant anyone access to more health care than they had all along. Thanks to Obamacare, moochers now have a piece of paper they cannot afford to make any use of. They always went to ER to detox, or get their gunshot and knife wounds tended to and that’s where they go today.

    But it DID force some people who were already insured to pay more for less useful coverage.

    All Obamacare did was provide opportunities for public union membership for the bottom decile of Computer Science grads, thereby robbing Best Buy of the talent pool available for it’s Geek Squad.

  11. Minnesota government will blame all MNsure problems on vendors, regardless of the “who” who chose the vendor or the “who” who told the vendor “what” to build.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.