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View Diary: Conservative scholar: Obamacare sabotage 'unprecedented and contemptible' (192 comments)

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  •  Truly worried about the fate of Obamacare (9+ / 0-)

    the last hope is that the law becomes more popular after people start getting coverage via the exchanges and Medicaid expansion next year.

    But if it doesn't?  I just don't see how an unpopular law can succeed.  The blame is mostly on Republicans for doing everything in their power to make the law unpopular, by spreading disinformation and lies about the law, by sabotaging its implementation, and everything else you can think of to make it fail.

    However, what can't be ignored is the very complexity of the law itself.  People simply don't get it, even though they approve of its individual pieces.  While the law as a whole might constitute good public policy, in the end it's possible anything of this scale and complexity would never gain acceptance from the American people.

    It reminds me somewhat of the National Recovery Administration from the New Deal, a program that had many good intentions and did many good things from getting industries to pass codes that stopped child labor and implemented minimum wages and hours, to nominally endorsing the right of workers to organize, to allowing industries to coordinate on efforts to halt cutthroat competition and overproduction that many at the time felt was at least somewhat responsible for the Depression.  

    But NRA was just so large and complex that the American people could never understand it completely, and since they couldn't understand it in the end they couldn't trust it.  It was eventually struck down by the Supreme Court on Black Monday, but by then the NRA was already very unpopular.  

    I believe the ACA is a better law than the NRA was for the simple fact that NRA was largely enforced not by the federal government itself but by code authorities, which were essentially trade associations consisting of representatives of the industries the NRA codes were to govern.  The result was that codes were selectively or leniently enforced, and in the case of 7(a) hardly enforced at all, which is why the Wagner Act became necessary.  In addition, the NRA sanctioned what was de facto cartelization of whole industries, which only accelerated business consolidation.

    But it's possible the ACA may suffer from the same fatal flaw that doomed the NRA, which is that it is just too big and complex for the American people to get behind.  At least Social Security and Medicare were fairly straightforward - government provides old age pensions and health insurance to old people.

    But with Obamacare, you have health exchanges where you buy private insurance for which you are provided subsidies, and you have to select from a whole range of plans from gold to silver to bronze, and different income levels get different levels of subsidies, but if you make 133% of poverty or less you get Medicaid, except that some states are not expanding Medicaid, and everyone has to purchase or have some kind of insurance, in addition it ends preexisting conditions and imposes 80-20 requirements on private insurers, not to mention it's funded by increasing the payroll tax on Medicare for some rich people and (eventually) by taxing very generous insurance plans, and...well you get the idea.

    Like I said, doesn't mean ACA isn't good legislation.  But in a country with such a strong , almost paranoid distrust of government, and with short attention span such as ours, from a political standpoint perhaps a law of such magnitude and complexity with so many moving parts simply cannot succeed with the American people.

    You throw in a nihilistic opposition driven by racially and culturally-based resentment against the poor, such as we have not seen in this country since the Civil War, during a time of such economic dislocation, and in collaboration with a ruthless, completely unscrupulous business and financial community with almost limitless financial resources, and you see just why the ACA is encountering such struggles.

    Hopefully I'm wrong and the law will become more popular as people start getting covered by it.  I have family members who will get insured from this law next year, so it means quite a bit to them and thus to me.  But I can't say I'm not worried.

    "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

    by puakev on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:21:08 PM PDT

    •  I think there will be implementation issues (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      puakev, slothlax, caul, Mr MadAsHell, eps62

      (even w/o obstruction) and the GOP is going to pounce on those as evidence the law is not working.

      But yeah, a lot of people are counting on this working, including myself and a near relative, who are both on incredibly expensive and sucky HIPAA plans. The people who buy these are segregated into a different insurance pool that tends to contain older and sicker people, because if they weren't in that category they would qualify for a regular plan. All that goes away with ACA (because they can't discriminate based on pre-existing conditions) and premiums for those folks will drop by half or more next year. So I really hope it works and it doesn't get thrown out the window by some future administration.

      •  Obamacare will never be repealed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        No major new benefit ever has been. They could chip away at it indirectly, and change some of the details, but the core program will be around forever. As Ike said about Social Security, any party that tries to get rid of it is doomed. All these "repeal" votes are purely political, for show, shadowboxing for the base and each other, like in a street gang.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:43:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If Republicans had supported the law after it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      puakev, eps62

      was passed and deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court, the law would not be unpopular.  It is mostly unpopular because Republicans have told so many ridiculous lies about it.  We just had an full page opinion piece in the Cincinnati Enquirer a few days ago with the whole death panel pack of lies.

      How popular would Budweiser be if an opposing beer company was allowed to run ads and go on talk shows claiming it was full of rat droppings, makes you fat, and causes cancer?  We have laws for truth in advertising, but none for truth in politics.

      “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

      by ahumbleopinion on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 07:27:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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