With the CEO of Aetna’s warning that the long-expected Obamacare death spiral is snaking its way toward insolvency for the insurance companies we have to look ahead and wonder what is to come from the collapse.
The Republican Party has never worked so hard and gained so much from seeking the utter destruction of any particular legislation before that I can think of. The Democrats have been losing ground at all levels of government since they passed it, the GOP Congress has voted to repeal it multiple times, and now the Trump Administration has mortally wounded it by ordering the IRS to stand-down on enforcing the mandate tax/fine/donation/whatever-John Roberts-needs-it-to-be.
Naturally, replacing Obamacare isn’t going to be easy and the GOP will surely be blamed for all of the social ills that repeal will bring (the press will see to that). The Democrats in Congress have very little incentive to help the Republicans pass any sort of meaningful reform, nor could they all possibly agree on one anyway. The pressure on Republican congressmen to protect guaranteed insurance for those with pre-existing conditions is enormous and will only get worse as all those poor fat, sick, and old people really start to panic.
What is the better alignment for the GOP to adopt on this policy issue? Lawful Stupid or Chaotic Evil?
A Lawful Stupid approach would be to keep publicly crying about not being able to fully repeal Obamacare because they know they can’t pass a bill which ensures marketplace competition, allows the insurance companies to decide which procedures to cover, and doesn’t force them to cover the costs of people who wait until they’re sick to buy health insurance. Many young people would find themselves dumped off of their parents’ policies and many sick people might suddenly find themselves uninsurable. The GOP, as it so often does, would talk a good game about limited government while still voting to maintain Big Government. They know how that story goes, but they’re not called “cuckservatives” for nothing. They would be motivated to prove their worthiness as the majority party of the federal government by passing anything, just to do something.
On the other hand, a Chaotic Evil mindset would adopt the mantra of “Never let a crisis go to waste”. The Grand Evil Party could throw out some proposals, let the Democrats rip them to shreds, and then….do nothing for about a year. Let the death spiral run its course along with all of the madness that would surely ensue. The only options would be for the Democrats to either compromise or join in on an insurance company bailout. The former is doable. The latter is unacceptable to voters and both parties know it.
Which approach would you favor from the party you tend to support? Do you expect them to work constructively to pass laws even if it means a break from ideological purity or is it better for them to stick with the principles they know to be right and allow something to crash and burn even if people get hurt in the process? This is in fact the greatest question for an age of bitterly divided government ruling over a people who just want a competent and effective one.
I favor the “evil” one, if you were wondering. Not because I’m evil, but because I think government is and it’s only logical that the more evil party should win. The Star Wars prequels taught me that.