I just love that title.
I just love that title.
The Financial Times published my letter to the editor [$]:
Sir, “Imminent ‘ObamaCare’ ruling poses challenge for Republicans” [$] (May 25) doesn’t quite capture my views when it reports that I believe “resurrecting protections for patients with pre-existing conditions would be wrong.” ObamaCare is wrong precisely because those provisions will not protect patients with pre-existing conditions.
Those “protections” are nothing more than government price controls that force carriers to sell insurance to the sick at a premium far below the cost of the claims they incur. As a result, whichever carrier attracts the most sick patients goes out of business. The ensuing race to the bottom will even harm sick Americans who currently have secure coverage.
The debate over ObamaCare is not between people who care and people who don’t care. It is between people who know how to help the sick, and those who don’t.
Mitt Romney has appointed ObamaCare profiteer and former Utah governor Mike Leavitt to head his presidential transition team. Politico reports that Leavitt has “headlined health care policy discussions at $10,000 per-person Beltway fundraisers for Romney” and may become White House chief of staff if Romney wins. ObamaCare opponents should be outraged.
Leavitt has spent the last couple of years spreading dangerous (but self-enriching!) nonsense about how states would benefit by establishing ObamaCare’s health insurance “exchanges.” He seldom mentions that his “consulting” business Leavitt Partners rakes in tons of ObamaCare cash by bidding on those contracts. Perhaps this is because reporters seldom ask.
Here’s a video Cato produced about why states should flatly refuse to create ObamaCare Exchanges:
But don’t count Leavitt out. Politico writes:
Leavitt has said some relatively positive things about certain elements of Obama’s health reform law…
[Leavitt’s longtime chief aide, Rich] McKeown, who still works with Leavitt at his Utah-based health care consultancy [Leavitt Partners], acknowledged that the former governor does not want to undo one key part of the controversial legislation.
“We believe that the exchanges are the solution to small business insurance market and that’s gotten us sideways with some conservatives,” he said.
The exchanges are not only a matter of principle for Leavitt — they’re also a cash cow.
The size of his firm, Leavitt Partners, doubled in the year after the bill was signed as they won contracts to help states set up the exchanges funded by the legislation.
And yet someone somehow managed to say this:
“He’s 100 percent in it for Mitt, no secret agenda for himself,” said one Romneyite.
The Romney camp still says Mitt will “repeal Obamacare, starting Day One.” If he were serious, he would announce that he will rescind this IRS rule on day one. But the fact that Romney picked Leavitt suggests he really doesn’t mind ObamaCare that much, and that he is just saying whatever he needs to say to get what he wants. I know. Mitt Romney. Go figure. In this case, that means assuaging all the Republicans and independents who hate ObamaCare.
Romney’s appointment of Leavitt is a first step toward flip-flopping–or Etch-a-Sketching, or Romneying(TM), or whatever–on ObamaCare repeal. But it’s hard to blame Romney for thinking Republicans won’t care. These are, after all, people who picked Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee.
This new Cato Institute video explains why it is in no state’s interest to create an ObamaCare Exchange.
Many thanks to Cato’s very talented Caleb O. Brown and Austin Bragg.
Consider these charts from the latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, released today.
Even when pollsters tell the public that ObamaCare is “reform,” the public still doesn’t like it.
ObamaCare’s slip in this month’s poll is the result of a simultaneous drop in support among both Democrats and Independents.
The people who hate ObamaCare are really, really angry. And they are not going away.
The following shares of voters believe ObamaCare will either be of no use or will be harmful to the following groups: children (47 percent), young adults (51 percent), women (50 percent), the country as a whole (55 percent), themselves and their families (68 percent).
Bear in mind, ObamaCare has always fared better in the Kaiser tracking poll than other polls.
A year ago, I published a law review article detailing “my first year battling Obamacare.” That essay wove the main legal arguments and judicial opinions to that point—the last one being the Sixth Circuit’s ruling for the government, a footnote about which I managed to insert in final editing—into a narrative about my and Cato’s involvement in the litigation.
The colorful highlights of that narrative undoubtedly came from the many debates, panels, and other public events I participated in, a tour triggered at least in part by my “Obamacare debate challenge.” Cato senior fellow Randy Barnett has also graciously passed on to me various speaking invitations he’s declined; I’ll take being the back-up/junior varsity to the “intellectual godfather” of the Obamacare cases any day! (Randy and I, who are the only people other than two or three government lawyers to have attended every single Obamacare appellate argument, joked that that we were going to make t-shirts called “Obamacare Appeals Tour 2011: Traveling in Interstate Commerce.”)
All that good fun has continued through the present, of course, and while nobody’s yet asked me to do a follow-up article about my second year—I may write one anyway this summer once the decision hoopla dies down—I can report that next Wednesday I’ll be marking my 100th Obamacare public event. Fittingly, it’ll be held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. It’s an interesting format too, with Randy and Yale law professor Jack Balkin (whom I’ve debated) as the main discussants and a small panel of “experts” acting as interlocutors. The event, which starts at 6:30 p.m., is open to the public but has a modest ($7-$10) admission fee.
And of course, we shall soon see the ultimate result of all this investment of time and energy. The Supreme Court will almost certainly release its ruling at the end of June, with the most likely days being June 27 (my birthday, as it happens), June 25, June 21, and June 29—in that order.
USA Today reports that groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Cato Institute have had much success in discouraging states from creating Obamacare’s health insurance “exchanges.” Even the Heritage Foundation, which once counseled states to establish “defensive” Obamacare exchanges, now counsels states to refuse to create them and to send all exchange-related grants back to Washington.
In response, Obamacare contractor and self-described conservative Republican Cheryl Smith sniffs:
When you work at a think-tank, it’s really easy to come up with these really high-risk plans.
Except, there is no risk to states. The only risks to this strategy are that health insurance companies won’t get half a trillion dollars in taxpayer subsidies, and that certain Obamacare contractors won’t get any more of those lucrative exchange contracts.
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.