Krauthammer: We shouldn’t defund ObamaCare

posted at 9:37 pm on December 27, 2010 by Allahpundit

Alternate headline: “Confirmed: Krauthammer’s a RINO.” Seriously, though, he’s making a shrewd point about retail politics, especially given the left’s desperate obsession with “branding” as the source of all of its problems. No matter how expensive ObamaCare gets, no matter how many unintended consequences there are, they’ll never admit that their signature domestic achievement is bad policy. There’ll always be an excuse, be it not enough Obama speeches on the subject or an insufficiently catchy name for the legislation (really!) or, inevitably, the idea that only by making the system more statist via a public option or single-payer will it truly thrive. Krauthammer’s point is that starving the beast will simply give them another excuse for its failure, so why not prop it up initially in the expectation that it’ll fail? My addendum, which I’ve suggested before: Since liberals were such fans of benchmarks for war funding, why not apply them to O-Care funding too? Make them prove after the first few years that they really have bent the cost curve, that there’s been no decline in quality of care, etc. If they can’t, the program is automatically defunded. Remember their early predictions about how the stimulus would affect the unemployment rate? This time, missing the target would mean something. As a sneak preview, here’s something brand new today from WaPo. I blame poor “messaging”:

One of the first parts of the new health care law ready for consumers – special health plans devoted to the insurance industry’s rejects – is attracting only a fraction of the predicted customers, prompting the Obama administration and states to step up their strategies to motivate people to buy them. At the same time, since the plans opened for business in the late summer and early fall, the medical bills so far are, in at least a few states, much higher than anticipated, raising the question of whether $5 billion that Congress has devoted to the program could run out even if relatively few people join.

Federal health officials contend that the plans, known as high-risk pools, are experiencing expected growing pains. It will take time to spread the word that they exist and to adjust prices and benefits so the plans are as attractive as possible, they say.

State-level directors of the plans agree, in part. But in interviews, they also said that the insurance premiums are unaffordable for some who need the coverage – and that some would-be customers are skittish about the plans’ stability as federal lawsuits and congressional Republicans are trying to overturn the entire law. The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, the program’s official name, is an early test of President Obama’s argument that the public will embrace the politically divisive law once they see its advantages firsthand. According to some health policy researchers, the success or failure of the pools also could foreshadow the complexities of making broader changes in health insurance by 2014, when states are to open new marketplaces – or exchanges – for Americans to buy coverage individually or in small groups.

Two obvious problems with Krauthammer’s scheme, though. One, as Steve Hayes suggests in the clip, you’re taking a major risk by funding the program even for a few years, even with the expectation built in that it’ll be defunded if it misses its targets. Dependencies develop quickly; if you want to kill a bad entitlement, kill it quickly before expectations calcify. Two: As a purely political matter, there’s no way the GOP could refuse to defund it. It would be taken as proof that Republicans have already lost their nerve; the base would be equal parts crushed and enraged, to the point where you probably would start hearing chatter about a third party in earnest. Like it or not, Republicans went all in on killing ObamaCare and now they’re forced to take every opportunity to undermine it, even if letting it get up and running for the purpose of showing the public how it doesn’t work might (but probably wouldn’t) make repeal easier. Oh well. Click the image to watch.

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toliver on December 28, 2010 at 12:43 PM

A compelling argument.

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2010 at 1:45 PM

upinak on December 28, 2010 at 12:47 PM

It’s not my fault it was Akzed! Best wishes to you and your family also. I hope and pray for good things for all of us.

Cindy Munford on December 28, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Two of many myths:

1) Obama is brilliant.

2) Krauthammer is brilliant.

William2006 on December 28, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Indeed. –
Sometimes nuance is not all it’s cracked up to be.

diogenes on December 28, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Who cares what Jimbo3 said, he’s gone!!! After so many bigoted comments aimed at people who choose to live in Alaska or black men who choose to marry white women (even crr6 jumped on him for that one) what finally does him in is a (particularly nasty) personal attack against a fellow commenter. It seemed the bar was set so low, and yet he still managed to walk right under it….good for him and thanks, Ed.

runawayyyy on December 28, 2010 at 1:55 PM

It is heartening to read comments from so many who want to kill Obamacare asap.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 28, 2010 at 12:59 PM

I agree. Unfortunately, there are stronger and more cogent arguments here than in congress.

What really irks me to no end is we have this socialist on the run. This is when you chase him and his regime off the mountain, not prop them up.
FireBlogger on December 28, 2010 at 12:45 PM

But this is exactly the problem: no Ghengis Khan spirit in the GOP. To the contrary, the self-loathing urge to prop him up now appears. If he goes lower in the polls you will hear GOP pols discuss “saving” him for the sake of the country. I’m not kidding. We have a very sick party.

rrpjr on December 28, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Tammy Bruce thinks CK is a liberal.
She makes a pretty good argument.

lilium on December 28, 2010 at 2:18 PM

The Hammer makes a good point; however, if we allow O-care to go forward it will destroy the private insurance markets, 40% of the doctors will leave the profession and thousands more will avoid the profession.

If we do not defund O-care there will be no medical industry left to save once we allowed it to fail.

Hearings is an excellent idea.
Bench marks is also an excellent idea.

We need more brain storming to optimize the response.

The Rock on December 28, 2010 at 2:27 PM

I used to like Charles K. because, compared to Evan Thomas and Nina Totebag, he seemed a conservative. Alas, Tammy Bruce is correct; he is a RINO.

Dhuka on December 28, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Anyone who sustains an argument for government anything doesn’t deserve attention or praise.

