As the number of people enrolling in ObamaCare Exchanges is falling below the Obama administration’s targets, Hillary Clinton faced a tough question at a town hall meeting in Ohio on Sunday night. Theresa O’Donnell, a Democratic-leaning voter complained that ObamaCare caused her family’s health insurance premiums to double from $5,880 per year to $12,972 per year. “I would like to vote Democratic, but it’s costing me a lot of money,” O’Donnell pleaded. “I am just wondering if Democrats really realize how difficult it’s been on working-class Americans to finance ObamaCare.” The audience applauded O’Donnell, showing once again that, really, not even Democrats like ObamaCare.
Clinton’s answer was confident, lucid, and totally incoherent. It amounted to this: (1) shop around on the Exchange for a better deal, which might not make a difference; then elect me and I’ll (2) reduce your copays and your deductibles and your premiums; and (3) encourage more non-profit health insurance companies to compete in the Exchanges.
Clinton acknowledged her first solution might not help. She implicitly recognized that ObamaCare may indeed be just as bad as O’Donnell described. Worse, under ObamaCare’s perverse rules, the more people shop around, the worse the coverage gets.
Her second solution was no better. As anyone who knows anything about health insurance can tell you, reducing deductibles and copayments increases the cost of health insurance. In all likelihood, it would also increase the cost of medical services, including the prescription drugs whose prices Clinton decries.
Clinton also seemed to acknowledge that her third solution is no solution, either. ObamaCare tried inject competition into the Exchanges by giving billions of taxpayer dollars to help launch non-profit “co-ops” run by people with no experience running a health-insurance company. Unsurprisingly most of the ObamaCare co-ops failed. Many patients lost their coverage all over again. Taxpayers will never get that money back.
The party that gave us ObamaCare doesn’t even like it. Still they seem to have learned nothing from its failures.