Last week, Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont and chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009, acknowledged that — as Obamacare’s critics have contended all along — the bill will prompt many employers to drop their health plans. “Most small businesses are not going to be in the health insurance business anymore after this thing goes into effect,” he said. Dean, of course, spun this as a cost reduction for business. But in fact it undercuts two key promises Obama made in order to pass his bill. First, if you like your health coverage, you probably won’t be able to keep it. Second, millions of Americans will be dumped by their employers into subsidized insurance exchanges, which means that Obamacare will add significantly to the deficit.
Then again, thanks to a glaring but heretofore unnoticed flaw in the bill’s language, Obamacare might not cost as much as expected because it won’t serve those it was intended to help. Because supporters failed to read their bill before passing it, the letter of the law provides that low-income Americans in many states will not be eligible for the promised subsidies to purchase insurance. This simple technical mistake, reported this month by Investor’s Business Daily, threatens to un-insure millions of those currently insured if they are dumped by employers into federally established insurance exchanges.
Obamacare, like most large-scale government schemes, has proven to be one man’s dream and most Americans’ nightmare. Obama has not yet paid the full political price for its passage, but Americans will pay even more dearly if the courts leave it in force.