CNBC.com senior columnist Jake Novak contends that Obamacare really exposes the “stupidity” plaguing mankind these days.
“And by that I mean stupid politicians, stupid "experts," and even regular – but stupid - Americans. And in case you missed it, the last few weeks have presented us, and the presidential candidates, with more solid evidence of ACA-related stupidity than usual,” he recently wrote for CNBC.com.
“This summer we learned that one of the biggest reasons people are refusing to sign up for Obamacare is… they want to keep smoking. The higher surcharges and premiums for smokers are discouraging people, especially young people, from enrolling in ACA plans. And, it turns out that these higher costs aren't encouraging them to quit smoking either. Oh, and there's also still evidence that a decent percentage of people who do sign up for Obamacare who say they're not smokers are lying,” he wrote.
“The stupid response from our two leading presidential candidates has been predictable and constant. Donald Trump keeps promising to repeal Obamacare, but he offers no further specifics. This is stupid, especially for a candidate who's otherwise been pretty good at focusing on one single aspect of a policy he doesn't like and also making clear, (if questionable), promises about what he'd do to change them. Hillary Clinton is barely talking about Obamacare at all,” he wrote.
“All of these emerging issues are fruit of the same stupid source tree a lot of people saw from a mile away well before Obamacare went into effect in the first place. As many who worked in the health care industry tried to tell the politicians who wouldn't listen, we know that a lot of people just won't do the right thing for themselves when it comes to their health care,” he wrote.
“They won't eat right, they won't stop smoking, they won't exercise, they won't visit a doctor regularly, and they sure as heck aren't going to sign up for health insurance coverage unless they need it right away. In short, the ACA was set up to rely the most on the most tragically unreliable people in the country. Some of those people are rich, some of those people are poor,” he wrote.
Novak did offer a way it could be saved, but doubts it will work.
“A non-stupid alternative would be to keep the best part of Obamacare, which is the idea that you can have the freedom to shop online from a real number of competing choices of health plans. But that would require allowing insurers to cross state lines and that's still not allowed,” he wrote.
“It would also be great to offer more of those bare-boned major medical plans that used to be much more popular among the young and healthy. But the ACA basically banned them. With real competition and real affordability, at least the less stupid among the uninsured would finally sign up,” he wrote.
“There was a brief time in American politics when candidates could score points by promising to stand up for those who worked the hardest and were the most responsible with their finances, their families, and their personal health. The ACA and Trump and Clinton tell us that we now have, and are likely will continue to have, a national health insurance policy given to us by a government of the stupid, by the stupid, and for the stupid.”
Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia contends the president's signature law is failing spectacularly and that liberals have no clue how to fix Obamacare.
"Obamacare has become such a quagmire that the proposed "fixes" may create an even bigger mess," Dalmia wrote for Reason.com.
"Obamacare tried to remake a sector that constitutes one-eighth of the economy from the ground up. But it made a mess that it just doesn't know how to fix. That will be President Obama's legacy. He should be worried. Very worried.
Meanwhile, when push comes to shove, moderate Republicans battling for their political survival are not showing an appetite to rave about repealing Obamacare on the campaign trail, Politico reports.
Campaigning on a strategy of removing healthcare benefits from millions of Americans is not a winning strategy when you're in danger of losing your seat to a Democrat.
"When I ran, I said I'm not going to vote for repeal of Obamacare unless there is a replacement or repeal and replace," Rep. John Katko, R-NY, told Politico. "There wasn't (a replacement) and I'm not going to beat my head."
Katko was one of three Republicans, joining Bob Dold of Illinois and Bruce Poliquin of Maine, who broke with the party and voted against repeal in January of 2015, Politico reports.
Further kicking the issue of repeal to the curb are the burning issues of terrorism, free trade and immigration, topics that are core to GOP nominee Donald Trump's campaign.
"I've seen (candidates) talk about it here or there but it's not dominating what they're talking about in the districts," a GOP strategist told Politico. "This is definitely an unpopular law, but when you have the violence going on in the Middle East, it is going to take precedence over a flawed law that people are frustrated with."
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).
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