This is from the lead in item in today's Best of the Web Today column, but James Taranto:
Further, a central feature of ObamaCare ensures that the individual cost of defection will be minimal. Let's say you're 28 and you decline to buy unaffordable insurance. A quarter-century goes by, and you're a 53-year-old with a heart condition. If ObamaCare is still in place and working according to plan, you'll be able to buy an "affordable" policy despite your "pre-existing condition." If ObamaCare has collapsed because too many in your generation defected, you'll be out of luck. In neither case will you be better off by virtue of having bought unaffordable insurance now.
If you're young and healthy and farsighted enough to be thinking about middle and old age, your most prudent course of action would be to pass up ObamaCare insurance and save or invest your money instead. That way you will have a cushion against the personal or political vicissitudes of the next few decades.Taranto is highlighting an apparent Prisoners' Dilemma in the execution of ObamaCare, and his argument is sound as far as it goes. But his story has me wondering something: Who in the world thinks the ObamaCare legislation will last in its present state for anything close to twenty-five years?
Set aside the your political opinions as you think through that question. Does any supporter of ObamaCare honestly believe that the legislation is robust enough to guarantee delivery of health insurance and health care services to the American people for a quarter-century? Speaking as a critic of the ACA, I can say that my view is far more pessimistic, but of course we can simply assume my criticism is merely the worst-case scenario. How about the best case?
Keep in mind that key provisions of the legislation are not actually being in forced at the present date because they have proven to be too thorny and impracticable to function. So what this really means is that ObamaCare doesn't work, and that's the current state of things. Assuming the regulators find some way to carry out the legislation, what is the likelihood that the patchwork solution they come up with will be built to sustain twenty-five years of American life?
There is, of course, the cynic's possibility. It has been said by some that the ACA was a deliberate disaster, a piece of legislation flagrantly designed to fail, to collapse the US health care system and precipitate a complete takeover of the industry by the federal government. That would be a piece of Machiavellianism so heinous as to be incredible.
So, I put it to fans of ObamaCare: Will this legislation last another twenty-five years, and why do you think so?