Like an Exploding Cell Phone, Obamacare Should Be Replaced
The last few months have been pretty devastating for the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Shortly after United and Aetna announced they would be exiting practically all of Obamacare's insurance exchanges, including Missouri's, we found out that Americans' insurance premiums will be rising signficantly in the plans that remain. Here in the Show-Me State, the premium hikes alone in the exchange could be as high as 20 to 30 percent—harming, not protecting, patients with unaffordable and steadily deteriorating coverage options.
On Thursday the President more or less confirmed this, albeit unintentionally. Many of our readers are aware that tech giant Samsung has recalled its Galaxy Note 7 cellular phone because it's, well, exploding. In response, the company has told Note 7 owners to stop using the device immediately. Even the FAA has banned taking such phones aboard airplanes because of the risk associated with the phone catching fire. Rather than try to upgrade the product to avert their catastrophic failures, Samsung is now… replacing all of the devices.
I had not previously thought to compare Obamacare to a device with an unadvertised tendency to explode, but luckily President Obama just painted that picture for us.
Obama compared problems in the law to a bug in new technology. He said, for example, that a company will fix a problem with a smartphone.
"They upgrade it, unless it catches fire and then they just pull it off the market," Obama joked, in a reference to the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. "But you don't go back to using a rotary phone. You don't say, we're repealing smartphones."
Along with the joke being a tad tone deaf given the pain the law has put families through, President Obama's analogy is imperfect because by repealing the PPACA we wouldn't be repealing "health care"—just an indisputably broken part of it. As Samsung is swapping one failed product for another that won't set your hair on fire, so should policymakers fundamentally reassess and replace what was and is an ill-conceived health care law that doubled-down on the status quo rather than reforming it.
As the President suggests, sometimes trying to "upgrade" an inferior product can be downright dangerous. After 6 years of poor Obamacare results, it's time for policymakers to move on to something better.