Obamacare’s prognosis is poor

Jay Cost over at The Weekly Standard blog wrote a smart blog post recently, titled “Don’t bet on Obamacare,” arguing that Obamacare is likely “doomed” no matter what happens in the elections November. His reasoning: “The bill was badly designed from both a policy and political standpoint” (emphasis in original).

Among the highlights of the post, Cost points out four “questionable” policy assumptions that all would have to pan out for Obamacare to be successful. And as he succinctly points out: “Suppose an 80 percent chance of success on each of these five guesses; in that case, the likelihood that all of them will be correct is only 33 percent(emphasis in original).

Cost also points out how Obamacare has a poor political design because, unlike entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, Obamacare treats different groups very differently – meaning some people directly benefit while many others are directly harmed. This creates a strong political coalition opposed to Obamacare (coalitions which have yet to coalesce against other entitlement programs) which will move to repeal or gut Obamacare once it has the chance.

Beyond all of these good points, an issue highlighted in a more recent blog post suggests another reason why Obamacare is most likely doomed: It will cost an already debt-overloaded federal government $2.6 trillion between 2014 and 2023. For perspective, that is enough money to buy four homes for every person in Utah at the state’s 2010 median home value ($218,100).

Of course, for the good of millions of American lives – especially those of the working poor – conservatives should not just sit by and wait for Obamacare to go into effect and destroy itself. If we did, we could hardly call ourselves conservatives.

In any case, the whole piece is worth the five minutes it takes to read.