‘Repeal and replace’?

Guest Editorial

Indiana’s insurance exchanges have been spiraling ever since they were established. A cynic might think it was a ploy to leave nothing but Medicaid and Medicare all along.

There might be something funnier than congressional Democrats complaining about the Republican Obamacare “fix” being drafted in secret, but offhand we can’t think of what.

Obamacare itself, don’t forget, was crafted in private. And what would that complicated monstrosity mean for Americans? Well, we have to pass it so we know what’s in it, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said.

And there might be something more disingenuous than Democrats complaining that Republicans are trying to sabotage Obamacare, but we can’t imagine that, either. The financially unsustainable model began collapsing in on itself almost as soon as those hideous insurance exchanges opened. The announcement that Anthem and MDwise, the two insurance providers that sold Obamacare plans in all 92 Indiana counties, are pulling out of the health exchanges is just the latest in a long line of abandonments.

Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly is harshly critical of the Trump administration, saying “its strategy of letting Obamacare ‘explode’ instead of fixing its problems” is hurting Hoosiers. “If your house needs repairs, you don’t set the house on fire. You work to fix the issues.”

The problem is that Democrats built their house on quicksand in a swamp. No matter how many repairs are made, it is still going to sink. How much money will we throw into that utter failure?

The answer is: Far, far more than we should. Though they committed the same sin, Democrats are right to highlight Republican secrecy. On top of the complicated mess of Obamacare will be a complicated mess of Republican fixes, and it will be years before the Americans affected will understand it all, if they ever do. Whatever happened to that ironclad “repeal and replace” promise?

While all this is going on, Indiana is winning praise as one of two states (along with Rhode Island) for reforming Medicaid in ways that “curb costs and enhance recipients’ quality of care.”

Ordinarily, such government efficiency would be a matter deserving praise. But coming at a time when the government seems intent on taking over health care entirely, it seems a prelude to the day when Medicaid/Medicare will be the only health care plan available to Americans. A cynic might even say it was planned that way all along.

— THE NEWS-SENTINEL (FORT WAYNE, INDIANA)