Obamacare will collapse. There’s nothing DC can do to stop it. They could only delay the inevitable if they choose to bail it out. All of this rests on the shoulders of President Obama and the 2010 Democrats, right? As of today, it does, but President Trump is doing everything he can to take credit for its failure.
In an attempt to accelerate its demise, presumably to force action before the 2018 midterm elections, the administration has cut funding to enrollment ads by 90%, slashed 41% of funds going to outside recruitment groups, and plans to take down the infamous Healthcare.gov website for hours at a time for “maintenance” during several peak-enrollment days. If it sounds like sabotage, that’s because it is. If that sounds like a good idea, it isn’t.
The rush to force more problems to the troubled law before the next election is going to backfire in a big way for Republicans. I won’t put it past the administration to be doing it specifically for this reason, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that it’s just a miscalculation on their part. Why is it a miscalculation? Because they’re drawing the focus at the last minute to their actions for a leftist media that would love to pin the collapse of Obamacare on the Republicans. Logic and common sense tell us these latest moves are barely a nugget in the vast piles of problems with Obamacare, but the media will paint it differently. They’ll say the Republicans’ actions took a salvageable program and struck the final blows.
Not pushing for more enrollments is technically the right thing to do. It’s like trying to warn people from boarding the Titanic. Unfortunately, they’re going about it in a way that gives them horrible optics. Premiums are already rising. If they rise even faster under Trump, the media and the Democrats will say the system needed tweaking and the GOP failed to act, forcing millions of Americans to pay more for healthcare.
The narrative is already forming:
Healthy people are the most likely to drop coverage because of a lack of outreach, leaving a sicker group of enrollees that drives up costs for everyone else.
“One has to assume at this point that enrollment will be lower as a result of the administration’s actions and that will lead to fewer healthier people signing up,” said Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
To make matters worse, the President is Tweeting about reaching out to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to find a bipartisan path forward with healthcare. This not only spooks Republicans on Capitol Hill even more than they already are, but also sends the wrong message because it’s well known Schumer would never do anything that involved repealing Obamacare.
I called Chuck Schumer yesterday to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare Bill. ObamaCare is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017
We’ll have to chalk this up as a reaction to news from Axios that the President reached out. Otherwise, there’s no advantage to posting this. Trump doesn’t like admitting that his efforts aren’t working. This move didn’t work, which the Senator made clear:
Shortly after Trump’s tweet, however, Schumer issued a statement saying he’d rebuffed the president’s offer. “The president wanted to make another run at repeal and replace and I told the president that’s off the table,” he said, suggesting Democrats would consider negotiations if Trump would first stabilize the current system.
It seems like the White House is doing everything it can to give the media a reason to blame Republicans when Obamacare collapses. Their hope that if falls apart before the midterms could backfire if they can’t stop these rookie mistakes from happening. They could accomplish their goal of demonstrating Obamacare has failed but give the Democrats the reins after the midterms to try to fix it.