Rahm Emanuel famous said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” As of today, Avik Roy explains that the Obama administration is facing a serious crisis when it comes to Obamacare:
It’s hard to come up with new ways to describe the Obama administration’s improvisational approach to the Affordable Care Act’s troubled health insurance exchanges. But last night, the White House made its most consequential announcement yet. The administration will grant a “hardship exemption” from the law’s individual mandate, requiring the purchase of health insurance, to anyone who has had their prior coverage canceled and who “believes” that Obamacare’s offerings “are unaffordable.” These exemptions will substantially alter the architecture of the law’s insurance marketplaces. Insurers are at their wits’ end, trying to make sense of what to do next.
That’s just the intro. In paragraph after paragraph, Roy details the disaster facing the administration as it makes up rules on the fly. Like the hydra, every time the administration thinks its lopped off a problem, two or three more pop up in its place.
Presumably, when the dust settles and the private insurance market is destroyed, the Democrats will say, “See, we told you that the private market couldn’t be fixed. It’s time to socialize our healthcare system.” That will be their version of not letting a crisis go to waste. It’s scary to think that Americans have been so brainwashed that it’s entirely possible that, rather than recoiling in horror and saying, “We will never let you brainless, tyrannical incompetents touch our healthcare again,” Americans will instead say, “D’Oh! You’re right. You’d better take over the whole thing.”
All of which is to say that Republicans and other conservatives ought to figure out ways to capitalize on this crisis too. My instinct is that it’s best if Republicans in Congress don’t act. After all, when your opponent is busy digging a deeper and deeper hole, you don’t throw them a rope ladder. To the extent that Obamacare can never be made workable, Republicans would do well to keep their fingerprints off this disaster. But that doesn’t mean they should keep silent.
So, what should Republicans say that will best enable them to capitalize on the Obamacare debacle, not just in the area of healthcare, but regarding Big Government itself?
And if that question is too easy for you, here’s a harder one: Even though the media is disappointed with Obamacare, that doesn’t mean that its members won’t protect Obama and the Democrats to their dying breath. They are the living embodiment of that hackneyed saying “Nobody gets to pick on my little brother except for me.” How, then, should Republicans who are saying the right things make sure that the public hears what they have to say?