mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
ACA Agonistes
Democratic Governor: Obamacare Isn’t Working

Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota, once a vocal supporter of president Obama’s healthcare overhaul, has made it clear that the law isn’t working for residents of his state. The AP reports:

Minnesota’s Democratic governor said Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act is “no longer affordable,” a stinging critique from a state leader who strongly embraced the law and proudly proclaimed health reform was working in Minnesota just a few years ago.

Gov. Mark Dayton made the comments while addressing questions about Minnesota’s fragile health insurance market, where individual plans are facing double-digit increases after all insurers threatened to exit the market entirely in 2017. He’s the only Democratic governor to publicly suggest the law isn’t working as intended.

Dayton’s comments follow former President Bill Clinton’s saying last week that the law was “the craziest thing in the world” before he backtracked.

The Democrats are turning on Obamacare almost as fast as Republicans are dumping Trump. Of the two, the GOP’s Trump meltdown is the more colorful and entertaining, but the Democratic Obamacare rout is of greater policy significance. One party has nominated a candidate who fails to pass minimum threshold tests and whose campaign threatens to disintegrate in consequence; the other pushed a deeply flawed and genuinely unworkable health care “reform” on millions of unwilling families in the teeth of public opinion.

That the entrenched problems of the Affordable Care Act are finally being acknowledged by mainstream media outlets and Democratic politicians alike is a sign of how utterly the law has failed to meet the lofty expectations set for it in 2009. Many of these problems were entirely predictable: The answer to our healthcare woes isn’t simply to increase government spending; it’s to find ways to increase competition, promote innovation, and lower costs in the long run. Premium hikes can’t simply be met with more subsidies and bailing out insurance companies will commit the U.S. government propping up a dysfunctional system.

As ACA insurance markets continue to unravel, let’s hope that other Democrats start reaching the same conclusion as Governor Dayton.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Andrew Allison

    Why all the Trump negativity in a post about the failure of ACA? TAI really should try and get its evident distaste for Trump (and contempt for the majority of Republican primary voters who made him their candidate) under control.

    • f1b0nacc1

      I believe that the phrase the kids might use here is ‘haters gotta hate’

  • Boritz

    That’s why I read TAI, to find out what is the more colorful versus what is significant.

  • QET

    “Minimum threshold tests.” Good grief.

  • FriendlyGoat

    It’s actually easy to get lots of citizens signed up and participating in a health insurance plan. You do that first by repealing federal policy standards, then by allowing the least-regulated state in the country to become the policy home of plans designed in such a way that they cannot (cannot) pay out much in claims. Then they can be sold for low premiums. Individuals can buy them. Employers can buy them for employees. Medicaid can even be re-designed to pay lower claims and then expanded in all states, even those run by Republicans.

    If you get it down to insurance premium costs of $100 per month per person, everybody will be insured for claims which will be structured so they cannot —–on average—-exceed $900 or maybe $1,000 per person per year. Or, you can double all the numbers and have $200/mo premiums and claims effectively capped at $1,800 or $2,000. Okay, anyone for a triple of the numbers? This is the Republican vision of “competition”. The reason why is because there is no other vision possible under private-sector health insurance. Insurers either take in more premium dollars than they pay out in claims—–or—–they do not write policies. You want a low premium? Then insurers need a state from which they are allowed to sell a thin-benefit policy into all the others.

    Voters need to decide whether being covered for less and less at the doctor’s office, pharmacy, and hospital is their preferred idea of “insurance”.

    • JR

      I don’t want to live under socialism where government decides how much and what kind of medical care I need. Do you understand the previous sentence I wrote? Your answer to every question is a more powerful central State. You are really just a really really scary Statist. I’ve never seen someone like this outside of “1984”. I don’t mean that as a compliment.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Wasn’t looking for your compliment. Don’t care what you think about me. Don’t care what you think about socialism. Don’t even care what you think about health insurance.

        • JR

          You made it perfectly clear that you don’t care about anybody’s opinion other than your own. Why are you even here? You think I want to live in some hell on earth because you want it? Go get fukkedd little man. You’re nothing but a shill for socialism. I can, and as a matter of fact have, reduce you to one sentence.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I am here to write my own thoughts as stimulated by the TAI subjects. You should try it instead of replying to me or satirizing me to others. Above, I have summed up the health insurance problem and a solution—–the main solution—– approved by Republicans for dealing with it. I even did it charitably in the spirit of what they really expect to happen. Market competition—-with low premiums and surviving insurers. This is done by actuarial assurance of low claims and it is not done any other way. Ask anyone in insurance.

