More bad news for Obama-Care this week: Another state announced huge rate increases, and another labor union rebelled over the harm it will do to members. Yet, this train wreck just keeps on rolling.
ObamaCare may very well be the worst law ever passed by the federal government in the history of the U.S. The public didn't want it in the first place — going so far as to elect a Republican senator in solidly Democratic Massachusetts to try to stop it — and they've hated it ever since.
The latest IBD/TIPP poll finds that just 38% want Congress to stop trying to kill it. Fifty-four percent say lawmakers either should delay it until President Obama is out of office or use every opportunity to prevent its taking effect.
Since its passage, ObamaCare has proved to be a huge mess. The administration has signed several bills repealing portions of the law. It had to issue waivers to hundreds of companies to prevent millions of workers from losing health benefits.
It has delayed the employer mandate, the Medicare Advantage cuts, the ban on out-of-pocket limits, and verification rules needed to prevent fraud because they would have caused massive dislocations.
The Supreme Court ruled ObamaCare's mandate that states expand their Medicaid programs was unconstitutional, leaving a huge gap in its proposed coverage.
Even ObamaCare's biggest advocates — trade unions — are now in open rebellion against the law because of the harm they believe it will cause to existing multi-employer health plans. The Teamsters said ObamaCare would "shatter" these arrangements, the electrical workers union said it would "dismantle" them, and the roofers union has called for ObamaCare's outright repeal.
Just this week, 40,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union quit the AFL-CIO, citing its support for ObamaCare's onerous tax on health benefits.
On top of all this, it's becoming increasingly clear that ObamaCare will fail to live up to its name — the "Affordable Care Act" — as state after state announces huge ObamaCare-induced premium hikes.
The latest evidence comes from Wisconsin, where the state's insurance commissioner, Ted Nickel, reported that premiums will be as much as 125% higher next year than what's available today.
"While there is no question that some consumers will have subsidies and may not pay these higher rates," Nickel said in a statement, "someone will pay for the increased premiums, whether it is the consumer or the federal government."
Meanwhile, a Manhattan Institute analysis released this week found that ObamaCare rates will be 24% higher, on average, in 13 states that have reported them so far. In New Mexico, they will climb an average 130%, in Vermont 97%, South Dakota 83% and Connecticut 59%.
And yet, despite all this, it's hard to see what can prevent ObamaCare from becoming a permanent fixture.
The effort by some conservative lawmakers to deny implementation funds in the next fiscal year — which starts Oct. 1 — has gotten little traction with the GOP leadership.
On Tuesday, Michigan's Republican-led House sent the state's Republican governor a bill to voluntarily adopt ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion, joining six other states with GOP governors to do so. They will be hard-pressed to support any effort to repeal the law now.
USA Today reported this week that "a coalition of health care providers, insurers, bill collectors and community groups have stepped in to promote (ObamaCare) exchanges."
And once ObamaCare's $1 trillion worth of insurance subsidies starts to kick in next year, there will be a huge lobbying force in favor of keeping the law, at least, if not expanding it. Even businesses that oppose ObamaCare today could end up lobbying for it in the future, after they've conformed their businesses to the many market distortions it will create.
Republicans still have one chance to stop this misbegotten law. But only if they join forces and act before ObamaCare moves down the tracks.