So 7.1 million Americans signed up for Obamacare, which is being hailed as a great success for the program. But, you will recall, 6 million Americans already had individual health insurance policies that they lost because of the new law, forcing them to sign up for Obamacare. The question is, how many Americans have health insurance now who did not have it before? And how many are still uninusred? Those crucial numbers we do not know.
After the jump, a devastating critique of the Affordable Care Act from Peggy Noonan.
Put aside the numbers for a moment, and the daily argument.
“Seven point one million people have signed up!”
“But six million people lost their coverage and were forced onto the exchanges! That’s no triumph, it’s a manipulation. And how many of the 7.1 million have paid?”
“We can’t say, but 7.1 million is a big number and redeems the program.”
“Is it a real number?”
“Your lack of trust betrays a dark and conspiratorial right-wing mindset.”
As I say, put aside the argument, step back and view the thing at a distance. Support it or not, you cannot look at ObamaCare and call it anything but a huge, historic mess. It is also utterly unique in the annals of American lawmaking and government administration.
Its biggest proponent in Congress, the Democratic speaker of the House, literally said—blithely, mindlessly, but in a way forthcomingly—that we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. It is a cliché to note this. But really, Nancy Pelosi‘s statement was a historic admission that she was fighting hard for something she herself didn’t understand, but she had every confidence regulators and bureaucratic interpreters would tell her in time what she’d done. This is how we make laws now.