by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Thomas G. Donlan, editorial page editor of Barron’s, devotes his latest column to President Obama’s recent efforts to go on the offensive against both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Republican-controlled House.
Included is this response to those who bristle at the description of the 2010 federal health-care reform law as ObamaCare.
By the way, some readers complain that “Obamacare” is an inappropriate and disrespectful moniker to attach to a law that has such high intentions. As we use it, the tag is intended to be disrespectful to the law, though not to the president who shepherded it through the Congress with only the concessions needed to win narrow votes in each house. If the president takes such pride in the achievement, it should not bother any of his partisans that his name is attached to it for the ages — or until the next election.
The alternative, the law’s official title, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” may not be disrespectful, but it is inappropriate, for it prejudges whether the act will succeed if the U.S. Supreme Court lets it take effect. We suspect it cannot protect patients or make care affordable. It will just expand Medicaid welfare to a larger segment of the population, and bring higher prices to Americans individually and to the federal and state governments.
We see scant evidence that a law guaranteeing issuance of health “insurance” to people who are already sick can lower the price of health care. Similarly, providing various forms of care, free of copayments or other patient charge, is no way to enlist beneficiaries in the search for the most cost-effective care.
The right reform would have been to diminish the government’s role in health insurance, which had made the American system of health care into a crazy-quilt of conflicting policies even before the Democrats began to reform it in 2009 and 2010.