A serious leader would have abandoned ObamaCare long ago

Headshot image of Herman Cain
Published by: Herman Cain on Sunday December 22nd, 2013

But not this guy.

It’s rather frightening when you think about it like this: ObamaCare really amounts to the federal government trying to run, not just a business, but an entire industry. We’re talking about the administration that appears to have the fewest members in history with private-sector business experience of any kind, and it thinks it can run the health insurance industry.

How’s that working out? Exactly.

To think some people laughed at me because my experience included running a pizza chain. And that was ironic: The first time Democrats tried this nonsense with Hillary Clinton designing their takeover of health insurance, it fell to me at a town hall meeting in Omaha to explain to Bill Clinton that the economics of small business don’t work the way Democrats think they do, and that it wouldn’t be feasible for employers to simply suck up the costs the way Mrs. Clinton was counting on to make the whole scheme work.

The Obama Administration could use some folks with business experience, but as Donald Rumsfeld might say, you go to the socializing of medicine with the White House you’ve got. And that’s a problem, because business people know something that this administration does not: When it’s clear that your concept is fundamentally flawed, you don’t waste time tinkering with it. You get rid of it and do something different.

The administration tinkered with ObamaCare again on Thursday, now deciding that those who lost their insurance because of ObamaCare and can’t afford new insurance because of ObamaCare will be exempted in 2014 from the individual mandate that is supposed to be essential to making ObamaCare work.

This is after they delayed the employer mandate because that can’t work, and after they back-pedaled on forcing people out of the plans they had falsely promised they could keep, because that wasn’t working . . . and of course after the launch of the web site that hasn’t been working from day one.

Just a little more tinkering and this whole thing will start working in grand fashion! Trust them! They’re totally, entirely, completely, pretty sure, they think.


ObamaCare is imploding because it was designed by people who don’t understand basic economics, enabled in no small part by health insurance companies that should have known better but were apparently starry-eyed over the idea that the federal government would mandate everyone buy their product. Now that the whole thing is coming apart at the seams and the White House is responding by tinkering with it on the fly, the insurers are upset because they actually do know how health insurance works, and they know these “fixes” don’t fix anything. They know you can’t mandate gold-plated coverage for everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions and not see premiums go up, and they know the risk pools won’t work if those who are young and healthy don’t sign up – which they’re not.

What they should have known is that you can’t lie to people. You can’t tell them they can keep their plan when you know that’s not true, and then have them just accept it when it becomes clear they were lied to. Politicians pull this crap all the time but the insurance industry should have known better. Now they’re reaping the consequences as the White House panics and takes steps designed to cover themselves politically instead of actually solving the problem.

And that gets to the heart of the matter. A bunch of left-wing ideologues trying to run an industry like health insurance is not going to work because these people have never run a business before. They only enterprise they’ve run is government, which bleeds red ink like it’s going out of style, and they don’t even understand there’s anything wrong with that. Put them in charge of an industry where you actually have to satisfy customers – well, that’s not going to end well.

But more to the point, it’s been clear to everyone for months (and to some of us for four years, but never mind that now) that ObamaCare is fundamentally flawed and cannot work, no matter how much you tweak it. Serious business people would cut their losses, abandon the concept and develop a different one. Politicians, on the other hand, are terrified of admitting they made a mistake – especially when the mistake in question has been labeled as a certain president’s “signature legislative achievement.” Now you’ve got personal pride in the equation as well.

I think we’ve all heard that pride goeth before the fall. The Obama presidency is now in a freefall because a combination of pride, arrogance and incompetence render the administration incapable of walking away from a fatally flawed concept. They will tweak. They will delay. They will hide facts. They will blame others. They will out-and-out lie about what’s happening.

But they won’t do what they should do because they’re not experienced enough at running things to know that they need to, and they’re not humble enough to admit they made a mistake.

Even a pizza guy can see that.