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Monday, January 28, 2013

We're about to learn who was right about Affordable Care Act

Final verdict on the Affordable Care Act to come

From the piece:

Does Rep. Paul Ryan disagree? Speaking to the National Review Institute over the weekend, hesuggested that the Republican Party's opposition to Obamacare is just beginning. "In the president's first term, we argued against big government in theory," he said. "In his second, we will argue against it in practice. Obamacare is no longer just a 2,000-page bill. Now, it's 13,000 pages of regulations. And it's growing. This year, the law will restrict our ability to use flexible-spending accounts. It will even raise taxes on life-saving medical devices. And that's just health care." 

As a Republican politician, Ryan has an incentive to overstate the costs of Obamacare, but he's right that it's changing from something exhaustively debated in theory to a policy with real world successes and failures. If they occur in anything like the ratio Rep. Ryan suggests, running on the repeal of Obamacare ought to be easier four years from now than it was during Election 2012. 

On the other hand, the Republicans fought the passage and implementation of Obamacare by running against death panels, socialism, Medicare cuts, and the United States becoming another Europe. So even if the legislation goes very wrong in exactly the ways that wonkier critics likeReason's Peter Suderman predicted, GOP politicians won't exactly be able to say "I told you so." If Obama winds up making the health care system somewhat worse, even as "death panels" never materialize, market capitalism survives, Medicare endures, and it still doesn't feel like Europe, many rank-and-file conservatives will be relieved, or even pleasantly surprised.   


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