Is Obamacare a Giant Lizard-Monster Destroying America?

Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal has a piece today using the botched ObamaCare roll-out as evidence that the Democratic Party is a defective commodity and is going out of style.

On ObamaCare, he says

As American voters watch ObamaCare continue its Godzilla-like rampage across the national health-care landscape, it’s worth considering the collateral damage this political monster may be doing to the Democratic brand itself. What if ObamaCare’s problems become a metaphor for the modern Democratic Party?

It is unclear how Henninger justifies comparing ObamaCare to a terrorizing monster. Is he, perhaps, referring to the botched roll-out? If so, that is old news and no longer really relevant: as Paul Krugman points out, the program has been recovering pretty well from the initial horror. In fact, the new CBO report predicts that healthcare sign ups will be over 6 million by the end of March. This is still short of the originally-projected 7 million sign ups, but it is not bad, and certainly not a situation comparable to a giant lizard stomping around your city.

Or perhaps he is referring to that other part of the CBO report that speaks of the reduction in the labor force predicted over the next decade. But this, too, is a heavily abused statistic. As many other bloggers have noted, people choosing to leave the labor force is very different than people losing their jobs. What is more, the over two million people leaving number is not quite what everyone thinks it is. As a matter of fact, it is not necessarily that 2 million people will leave the labor force: rather, people will choose to reduce the hours worked (perhaps down to 0, perhaps not) and when you add all of those hours up, it is equivalent to over 2 million people leaving the labor force. So those who cry that ObamaCare is destroying jobs don’t exactly have their facts straight.

So, the two recent concerns about ObamaCare are not really a big deal, but Henninger uses the ObamaCare debacle as evidence that the Democratic Party is going out of style, comparing the system to a defective commodity that the market will flush out. First of all, this is just wrong: the younger generation is much more left-leaning than right-leaning, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. What is more, once you consider the facts on the current state of ObamaCare, you realize that the effects of the law aren’t a good reason to see the Democratic Party as a broken commodity, anyway.


2 thoughts on “Is Obamacare a Giant Lizard-Monster Destroying America?

  1. Chris Chegash

    I disagree about the 2.5 million people leaving the labor force. People are going to leave the labor force because working is no longer worth it. The adjusted CBO numbers reflect the belief that because benefits will decrease as incomes increase, then people are subject to a higher “implied” tax rate. However, I believe this is bad in two ways. First, our economy is better off if people are working, rather than not working. Second, rather than those people working, they are enjoying the benefits of government subsidies (that someone has to pay for). The professor whose research heavily affect the revision of the CBO supports this line of reasoning.

    I think there is no doubt that the ACA has damaged the Deomcratic party. They got absolutely wiped in recently elections larger due to the bill, and now many democrats are either jumping ship (by supporting alternatives, or amendments that were key parts of the bill). The Obama administration has also been complicit by altering the enforcement of the bill (something they don’t have the authority to do), to make the public happier.

  2. josimon

    Obamacare has its’ positives and negatives. Which side weighs more…Well that’s up in the air which is why we have politics in the first place. Although we have not seen the complete effects of the plan come into play, it will be interesting discover the outcome in the next 5 years. Will Doctors and hospitals be just as satisfied as they have been? Or will we see and extreme view with a numerous amount of strikes taking place at hospitals.

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