Editor’s note: The following column first appeared on The Resurgent.
Since 2010, Republicans have repeatedly promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which is now universally referred to as ObamaCare. Last week, Republicans finally unveiled their alternative to ObamaCare and it is best described as Swampcare. Far from repealing ObamaCare or replacing ObamaCare, it only tweaks the Affordable Care Act and does nothing to drain the swamp.
ObamaCare has never been popular. It has never polled above fifty percent. Democrats have invented a host of reasons why it polls so terribly including that people just do not realize ObamaCare is the Affordable Care Act. It is simply not popular. More people were hurt by ObamaCare than helped. It created a massive new and costly entitlement and expanded the least efficient, least effective existing entitlement program — Medicaid.
For all of its flaws, and the flaws outweigh the benefits, the Democrats included mechanisms to keep government spending on ObamaCare from exploding in the first several years of the legislation’s enactment. Many of those provisions are the massively unpopular parts of the legislation. They include employer mandates on providing insurance, individual mandates forcing people to buy insurance, and taxes on generous health care plans.
In enacting their swampcare alternative, Republicans will scuttle all the things people have hated about ObamaCare, but they will not restructure the legislation to save money. The Republicans’ plan will wind up costing taxpayers even more. On top of that, they are not really even getting rid of the individual mandate. Under swampcare, instead of paying the government a fine for failing to get insurance, people will pay insurance companies a penalty if they cancel insurance then get new insurance later. The constitutionality of that provision alone is dubious.