If Democrats want to start winning elections again they must come out and admit publicly and openly that Obamacare is a failure.
The cumbersome experiment of using a convoluted mixture of tax credits; and private insurance, to provide health coverage to the masses has failed. As almost anybody that knew anything about healthcare or insurance knew it would.
Disturbingly only one national Democratic political figure; U.S. Senator Liz Warren (Massachusetts), has had the guts to admit Obamacare failed. She told the Democracy Alliance; a misnamed group of big money donors that the Affordable Care Act simply did not go far enough, The Boston Globe reported.
Exchange Failure Proves Obamacare is a Bust
The elephant in the room that Democratic leaders cannot see is that Obamacare was partially successful. It increased the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage to around 87.6%.
That success might soon be undone, if data that shows how and why Obamacare is failing is accurate. A New York Times analysis found 45 counties in three states; Missouri, Ohio and Washington State, where no private insurer is available through the Obamacare exchanges.
That means 35,000; mostly lower middle class, Americans will have no private health insurance options. Many of them will have no health insurance. The only option available to some people with serious health problems will be to quit their jobs and go on Medicaid.
Another three million people in 1,388 counties in 27 states will have just private plan available on their Obamacare exchange. In other words these people are being forced into Single-Payer healthcare whether they want it or not.
The lack of choice is occurring because large private health insurers; like Aetna (NYSE: AET) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), are pulling out of the exchanges. Aetna plans to pull out of all exchanges next, year, Fox Business reported.
The same companies are staying in the Medicaid business – which is profitable. Medicaid is so profitable that Anthem (NYSE: ANTM) might stay in the exchanges just to keep its’ Medicaid business. New York and Colorado governors; Andrew M. Cuomo (D) and John Hickenlooper (D), threatened to end Anthem contracts to keep it in the exchanges.
The available data proves Obamacare is a bust and shows why Democrats need to start backing a “Medicare for all;” or “Medicaid for all system” if they want to win elections.
How Obamacare could Split the Democratic Party
The Democratic establishment’s mindless support for Obamacare threatens to rip their party apart.
This will occur because around 52% of Democrats support single-payer health insurance, Pew Research discovered. Adding to the chasm will be 64% of liberal Democrats; the party’s base, who support single-payer.
That sounds a great deal like the divisions that tore the Republicans asunder in 2016. The party’s leaders had very different positions on issues like immigration and trade than the base.
How Obamacare can create a Democratic Trump
The Democrats might be setting themselves up for a Trump-style insurgent candidate running on issues like single-payer and Social Security expansions. The insurgent possibly Warren; or a celebrity such as Mark Zuckerberg or Duane “the Rock” Johnson, would sweep the primaries and win the nomination.
Just like the Republican leaders, prominent Democrats would end up crawling on their hands and knees to the insurgent. It is obvious the Democratic establishment learned nothing last year; from their own insurgent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), or the Donald’s success.
If Democrats keep backing Obamacare they will find themselves dealing with their own Trump. A rule-breaking antiestablishment insurgent that is likely to be far more popular and disruptive than the Donald.
How Obamacare can Help Republicans
The other Obamacare nightmare Democrats face is that Republicans will finally give up on “free market solutions” and embrace single-payer health insurance.
This idea is not as far-fetched as some Americans might think. Almost every conservative and right-wing party and politician in every other industrialized country supports single-payer, American Conservative contributor Chase Madar pointed out.
In countries like Great Britain even right-wing whackjobs; such as Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), are single-payer champions. A big reason why many Britons voted for Brexit was they believed Farage’s; probably false, promise to use the funds the UK paid to the European Union to expand the National Health Service.
Republicans will Embrace Single Payer within Five Years
Some Republicans already embrace the idea; President Donald J. Trump is an outspoken fan and promoter of single-payer solutions. So is Warren Buffett’s sidekick Charlie Munger; who admits to being both a Republican and a single-payer fan.
Madar thinks most Republicans will support single-payer within five years. He points to Trump and GOP governors John Kasich (R-Ohio) and Brian Sandoval (R-Nevada) as evidence of such a paradigm shift. Kasich is an outspoken advocate of Medicaid expansion; and Sandoval nearly signed a bill that would have allowed all residents of his state to participate in Medicaid.
All would take is for a few Republicans to win elections on Medicare; or Medicaid, for all promises to shift their party’s position on that issue. Support for single payer and the party’s opposition to gun control and abortion might make the GOP unbeatable in many states.
All Democratic politicians had better consider changing their minds on Obamacare and getting on the single-payer band wagon fast if they want to keep their jobs.
Why Democrats Embrace Obamacare
This raises an important question: why aren’t more Democrats dumping Obamacare and embracing single payer? There are three closely related answers to the question, all of which are profoundly troubling:
- Admitting that Obamacare is a failure makes Democrats look stupid and incompetent. Remember in politics perception is everything.
- Many big money donors; including health insurance companies and pharmaceutical houses, profit from the status quo. They are willing to spend big money to preserve it. Some Democrats are probably afraid donations would dry up if they embraced single payer.
- Some Democrats are afraid that they would be ignored or demonized by the Big Media if they supported single payer. Anybody that counts the number of drug advertisements on CBS and Fox News; knows that those entities are heavily dependent on the pharmaceutical industry.
- Democrats might be afraid of no coverage or smear attacks from the New York media if they mention the words single payer. Given the way the media ignored Sanders; and sometimes vilified him, last year this is a legitimate fear. Something to remember is that older voters; who get most of their information from the legacy media, are still the deciding factor in many U.S. elections.
Therefore the best hope for single payer in the Democratic Party might be a media-savvy Trump type insurgent. Perhaps it is time for Sanders supporters to call Duane Johnson and Mark Zuckerberg and ask what their plans for 2020 are?