Was Obamacare Designed to Fail?

Published October 3, 2023
obamacare affordable care act
Is it possible that Obamacare was intentionally set up to falter, leading frustrated Americans to implore the federal government to assume control of health care? Devon Herrick posits this theory, having recently explored the topic on the Goodman Health Blog. He highlights that without the crutch of subsidies, Obamacare is destined to collapse — a prediction echoed by many during the 2009-2010 debates surrounding the inception of the Affordable Care Act.Herrick delves into various topics, including the expansion of Medicaid, and the concept of Medicare for All — or as he terms it, “Medicaid for All.” Since the enactment of the ACA, 21 states have contemplated bills advocating for single-payer systems. However, the majority of these proposals were thwarted due to their exorbitant costs. For instance, Vermont terminated its program, while California’s initiative never came to fruition. Colorado’s electorate decisively rejected a similar proposition. Currently, Michigan is weighing the adoption of a single-payer system, prompting Herrick to pose crucial questions that demand consideration. These include whether employers will participate, if employees will face surcharges for the state plan, and if the state will request the federal government to allocate all Medicaid and Medicare funds directly to the state’s program.

Moreover, the “Medicare for All” concept continues to persist, with a bill garnering the support of 100 legislators introduced this past May. Herrick and Schieber engage in a discussion about the public’s susceptibility to the false promise of efficient government-managed health care as opposed to a free-market approach. They ponder why the public readily embraces the free market in sectors like retail and technology — which have witnessed significant innovation and competitive pricing — yet hesitates to do the same for health care.