When the pundits start asserting that the primary role of those in government is to preserve freedom and they champion those who work to do just that, then and only then do they deserve any recognition.

I’ve never heard CK do that, so until then, he’s just another putz who gets paid to flap to unproductively flap his gums.

beatcanvas on December 28, 2010 at 3:32 PM

What is Krauthammer’s actual agenda? 1)defense of Israel at all costs; 2) stop Sarah Palin; and 3) toss a life jacket to ObamaCare. What else?

At best,he’s a Hubert Humphrey/Scoop Jackson Democrat, not a conservative.

vilebody on December 28, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Obamacare must be defunded, “cold turkey.”

The federal government is an entitlement junkie. You don’t say to a junkie, “OK, I’ll go ahead and pay for you to have a taste of this smack, but then ‘later’ we’ll stop you from using.”

Edouard on December 28, 2010 at 3:57 PM

rrpjr at 2:04
But we have reinforcements coming in just a few days, and they are right-minded and energetic. As a group they understand that Obama is attempting to destroy our country, and they will not be shy about working to stop him.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 28, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Dr. Kraut has a good point.

Defunding leaves the liberals at the altar blaming the right for destroying their awesome program (which they are already beginning to do).

Let it fail on it’s own standards.

Restrict funding to levels originally required by the bill.

Anything exceeding that requires full disclosure and vote.

Require any Taxation to fund Hell Care be listed seperately on paychecks.

Let it fall on it’s face. Drive a stake through it.

cntrlfrk on December 28, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Hey DarkCurrent:

One o’ me boys showed me.

Shweeet! 8)

Akzed on December 28, 2010 at 5:35 PM

On the topic of Palin, CK has been sounding more and more shrill and less and less credible. His inner Lib revives like an ugly zombie whenever Palin is near.

Now you can add Obamacare to the list of things that turn him batty. His logic is silly and dangerous.

It would be like encouraging the rides to Auschwitz to REALLY show how awful the Nazis were, to make it easier for the Third Reich to crumble of its own evil and corruption. Sure, you volunteering to get on the train?

Let’s all consciously sign up for inferior medical care. Who thinks this way?

EMD on December 28, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Hey DarkCurrent:

One o’ me boys showed me.

Shweeet! 8)

Akzed on December 28, 2010 at 5:35 PM

I saw that. Thanks!

DarkCurrent on December 28, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Can anyone point to any wise words or sage advice that have left Dr. Krauthammer’s spittle-covered lips in the last two years? I thought not. Dustbin, meet history.

steebo77 on December 28, 2010 at 6:17 PM

ObamaCare: nuke it from space, that’s the only way to be sure…

Dandapani on December 28, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Sorry Krauthammer, but I cede nothing and want both Obama and his heinous policies severally gone as soon as possible. Obamacare is (so far) the worst of them. I just don`t have your patience, K-hammer. Although your personal circumstances probably make you Obamacare proof anyway and you don`t have the vested and true and right interest in seeing this Obamacare gone as quickly as possible unlike this middle-class guy writing this comment.

Sherman1864 on December 28, 2010 at 11:50 PM

Krauthammer is worried about a government shutdown which would be blamed on the Republicans by the media, like the one in the ’90s lead by Gingrich. They interviewed all kinds of people who were furloughed and made Republicans look like Scrooges. I don’t know how to keep them from doing the same thing again, if the Republicans block an increase in the debt ceiling.

Krauthammer is all for passing a measure repealing Obamacare, which will be vetoed if it even gets through the Senate.

The Republicans need to be pretty careful about how they approach the defunding because polls are saying that 70% are opposed to cutting Social Security, Medicare and Defense. They did block the Omnibus Spending bill that had $1 billion for implementing Obamacare, though. The trick is going to be convincing a majority of voters that we can’t afford to keep SS and Medicare going as they are. Entitlements are going to kill us if we don’t work out a way to reform them. This looks like a job for the tea parties, especially the younger generation who are paying to support us old people.

flataffect on December 29, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Whoa, Kraut apostates…if Charlie can be so incredibly wrong about something like this, it stands to reason that he could be wrong about a few other things and/or people.

Contemplate this next time before you nod your heads like a pack of trained dogs at his next hit piece on Palin.

SuperCool on December 30, 2010 at 3:06 AM

I don’t think he makes a lot of sense. He’s so RINO, he squeaks.

I don’t think the country is interested in going back to that era.

AnninCA on December 31, 2010 at 12:34 PM

I think the RINOS really love that O’Donnell lost, CO lost, and Miller lost.

That represents hope to them. But hope for what is my question?

AnninCA on December 31, 2010 at 12:35 PM

The problem with Dr. K’s analysis is that government programs have this way of lumbering on even after they should have failed according to every law of economics, physics and nature like some undead zombie menace. Dr. K is essential arguing that the zombie healcare invasion will eventually burn itself out; whic, it will, but by then we will all be zombies. Everybody knows that when faced with an undead zombie menace, the best thing to do is to act as quickly as possible to quarantine it and aim for the brain. If you let it spread beyond the initial outbreak zone then the whole world is pretty much screwed.

bitsy on December 31, 2010 at 4:48 PM

I am coming back to the site after a week – and here are the two posts that I see lined up one below the other

Dr K : We should not defund Obamacare

Chrissy Matthews: Where is Obama’s birth certificate ?

I know that we are in 2011 now but those two headlines make my head spin. up is down. slavery is freedom….

Happy New Year every one !

nagee76 on January 1, 2011 at 4:43 AM