Chris Conover has written a piece in National Review Online this morning arguing for a one-year delay in implementing ObamaCare.
I admit that I’m a bit reluctant to respond, since I admire Conover a lot (if you are remotely interested in health care and don’t have a copy of his American Health Economy Illustrated, get one.)
Nevertheless, here is the summary of Conover’s case: ”First, it would save a boatload of money, thereby greatly improving the odds of reaching a mutually acceptable budget deal. Second, the federal government isn’t ready. Third, the states aren’t ready. Fourth, employers aren’t ready. Finally, the people aren’t ready.”
If the federal government and the states that are developing their own exchanges aren’t ready, that’s all the more reason to not delay ObamaCare. ObamaCare has been an exercise in charlatanism from the get-go, from promising to spend more while balancing the budget at the same time, to claiming that no one would lose their health insurance or doctor. If the architects of ObamaCare promised to have the exchanges up and running by October 2013, then it’s on them. When the exchanges prove to be a disaster, then the charlatans get exposed in a big way. It teaches the American Public that people promising the government can run the health-care system are not to be trusted. Delaying ObamaCare only lets the charlatans continue the charade. I can see no good reason to grant them a reprieve.
Conover is not the first to connect delaying ObamaCare to improving the odds of a budget deal. James Capretta and Jeffrey Anderson made a similar argument back in January when pushing for a two-year delay. It’s not clear from either piece why improving a budget deal is that important in this context. Shouldn’t the delay of ObamaCare lead to the repeal of ObamaCare? Getting a budget deal might be a nice side benefit, but it shouldn’t be a major selling point. Then again, it might not be such a nice selling point. A budget deal gives Obama the opportunity to grab the mantle of bipartisanship, which may give him more political capital to sell ObamaCare.
As for employers and the American people, those are perhaps the two best arguments for a delay and are groups we should be rightly concerned about. Unfortunately, those will have to wait for when I’m less pressed for time.