Yesterday’s Rose Garden “victory lap” by President Obama over the reported signing of 7.1 million Americans to insurance rolls under ObamaCare is likely premature and may very well come back to bite the administration later (just like all that line drawing of the past year).
For starters, we don’t know anything about these seven million people. Did they pay premiums yet? How old or sick are they? Were these people who previously had insurance but found themselves without insurance after ObamaCare went into effect? Moreover, what is the cost of the insurance they obtained? How is it structured? Are the premiums high or are they low with extremely high deductibles only making the insurance cost effective if you happen to be standing with your back to the train when it hits you?
Clearly, you can see why just trotting out to the Rose Garden and putting on a big production may not prove ultimately to be such a great idea.
I know why they did it. Public perception these days is all about optics. The thinking is that if I can tell you everything is wonderful it is. The more positive the messages sent to the masses, the more likely they are to start believing them. This may explain how North Korea has managed not to implode over the years (although likely it because they employ the other method of gaining mass approval for government policy—oppression).
History says don’t take victory laps if you’re in charge. I worked for George W. Bush on his 2000 presidential campaign and like him very much. However, I won’t deny that his “Mission Accomplished” moment came back to bite him later.
A more colossal example of a failed “victory lap” was exhibited by Neville Chamberlain at the outset of World War II. Obviously, “peace in our time” didn’t actually happen and soon made the Prime Minister look exceedingly foolish.
Yesterday’s appearance by President Obama included many future rhetorical landmines. For example, he proclaimed, “There are still no death panels. Armageddon has not arrived.”
While this may be so, there is no guarantee it’s not coming. ObamaCare is structured in such a way that it could easily fall apart under its own weight. As for the “death panels,” people who know healthcare will tell you that the most expensive care anyone receives is end of life care. To make the entire system work the way it’s currently designed, there will need to be some form of rationing of healthcare. That means someone will have to decide who gets care and who doesn’t and in effect who might live and who might die.
Obama also said, “I don’t get it. Why are folks working so hard for people to not have health insurance?”
That’s obviously a loaded ridiculous question. For example, I personally don’t oppose people having health insurance. In fact, I would encourage it. What I oppose is the fact that my husband and I just found out that our premiums for next year double from $700 a month currently to $1,500 a month next year. On top of that, the quality of our insurance will be less. Personally, I oppose that and I think my opposition is quite merited.
We’ll see what the future of the Affordable Care Act holds. Likely, it will make the Obama administration look back with some regret over yesterday’s big production.
And in the future, likely it’s advisable that unless the president sees a checkered flag, he should stay out of Victory Lane.