The Three-Phase Failure of Obamacare

Phase 1 — Technical failure
Phase 2 – Most massive consumer fraud in history
Phase 3 — Adverse selection

James Taranto:

This column has made the point before that there are three phases of the ObamaCare catastrophe. Phase 1, the technical failure, might have been avoided had the administration had some basic standards of competence. But Phases 2 and 3 are inherent in the law.

Phase 2 was the revelation that the ObamaCare enterprise is the most massive consumer fraud in American history–that the “if you like your plan, you can keep it” sales pitch was not only false but deliberately deceptive, and also that ObamaCare forces insurance companies to engage in dishonest practices such as selling maternity coverage to men and postmenopausal women.

Politico notes that the combination of Phases 1 and 2 has created a new way for ObamaCare to fail: “Health care experts say, it’s not out of the question that the Obama administration could face the worst-case scenario on Jan. 1: the number of uninsured Americans actually goes up.” (This columnist is not an expert, but we raised the possibility a month ago.)

Assuming that the politics of ObamaCare remain static–that is, assuming Senate Democrats continue to fear the president more than they fear their constituents–Phase 3 will develop over the coming months. Phase 3 is the demonstration that even if the system is technically functional and the fraud impervious to redress, ObamaCare is economically unviable because of adverse selection: Americans who stand to benefit from the law’s price controls, the old and the sick, will buy insurance in large numbers, while those who get hit by them, the young and the healthy, will not.

Do read the whole thing, as it nicely ties up the loose ends of these three phases.

Some are now calling Obamacare, “Obamacaid” because of the way it expands Medicaid and throws millions more people into it. That’s not really good for most of those people because having a Medicaid card doesn’t mean you’ll ever see a doctor or that you won’t have to queue up into a months-long waiting line to see a doctor who will give you only a minute or two.