The Daily Kos is incredibly excited because a 61-year-old Republican got a good deal on Obamacare:
The coup de grace however is the stories that are now coming out of Republicans going onto the exchanges and realizing that they had been lied to. This was the case with Republican Butch Matthews, a 61-year-old former small business owner from Little Rock, Arkansas. ThinkProgress reports that,
Butch Matthews is a 61-year-old former small business owner from Little Rock, Arkansas who used to wake up every morning at 4 A.M. to deliver canned beverages to retailers before retiring in 2010. A lifelong Republican, he was heavily skeptical of the Affordable Care Act when it first passed. “I did not think that Obamacare was going to be a good plan, I did not think that it was going to help me at all,” he told ThinkProgress over the phone.
But after doing a little research, Matthews eventually realized how much the law could help him. And on Tuesday, his local Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) provider confirmed that he would be able to buy a far better plan than his current policy while saving at least $13,000 per year through Arkansas’ Obamacare marketplace. [Source]
Turns out pre-Obamacare, Matthews was paying $1069.per month with a $10,000 deductible. Matthews’ doctor visits went from a co-pay of $150 to $8. Matthews has a simple message to all Americans. He says,
I would tell them to learn more about it before they start talking bad about it,” he noted. “Be more informed, get more information, take your time and study and not just go by just what you hear on one side or the other. Actually check the facts on it. [Source]
In the face of that (willfully?) naive triumphalism, it seems almost indelicate to point out that socialism (i.e., redistribution of wealth) always works in the beginning, when there’s still some wealth to redistribute. At a certain point, though, to paraphrase Maggie Thatcher, you run out of other people’s money.
You did notice, I hope, that Butch is 61 and retired. That means that he’s one of the subsidized ones under Obamacare, so he’s necessarily going to get a good deal. At least, it’s a good deal for now. James Taranto offers a neat distillation of the fundamental structural problem plaguing Obamacare, one that entices the Butch’s of the world into the program but that guarantees to leave them high and dry in a few years (or months?):
ObamaCare relies on price controls that jack up premiums on the young and healthy in order to keep them low on the old and sickly. If the latter but not the former are signing up in huge numbers–that is, if people are responding rationally to incentives–then the scheme is unsustainable.
Here’s a perfect example of the person paying for Butch’s cheap insurance.
Socialism can temporarily stave off market realities but the problem with pushing cans down the road is that, when you get to the end of the road, those cans have piled up into an impenetrable mass of rusted, sharp, twisted, destructive metal. (And just to make the metaphor even more juicy, they’re probably populated by botulism too.) Problems deferred are still problems. Butch is happy now, and rightfully so. Will anybody be happy next year? Doubtful, very doubtful.