Central View: The GOP’s moral dilemma on Obamacare
August 6, 2013
Retiring U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) says ObamaCare will be a "train wreck." If Baucus is correct, should Congress allow the "train wreck" to crash or not? Come Oct. 1, 2013, Congress could try to avert the "train wreck" with a Continuing Resolution, providing one-year of funding for the U.S. Government but omitting ObamaCare funding. To paraphrase the Irish philosopher, Edmund Burke: All it takes for a train wreck to happen is for good men to refuse to apply the brakes.
Now, let's say that you are watching a high-speed passenger train. You can see an extremely sharp curve lies ahead of the speeding train. The passengers are likely doomed. In your hand is a remote control that allows you to apply the brakes to the train and prevent the suffering that the train wreck will cause. What should you do?
The obvious moral solution is to switch on the brakes.
To avoid exceeding the ObamaCare threshold of 50 employees, some employers are already reducing their workforce to 50 or below. Larger companies are reducing employee hours below the 30 hours-per-week ObamaCare threshold. Often, firing decisions are made on the basis of last-hired-first-fired. As ObamaCare goes fully into effect, lower-paid, newer employees will be laid off in droves. Moreover, the ObamaCare mandate on pre-existing conditions drives up the cost of insurance for everyone and is already causing some insurance companies to flee the only 25 States that are willing to establish ObamaCare insurance exchanges.
Even President Obama's IRS chief, Daniel Werfel, wants to keep his current health-care plan, not switch to ObamaCare. The new British King-To-Be was born in a private hospital, rather than under the UK's version of ObamaCare. Wonder why?
Now, even Obama admits you may not be able to keep your current physician. Mainly, because scores of physicians are jumping off the ObamaCare train before it wrecks. The American Association of Medical Colleges says we will be short 91,500 physicians by 2020. Medical school enrollments have plummeted already.
As George Bernard Shaw famously said, "Marriage is like a bad meal, with the dessert at the beginning." The politically-clever part of ObamaCare is that its few sweet features kick in while President Obama is still in office. The bitter, higher-cost components don't kick in until after he leaves.
If the GOP defunds ObamaCare, the left-stream media will blame the almost inevitable government shutdown on the GOP. But if Republicans do not defund ObamaCare, they will be in the immoral position of consciously allowing public harm. Eventually, even if the Republicans do what they think is "right," public pressure for the resumption of government services will force them to fund ObamaCare. Moreover, President Obama will still be in power.
Advice to the GOP: Don't pick a fight you cannot win. After the train wreck, Republicans can pick up congressional seats in the election of 2014. Morally correct? No. But this is politics, not Philosophy 101.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.