Reform: Remember when Nancy Pelosi promised that Americans would fall in love with ObamaCare once it was the law of the land? Turns out barely half of Democrats now like it.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has tracked public support for ObamaCare since the law was passed. It’s never been very popular, but now support has hit a new low of 34% due in part to erosion in Obama’s own party. The month ObamaCare passed, more than three of four Democrats approved of it. Now, just over half do, and only one in five has a “very favorable” view. Even worse, just 27% of Democrats think the law will make them and their families better off.
But how can this be, loyalists ask, when ObamaCare is already helping people? Just ask any “adult child” on his parents’ health plan, or all those small businesses benefiting from the insurance premium tax credit?
But as each month brings new Obama-Care failures, fewer Democrats seem to be buying such baloney.
Thanks to “reform,” for example, insurance premiums shot up 9.5% this year, reversing a decade-long trend toward lower annual increases. Just a few days ago, the White House was forced to abandon the law’s long-term care insurance provision because it was financially unworkable. And it’s had to pass out more than 1,500 waivers to prevent millions from losing coverage. The temporary “high risk” pools meant to help those with pre-existing conditions are a bust.
And we haven’t even mentioned the pernicious and wildly unpopular centerpiece of ObamaCare — the mandate that everyone buy insurance or else. This is scheduled to start in 26 months, unless the Supreme Court finds it unconstitutional.
Every Republican presidential candidate has called for repealing this mess before it can do any more damage. Repeal will never happen, though, as long as Obama sits in the White House. And should the GOP fail to win the next election, by 2017 it will be all but impossible to unscramble the ObamaCare egg.
Fortunately, the more the public understands the stakes involved, the more likely Obama will be safely back in Chicago in 2013, while a Republican president happily flushes ObamaCare down the drain.
When President Obama announced changes to rules on repaying college student loans, he said his goal was to ease the financial burden of getting a degree.
“We’ve made it a priority to make college more affordable, reduce your student loan debt,” he told students in Denver, unveiling his plans to make it easier for college graduates to get out from under their debt obligations.
But if the history of college financial aid (and other government attempts to protect consumers from costs) is any guide, Obama’s plan will likely backfire.
Over the past three decades, financial aid has rocketed up 438% after inflation, says the College Board. That’s largely due to huge hikes in more than a dozen federal grant and loan programs.
“By providing aid and subsidized loans, the government is trying to protect students, but the effect is perverse,” said Jane Shaw, president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in Raleigh, N.C. “They increase demand and enable colleges to hike tuitions virtually without restraint.”
An increase in the average student loan of $1 was associated with net tuition that’s 93 cents higher at public schools and 55 cents higher at private schools, according to Andrew Gillen of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.
A 2007 study by University of Oregon economists concluded that colleges “tend to absorb most federal student aid by increasing their tuition revenue,” according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
That doesn’t necessarily mean students are getting a better education. From 1993 to 2007, per-student spending on administration climbed twice as fast as spending on instruction, a Goldwater Institute study found.
The same phenomenon has occurred in health care, where government for decades has worked to shield consumers from direct costs, fueling health care cost inflation by encouraging demand and giving doctors and hospitals greater license to raise prices.
Today, the government pays directly for over 44% of care, according to data compiled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
And federal tax policy encourages generous employer-provided insurance by deducting premium costs from taxable income, a $100 billion-plus annual subsidy, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. The 2,156 state benefit mandates further insulate consumers from the direct costs.
Consumers now pay just 12% of the nation’s health care tab out of pocket vs. nearly half in 1960, fueling much of the nation’s health care inflationary spiral.
“Providers aren’t competing for business based on price,” said John Goodman, president of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis. “And if they’re not competing on price, they have no reason to lower cost.”
And education and health care fixes almost always add to these existing subsidies, providing still more inflationary fuel.
ObamaCare will further cut out-of-pocket spending by expanding insurance coverage and requiring more generous benefits.
When it comes to college education, the last three presidents all passed huge increases in aid,with each boasting that theirs was the biggest investment in college “since the G.I. Bill.”
Shaw said, “Government will keep doing what it’s doing until there’s a broad understanding by the public of the adverse effects produced by these attempts to shield consumers from costs.”(IBD)
So keep ripping the band-aid off slowly and it will hurt longer. But at least, that way the Democrats can mile the blame someone else for it longer. Now that’s a up-side! 🙂
While speaking at Virginia Democratic Senate Caucus fundraiser today, former President Bill Clinton claimed that no successful country on earth operates on the notion that government is the problem. He then listed a variety of things that the government “provides” for the people, including affordable healthcare, economic opportunity, education opportunity and “getting to the future.”
Considering test scores have decreased significantly since the Department of Education was founded, healthcare premiums have skyrocketed with the passing of ObamaCare and the economy isn’t growing because of smothering government regulation, I’d say Clinton is a bit off the mark on this one. (Katie Pavlich).
Now say it with me y’all: IT”S THE REPUBLICAN’s FAULT! IT’s THE “RICH”‘s Fault! IT’s THE TEA PARTY’s FAULT!
Ta Da! Problem solved! 🙂
Oh, and that Blizzard, in the Northeast–Global Warming! 🙂
No Groping either!