Health Care Is Stuck Between A Rock and An Evisceration

One of the reasons liberals ended up supporting Obamacare is because of the lack of choice. We had a system that was completely doomed while not serving everyone’s needs and with Obamacare, while it’s not a cure-all to the cost of medicine problem (the underlying source in the long-term cost rise in Medicare and Medicaid), we’d at least make a dent while insuring millions of currently uninsured.

The reason liberals didn’t have a choice is because the alternatives were darker and destructive. Here is the primary non-status quo alternative:

The underlying idea is to wipe out one of the main fiscal tent poles of the existing health care system, and use the resulting revenues to finance billions of dollars in subsidies to buy insurance on the existing private market. The result, according to experts, would likely be a significant increase in the number of uninsured Americans, in an economy where, for better or worse, employers would likely no longer provide their workers with health care coverage.

On the other hand, Obamacare seeks to create a system by which people who cannot get insurance can get it.

“Obamacare” sought to mitigate those distortions by regulating the individual insurance market in a way that creates a safety net for the uninsured, the self-employed, laid-off workers and workers at firms that decide, over time, to stop offering health care benefits. It subsidizes insurance for these people and requires insurers to end discriminatory practices, and in return requires everybody to carry coverage. It finances this system in part by limiting — not eliminating — the tax exclusion for employer-provided benefits.

Both conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats alike, believe that getting rid of the tax exclusion for employer-provided benefits is a good idea. The key difference between the two ideological sides, however, one has a care and the other doesn’t.

Romney, by contrast, suggests he would eliminate this tax exclusion, leading employers to drop benefits, and leaving workers to buy insurance on their own with tax credits. Analyses of McCain’s similar plan in 2008 suggest it would cause the number of uninsured Americans to spike by millions.

In other words, even if you don’t like Obamacare itself (most liberals don’t), liberals still supported it because the alternatives were either not good (status quo) or worse (Republican strategy). Even if you don’t like the “liberty-limiting” portion of Obamacare, there is no sensible reason to support this destructive alternative or the people behind it.


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