Obamacare’s Moving Goalposts

by Charles C. W. Cooke

What do you do when your predictions turn out to have been thoroughly wrong and your promises are exposed as lies?

Why, you move the goalposts of course!

Obamacare, the data shows, is making healthcare premiums more expensive. This was wholly predictable — and wholly predicted. This is also precisely the opposite of what the president said would happen.

Not that you’d know it from the coverage. Obama acolyte, Ezra Klein, seems to think that its pretty obvious that premiums would rise:

Some people will find the new rules make insurance more expensive. That’s in part because their health insurance was made cheap by turning away sick people. The new rules also won’t allow for as much discrimination based on age or gender. The flip side of that, of course, is that many will suddenly find their health insurance is much cheaper, or they will find that, for the first time, they’re not turned away when they try to buy health insurance.

That’s why the law is expected to insure almost 25 million people in the first decade: It makes health insurance affordable and accessible to millions who couldn’t get it before. To judge it from a baseline that leaves them out — a baseline that asks only what the wealthy and healthy will pay and ignores the benefits to the poor, the sick, the old, and women — well, that is a bit shocking.

No, it’s not. What is “a bit shocking” is that when one points out that Obamacare is doing exactly what its critics said it would – and that the president’s promise was always a risible joke – the counter is now, “but it’s worth it anyway.” Or, “but Obamacare reduces healthcare costs for people who didn’t have insurance!” Or, “it was unfair for people to have low premiums on the basis that others were kept out of the market.” Or, “why do you want people to die?” No admission that the promise was broken. No reconsideration. No acknowledgement that there is a problem. Nothing, just full-throated support.

If the Left wants, we can argue about the merits of having an Obamacare program that raises premiums and comes nowhere close to insuring everybody. But such discussions remain wholly irrelevant to the question of whether the president’s promises were kept or not. This, per Buzzfeed, was the president’s promise:

“My plan begins by covering every American. If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less,” Obama said in his May 2007 speech unveiling his health care plan.

This was no abberation:

During the 2008 campaign Obama argued at least 15 times premiums would go down, saying for a family the average drop would be $2500.

Funny, I watched this debate quite closely. I don’t remember the president including any of the caveats or clauses that are now popping out of the mouths of Obama disciples everywhere. Back then, it was pretty simple: Your premiums will go down and you can keep your current health insurance if you like it.

It’s almost as if the Act’s advocates knew that they had to lie about the economics in order to pass the social goal that they wanted, and, having been called on it, they immediately shifted the argument. I wonder where we’ve seen this before . . .

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