            Meanwhile, you are mad at me because you realize that this plan is absurdly inadequate to cover the health costs of most ordinary people. Go be mad at someone who is less honest with you than I am. There is a whole party of them on this subject.

          • JR

            Yes, you dropped a truth bomb on us that heath insurance companies are for profit entities. How stupid do you think we are. You are not dropping some kind of truth on us, you are just making the same tired claim that government will take better care of us that for profit entities. Guess what? I deal with for profit entities every day. I work for one. TAI itself linked to a bunch of articles in the NYT where companies claim that company insurance plan is a must have benefit to attract talent. People are smart enough to get what your solution is about and to reject it. Do you get that or does your ideological blindness prevent you from seeing it?
            The difference between us is that I believe in individual freedom while you believe in the omnipotent State. When I say that you are terrifying, I’m not being facetious. Do you have any idea how close you sound to Pol Pot? That is why satirizing you is the only way I can fight back here on the Internet. My goal is to make you a joke. I have been very open about that.

          • FriendlyGoat

            But a fart-fuddled fool can only really make me a joke to other fart-fuddled fools, JR. Thankfully, for you, this comment section is full of them. Unfortunately for you, they are the only audience who likes you and thinks you are cute.

            If you were half the business brain you are claiming to be, you would know that 1) There is no insurance company in any state that can write money-losing policies, and 2) Your entire party has been trying to mislead voters on this point for several years now by implying that we’ll have a fantastic situation for folks as soon as their policy standards and consumer protections are repealed—–and—–the lines are removed from around the states (Trump’s terminology in last debate.)

            I have paid particular attention to this subject from the political right for a long time. Except for mumbo-jumbo about health savings accounts for people who have lots of money to put in them for tax shelter, there is nothing else offered by the GOP. Trump confirmed that as recently as last Sunday by mentioning nothing but state lines—–nothing.

          • JR

            Got a little bit under your skin, Comrade?
            And you are absolutely right. Everybody ELSE is stupid. You are the only smart one here. Do you have any idea how absurd you sound? I bet that you don’t. You are one of those poor delusional fools that thinks everybody else is wrong, and they are right. All the more reason to keep people like you as far away as possible from anything. Otherwise who knows what damage you might do.
            I never claimed to be a business brain. I have used my brain to work in business to make money so I can stuff sustenance down my children’s pie holes. That much is true. I also understand that your solution to a problem of too much government intervention is yet more government intervention. You want to reward failure with more power. I get what you are saying. I just think you are wrong and are ultimately looking to undermine my freedom. I take that seriously. BUT not as seriously as I do raising taxes to confiscatory levels above a certain random number. As long as people associate that with you, I’m happy. And isn’t that what’s it all about, being happy and resisting tyranny?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Actually, JR, I suggest we invite in a mental health professional to review our posts to determine who is under whose skin. I write a post. You have a fit. I write a post. You have a fit. I write a post. You have a fit. This has been going on for months. I seriously do not care where you go with it. You’re not relevant to me.

          • JR

            Neither are you, as an individual. But when you start spreading your BS in the open forum. get ready to be called out on it. I never hide how repugnant I find your Statism and Collectivism, so my responses are pretty easy to predict. I find you and the ideology you espouse to be both disgusting and scary, which is an achievement of sorts. So I fight back. Many here have given up, saying what’s the point? in so many words. I choose to not look the other way and confront you. And for Pete’s sake, what about raising taxes to confiscatory levels above a certain randomly determined level??? Come on, Comrade FG. You know that the State will do a better job with my money than I ever will.

          • Tom

            But you keep replying to him. Odd way of declaring his irrelevance.

          • Boritz

            “I am here to write my own thoughts as stimulated by the TAI subjects.”

            Subjects today, vassals tomorrow.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Stretching as usual, I see.

  • JR

    The governor of MN is an idiot. You know why? He didn’t go for the most obvious solution. Why didn’t he impose confiscatory levels of taxation above a certain randomly determined level? How is that not the solution?

  • Dale Fayda

    I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it till my last breath – liberalism is a mental disorder.

    • JR

      Dude, read the article. Guess who the good governor blames for all these problems? Is it Democrats, the party that passed the law? Of course not. It is all the fault of the Republicans. It is Republicans fault that law passed by Democrats doesn’t work. Unfalsifiable hypothesis. Done.

      • Dale Fayda

        “Being a liberal means never having to say you’re sorry.”

        The Democrat party is truly evil.

  • Boritz

    Two writers in one:

    “The Democrats are turning on Obamacare almost as fast as Republicans are dumping Trump.”

    “As ACA insurance markets continue to unravel, let’s hope that other Democrats start reaching the same conclusion as Governor Dayton.”

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service