We're glad to hear that Hillary Clinton is recovering and will return to the campaign trail this week.
But the real health issue with Mrs. Clinton isn't personal–it is that she would be an advocate for a single-payer system even more radical than ObamaCare if she becomes president.
ObamaCare, as one might have easily anticipated (as many did) of a Rube Goldberg law rammed through Congress so the Dems could realize a five-decades old dream, without accepting a single idea from the party out of power, hasn't worked out that well.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a physician and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, says that 2017 will be "ObamaCare's worst year yet." Here is how Gottlieb says that Mrs. Clinton will save the progressives' dream turned nightmare:
To rescue President Obama’s health-care law, Hillary Clinton has proposed resurrecting the “public option.” This failed idea—a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers—can’t save ObamaCare. But introducing it across the country would move the U.S. much closer to the single-payer system progressives have always longed for.
Yes, ObamaCare has been a disaster, so let's go farther down that path.
Gottlieb explains how this could be done:
Mrs. Clinton positions the states as vehicles for the public option, and this isn’t because she discovered a late-in-life appreciation for federalism. Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act, a little-known provision, allows states to renounce almost all of ObamaCare’s dictates. That includes the law’s politically sacred rules governing the medical benefits consumers are promised and the subsidy structure that helps pay for them. States only need to develop alternative schemes that can achieve the same level of similarly priced coverage that they would attain under ordinary ObamaCare.
In 2011 Vermont tried to use this waiver process to introduce a public option, only to abandon it three years later when it became clear that the scheme would yield skyrocketing taxes on small businesses. Minnesota, Maine and Rhode Island are proposing variations of this scheme for implementation after 2017. Maine’s proposed law boasts of its intent to use “federal funds to the maximum extent allowable under federal law.” Colorado is using the 1332 waiver to pursue its own single payer through an initiative on the ballot this November.
The real juice is the funding. To pay for these schemes, the 1332 waivers let states pocket the aggregate subsidies—including premium tax credits, cost-sharing subsidies, and small-business tax credits—that they would otherwise receive under ObamaCare. This federal slush fund could give states billions of dollars annually to subsidize their own publicly run health plan.
The process gives the executive branch broad authority to coax or even coerce states to pursue the creation of these public options—without congressional consent. ObamaCare requires that any new scheme be “deficit neutral” relative to the cost of the law. So long as the new public option won’t add to ObamaCare’s costs, the state can use the law’s subsidies to pay for government-run plans. The waivers give states ample ability to use savings claimed by setting price controls on medical care as a way to meet the budget goals.
Federal regulators would approve new public options based on White House budget office estimates of the program’s cost and impact on a state’s existing insurance market. The Obama administration has abused this broad discretion before: Officials manipulated “budget neutrality” by allowing states like Arkansas to expand their Medicaid programs under ObamaCare.
. . .
Forcing providers to accept Medicaid-like rates could make these state-run public options an ostensibly cheaper alternative to the current ObamaCare plans. The end result? A federally subsidized, single-payer health-care system run by the states—complete with government authority to set prices. These government plans would have so many competitive advantages through federal subsidies and price setting that they would force the private plans out of the exchange market.
The beauty of this (for single-payer advocates) is that this whole system could be put in place, using the power levers created by the Affordable Care Act, without going before Congress.
So maybe ObamaCare wasn't as jerrybuilt as I suggested?
It laid the grounds rules to set up a single-payer system all along.
All it needs is the right president.
Meanwhile, James Capretta writes that an emerging view in some GOP quarters advocating repeal of ObamaCare without a replacement would also be a bad idea.