Almost a month ago I wrote a post, The Obamacare Nightmare, in which I said that if the Democrats didn't come to their senses quickly, "the country [was] on the verge of entering what could be its worst nightmare: a healthcare train wreck of epic proportions." Since then, the ill-advised rollout of the Obamacare exchanges has been nothing short of disastrous. I don't see how in the world they are going to get things fixed in time, so it's increasing likely that the individual mandate will be postponed for at least a year.
But that just creates a new problem for the Democrats, since, as I also mentioned last month, "next year's election would effectively become a referendum on Obamacare." As Rick Moran notes, by refusing to come to terms with the impending failure of their signature program, the Democrats likely will own "the failure of a government entitlement that could discredit the idea of big government for a long time." To me that is the best news ever. It's about time the population was hit in the face with the reality that government not only can't solve all of our problems, but shouldn't even try.
Am I worried about the possibility that the collapse of Obamacare could be the excuse to segue into a Single Payer system? I used to be, but I'm taking comfort from Moran's arguments. Would the voters really be willing to trust Congress "to give it another shot, this time making even bigger, more radical, expensive, and complicated changes?" "Does anyone believe that after the internal bloodletting over defunding Obamacare there are any Republicans who would vote for their own electoral execution and help pass a single-payer system?"
I'm guessing that Obama is going to have to decide to postpone Obamacare's individual mandate within the next month, just like he already postponed the employer mandate. He's gotten himself into an almost indefensible position that only becomes worse as next year's deadlines approach but the computers systems remain deeply flawed. If the business side of Obamacare wasn't ready for prime time, it's abundantly clear now that the individual side isn't ready either, and that tens millions of people could be seriously inconvenienced if not financially devastated if the administration stubbornly refuses to face the facts.
So we could be in for some really exciting times between now and the end of the year, and there's a good chance that the ultimate resolution to the Obamacare mess, which would likely come in the November 2014 elections, will be a win for limited government and free markets.
I'll say it again: "Government is now too vast to be efficient, too vast to be controlled, and too vast to achieve all the many objectives of its constituents."
UPDATE: The disruptions have already begun, and the anger is just beginning to build. Kaiser Health News reports that over half a million people have already lost the policies they thought they could keep.