Although it’s true that we collectively spent a lot of time shouting about Obamacare, we spent precious little time actually debating it. Most of the media covered the discussion as if it were a spectator sport, with the Democrats the hometown favorite. And much of the remainder seemed to assume that healthcare reporting amounted to explaining why Obamacare was a good idea. The facade of objectivity was often maintained by citing carefully crafted CBO projections that reflected political assumptions. Garbage in, garbage out.
Reality is teaching the propeller-heads a lesson. Despite President Obama promising that his plan would not add “one dime” to the deficit, the Government Accountability Office announced last week that it would more likely add 620,000,000,000,000 dimes (or $6.2 trillion) over 75 years.
Obama also promised that “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.” Estimates for how many Americans will lose their existing plans vary. The CBO says 5 million to 20 million. The consulting firm McKinsey & Co. says about 30% of employers will push workers onto the public system.
Even the AFL-CIO and the Teamsters have started to freak out over the gold-plated benefits many of their members will lose, thanks to the guy they helped reelect. Another irony: While the president rode to reelection hyping a mythical GOP “war on women,” incentives to drop spouses from employee coverage under his plan will only increase, a particular concern for mothers with small kids. The good news is that if they keep their coverage, it will cover birth control pills.