My post yesterday on the political consequences of Obamacare elicited several interesting comments from readers, including the notion that I was naive to believe that the GOP wouldn’t be blamed for the fiasco. This WaPo article would seem to indicate that a full-court press is underway to blame somebody — anybody — except the president and the Democratic Party for the chaos and confusion that are going to result from implementing the ACA.
If they don’t blame Republicans, they will blame greedy capitalist businessmen who will be making common-sense decisions on profit and loss. Smaller businesses may make their decisions on whether to drop their health insurance for employees based on life or death. Some will almost certainly not be able to afford the increased costs and will face a decision that includes bankruptcy or no insurance.
If this “preference cascade” results in millions of workers losing their employer-based coverage, they will be thrown on to the exchanges, thus massively increasing the cost of subsidies.
Perhaps I am naive in thinking that people will take out their frustrations over Obamacare on the Democrats. But even low-information voters have a sense of how the world works. Seeing their premiums go up, having to wait months for a doctor’s appointment because of the physician shortages, and wrestling with the complex state exchanges or Medicaid applications — all are hard to blame on anyone but the authors of Obamacare.
Also, the GOP won’t act like a boiling frog and sit there waiting to be blamed. They will hit back with the most effective political weapon at their disposal: “I told ya so.” The warnings by Republicans of what would happen if Obamacare was passed are on record and would make extremely effective campaign commercials.
The bottom line is that the transition to Obamacare is going to be painful, confusing, and, for many citizens, shocking. Whom they take out their frustrations on will tell the tale of the 2014 and 2016 elections.