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October 24, 2017

Obamacare Titanic Is Sinking; Republicans Look for a Pail to Bail


How many times do we have to see the policy equivalent of a movie about the Titanic to know what’s going to happen? Congress passes some huge new entitlement program, which members (mostly Democrats) claim will not only help millions of people, but is fiscally sustainable and won’t add to the federal debt. Heck, it might even spur economic growth and reduce the debt! 

And yet it sinks into financial chaos.  

When all of those promises turn out to be wrong a lie, as many predicted, members of Congress—led by Democrats but often with some Republican support—run to the rescue, throwing more taxpayer dollars at the program. Forever! 

That is a brief introduction to the Obamacare bailout legislation recently proposed by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray

They claim their bill will “stabilize” the individual health insurance market that Democrats assured voters they were improving when they passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010. 

That is not true. You cannot stabilize a system whose creators dismissed, even ridiculed, standard actuarial principles. You can only mask the financial instability by throwing more taxpayer dollars at it, which is what Alexander-Murray does. 

To put it another way, bailing water out of the Titanic doesn’t fix the problem causing the boat to sink. It only postpones the inevitable, depending on how fast one bails. 

Apparently several Republican senators are ready to join virtually every Democrat in the Senate (and House) to pick up a pail and start bailing. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has appeared cool to the legislation, but said he would likely bring it to the Senate floor if President Trump supports it. 

The media have accused the president of flip-flopping, claiming he supported Alexander-Murray before reversing himself. Fake news! 

While the president encouraged Alexander to move forward when the bill was in the process, he said in return he wanted significant additions to state flexibility, among other things. But the final product does not provide that flexibility, and Democrats wouldn’t support it if it did. Which means that the Alexander-Murray bill is just an Obamacare bailout. 

Everyone knows how the Titanic ended, and yet leftists keep trying to pass more policy Titanics. 

We don’t expect that Democrats have learned anything from this public policy disaster; but we hope Republicans have. Better to let the Obamacare Titanic sink.


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