I’ve been thinking about the long-term implications of Obamacare for our country and can’t help but think it will fundamentally shift the terms of our debate. Here are a few implications of the law if it’s not repealed under a possible Romney Administration:
- Like the debates happening today over Medicare, once people actually start receiving health coverage through Obamacare, the program will become virtually impossible to change. Any of the debates currently happening in Washington over spending are merely tinkering with the margins (cutting discretionary spending, not entitlement spending). Medicare is the Holy Grail of programs for Democrats and Republicans haven’t been able to reduce spending, let alone reform the program, since it came into existence in 1965. The same thing will happen with Obamacare. Every 4 years, Democrats will say Republicans are trying to cut your healthcare benefits and it will always work politically. (Sidenote: seniors are some of the most reliable voters in America and although they generally vote Republican, they’ve always shown a willingness to vote for the person who guarantees to keep their Medicare benefits in place… the same will likely happen for those receiving the new healthcare benefits)
- Along these same lines, proposals like the Ryan Plan will become even more of a pipe dream. Considering the Democrats are the party of protecting entitlements, any effort to make these programs more sustainable will be met with roadblocks. It’s unbelievable to me that in one week, we went from having the potential to elect a President Romney, who would most likely use the Ryan Plan as a model reduce our deficit to the very real possibility of Obama’s re-election, where we would have the same broken Medicare system AND a new monstrosity of a healthcare program.
- Obamacare will become a wedge to eventually raise taxes. During the Obamacare debate, a Democrat was quoted as saying, “first we have to grow the beast, then we’ll have to feed it.” They know Obamacare will bankrupt America, which is why they had to resort to budget gimmicks to get the right CBO score (under $1 trillion over 10 years) to get more Democrats to support it. Once the law is fully implemented and people are receiving it, it will be much easier to make the case to voters that “the rich aren’t paying their fair share and as a result, you could lose your healthcare.”
I hope I’m wrong, but if this law gets fully implemented, the Republicans (and conservatives) could go the way of the Whigs.