Get ready for socialized medicine, if Republicans don’t fix ObamaCare

Get ready for socialized medicine, if Republicans don’t fix ObamaCare
© Getty

Establishment Republicans have campaigned on a platform of repeal and replace for eight long years. Republicans wanted the House they got it. They wanted the Senate — they got it. They wanted the White House — they got it.

Now, instead of fulfilling their elected mandate, Republicans are playing political games with each other. Meanwhile, there are two forces irrevocably connected and driving our healthcare system toward an ultimate collision with socialized medicine: cost and coverage. In the absence of a meaningful Republican solution to these problems under ObamaCare, the Democratic Party is building a viable case for socialized medicine.

ADVERTISEMENT
We’ve been here before. Democrats could not pass “Medicare for all” in 2009, so they made insurance unaffordable by pushing high risk patients into a system with low risk patients, they forced middle class Americans to buy insurance they could no longer afford, and they made actual healthcare inaccessible to most Americans through extremely high deductibles.

 

How did we get here?

One of the most vocal Democratic cries in defense of ObamaCare is guaranteed coverage of people with pre-existing conditions. I agree that providing healthcare to previously uninsured patients with pre-existing conditions is a noble goal, but ObamaCare’s inherent mistake was thinking that you can force insurance companies to cover high risk patients without consequence.

We now know those consequences have pushed millions of Americans to the brink, as their health care premiums have skyrocketed. The numbers are staggering. According to official statistics, in 2017 alone, premiums are up 116 percent in Arizona, 63 percent in Tennessee, 53 percent in Pennsylvania and 40 percent in North Carolina. The story is much of the same across the country. On average, insurance premiums are up 25 percent year after year across the United States in 2017.

Compounding problems, ObamaCare premiums will only continue to rise as young, healthy patients opt to take their chances without coverage. Yes, high premiums are driving people out of the market, further increasing costs for those still in the market. It is basic economics: as premiums rise, more low risk patients drop out of the pool. This is the ObamaCare death spiral.

Adding insult to injury, of the people who decide to carry ObamaCare insurance policies, many are not able to even use their policy. Their deductibles are outrageous. In 2017, middle class families enrolled in ObamaCare bronze plans have an average deductible of $12,393. Insane.

Americans are eventually going to throw their hands in the air and ask why am I paying a mortgage every month for health care I can’t use?

By every measure, ObamaCare is a disaster. It did not have to be this way. Patients with pre-existing conditions could have been covered under expanded Medicaid and Medicare programs. Instead, Obama and congressional Democrats consciously decided to disrupt health insurance markets for the benefit of a few and at the expense of majority.

Either President Obama and congressional Democrats are the dumbest legislators in the modern era (unlikely), or they willfully weaponized 20 percent of the American economy against the American middle class. Their logic is — in hindsight — brilliant, because there is no better catalyst for major policy change than a crisis.

In recognition of ObamaCare’s failure and that brewing health care crisis, Democratic Senators Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWorld leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report Sanders on Brazile revelations: DNC needs ‘far more transparency’ Sen. Warren sold out the DNC MORE, Kamila Harris, Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDems mull big changes after Brazile bombshell Senators push mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staff Schumer: Dems want DACA fix in government spending bill MORE and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program Schumer: Dems want DACA fix in government spending bill The Hill interview — DNC chief: I came here to win elections MORE — all likely candidates for President in 2020 — are advancing a bill to implement Medicare-for-all on a national level. While their bill will fail, the bill’s powerful supporters signals a major shift in the Democratic Party. For the first time in the history of the Democrats, it is likely that a majority of the candidates in the 2020 presidential primary will support Medicare-for-all.

According to PEW Research, the tides are shifting nationally too. Among Democratic voters, 52 percent support Medicare-for-all, an increase of 19 percent since just 2014. Among voters under the age of 30, 67 percent believe the government has a duty to provide insurance.

This should be a wake up call to Republicans. Continue to babble on with excuses at your own peril, because the American people need relief. The American people sent Republicans to Washington to give them that relief. While Republicans still enjoy voters’ support on health care, their confidence isn’t unlimited. Rescue the American middle class through solid, free market principles, or Democrats will implement phase 2 of ObamaCare with massive support.

Harlan Hill is a New York-based PR & political consultant, an Advisory Board Member of Donald J. Trump for President and a guest on Fox News, Fox Business and CNN.