Expect the Democrats to Exploit Obamacare’s Failures

Warren Albrecht | United States

In a telephone survey done by Monmouth University, 27% of those polled said that they or a household family member had avoided medical care because of cost. 20% of adults said that over the last 10 years, they did not pursue other jobs or forms of work due to concerns over losing medical insurance. In a piece by The Hill reviewing the poll, the writer discusses views of supporters and critics of Medicare for All but does not tackle the specifics.

Proponents of Medicare for All say that reducing this “job lock,” or the need to stay in a job to keep the employer-provided health insurance, is a benefit of government-run insurance. Opponents say people often like their employer-sponsored coverage and do not want to be forced to give it up.

You can see the narrative forming. The Democrats will push Medicare for All, essentially code for universal healthcare, because people are still having problems. The failure of Obamacare is not to be mentioned. Free market ideas thrown to the side in 2009 are not being evaluated by the press. Recent polls that show Obamacare’s failures will be used by the Democratic Presidential candidates throughout their campaigns in an attempt to push for Medicare for All.

The Ultimate Failure of Obamacare

When asked in the Monmouth University poll if healthcare costs have risen, the numbers are very similar to the same poll in 2017. Interestingly, for 44%, the costs have not changed. 46% said that costs have risen. Almost 80% stated that they have not had to pick between healthcare expenses and other needs. However, a clear 20% is having trouble. Indeed, 27% said that they have had to go without healthcare in the last 2 years. The decade-old Affordable Care Act is a failure that leaves 20% to 25% of the population with the poor ability to get healthcare.

In 2015, an article in Forbes reviewed specifics of how the numbers of those insured can be shuffled around to project the idea that the Affordable Care Act was a success. For example, the increase in numbers of insured counts those people who obtained insurance through employer-supported health insurance. This points to the slow recovery in the economy and the decrease in the jobless rate, not government healthcare marketplaces or Medicaid. It especially does not point to any suggestion that Medicare for All will be an improvement. In the Monmouth survey, respondents were asked about being able to pay household expenses, including rent, mortgage, groceries, or taxes. All answers were within the margin of error compared to the 2017 survey, though improvement was seen for all. This may go with economic improvement seen in recent years. A recent New York Times article tried to blame the Trump administration, but the number of individuals on Medicaid is falling.

More people may be getting insurance due to the fact that they are employed and not from Medicaid marketplaces. Or, since it is an expensive tax and not health care, they are waiting until a condition forces them to sign up. If economic factors and the job market is making Obamacare marketplaces obsolete, then why would politicians still push for more Medicare?

Medicare For All

There are many proposals already put together. This will be a main discussion throughout the 2020 presidential race. The proposals are anywhere from Bernie Sanders’ universal healthcare type, shutting down all insurance companies, to opening the insurance market place (expanding Obamacare) for anyone, which means all American residents. One can imagine the can of worms and political spin that will result in fighting over the definition of “anyone”. Some proposals hint at illegal immigrants having access.

At the recent California Democratic Convention, John Delaney, former Representative from Maryland and presidential hopeful, said Medicare for All is “actually not good policy nor is it good politics.” He then received scorn from fellow Democrats with booing from the crowd and from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeting that Delaney should just “sashay away”. Obviously, this will be a Democrat platform issue.

One should look at the facts behind the polls before they make any judgment on an issue. Democrats are sure to use recent polls as justification for their policies, despite the fact that these polls are the results of Obamacare and will not be fixed by an extension of it.

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