Politicians often say things they later regret. Read my lips: No new taxes, comes to mind. Also, I did not have sexual relations with that woman.
By DAVE HELLING
The Kansas City Star
President Barack Obama has said some unfortunate things during his time in office, too. I bet he wishes he hadnt said Syria would cross a red line if it used chemical weapons.
But the silliest thing Obama has ever said came during the debate over health insurance reform. If you like your insurance, he said, you can keep it.
Sounds like a guy whos never had to sign up for health insurance.
Like most of America, I get my health coverage at work. Maybe you do, too.
Its changing this year, just as it changed last year and the year before that. No one ever keeps a health insurance product premiums are raised, providers come and go, co-pays and deductibles change, rules are adjusted. Even Medicares costs and benefits can wobble.
That was true, by the way, long before the Affordable Care Act.
Republicans predict a train wreck Tuesday when the Obamacare health insurance marketplaces open. And theyre undoubtedly right. For some, the new health care law will be a disaster. Working hours will be cut back, policies adjusted, premiums higher than expected.
For others, though for sicker patients who couldnt get any affordable insurance, for example the law is a miracle. So your verdict on Obamacare will largely depend on your own work, health, family and insurance situation.
That garbles the politics of the health care debate, of course. Some people are livid, others ecstatic.
But its a real issue for policy wonks, too, who will eventually have to decide whether Obamacare has worked.
How do they make that judgment? The price of health care? Health insurance costs? Healthier people? More government spending? Less? More jobs? Fewer?
All of the above, perhaps, and more. And the final judgment inevitably will be distorted by partisans on both sides, who will see what they want to see.
But the actual answer will largely depend on each Americans place in life a messy, difficult, complicated way to gauge public policy.
Which only means well be arguing about Obamacare for years to come.
Someday Republicans will control the government, and theyll try to disassemble Obamacare. Trust me, Democrats will call that a train wreck.
Its highly unlikely, though, that any future president will ever again promise you can keep your insurance if you like it. In our current system, thats a commitment no one can make.