Obamacare is Fiscally Responsible
Posted at 5:33 a.m. on Nov. 21, 2013
Obamacare’s troubled rollout has been compared to initial problems experienced with the Bush administration’s Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Supporters of the Affordable Care Act contend that despite initial technical glitches, Medicare Part D became a successful and popular program; with patience, the same success will happen for Obamacare.
Jonathan Cohn takes that comparison one step further, arguing that “the most important difference between Medicare Part D and Obamacare has nothing to do with information technology—and everything to do with policy trade-offs.”
The difference, according to Cohn: Payment of Medicare Part D was not fiscally responsible. In contrast, “Obama and his allies adopted a very different approach. They made two vows—that health care reform would pay for itself and that, over time, it would actually reduce the deficit.”
“Obamacare’s architects guaranteed they’d make some people angry [by requiring financial participation from constituents]. And that is the biggest difference between what Bush did and what Obama did. Medicare Part D was all gain, no pain—the program gave millions of senior citizens access to drugs, without asking anybody to pay for it immediately. Instead, the program passes along the bill to future generations, for whom higher deficits mean fewer resources for public or private spending. The Affordable Care Act, by contrast, has gain and pain.”