by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If actions speak louder than words, then Wall Street Journal editors might be on to something.
Suddenly ObamaCare is a roaring success, happy days are here again and liberals are euphoric, or claim to be. There are more than a few reasons to doubt this new fairy tale, not least the behavior of Senate Democrats running for re-election this year. …
… Then there are the 12 Democratic Senators up for re-election who each cast the decisive 60th vote for ObamaCare. They’re acting as if the law is still a political threat, and presumably their polls say as much. The ObamaCare Dozen have tried to create an alibi by saying the plan isn’t perfect but mend it don’t end it. They’ve now proposed some concrete fixes, and they must think their constituents aren’t paying attention.
Courtesy of Democrats like Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Mark Warner of Virginia, the big idea is to create a cheaper, worse type of coverage on the ObamaCare exchanges. All current plans are more or less interchangeable because of the law’s benefit and wealth redistribution mandates. They differ based mainly on how much of the upfront cost is built into the premium, with tiers known as platinum, gold, silver and bronze.
The Senators want to create a new “copper” policy that would cover 50% of average medical expenses with the rest out of pocket. Are people really clamoring for even higher ObamaCare deductibles? A true fix would deregulate the exchanges and trust American consumers to choose the benefits they want or need, rather than forcing them to pay slightly less for one uniform standard. These mandates were determined via HHS administrative discretion, not by the statute or written by a finger of light. …
… In an op-ed for Politico, Ms. Landrieu and Senate co-authors wrote, “let’s stop trying to score political points by turning up the rhetoric and instead roll up our sleeves and get to work.” But the fix-it ploy is all about political points, a way for these Democrats to distance themselves from ObamaCare while still embracing it. The only way their constituents can truly mend the problems their Senators voted to create is by defeating them in November.
It might be interesting to ask North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan whether she considers Obamacare to be a buoy or an anchor.