It’s no secret that conservative author and commentator Charles Krauthammer is skeptical of the Affordable Care Act and its architects.
And it appears that the White House’s victory lap Tuesday over the millions of people it said have signed up for health insurance coverage under the law has only reinforced his distrust for Obamacare.
Indeed, after President Barack Obama hailed the 7.1 million people he said have signed up under his signature health care law and declaring that it is “here to stay,” Krauthammer ran through what he believes are the law’s many failings and the White House's questionable sign-up data.
Here are Krauthammer’s two major takeaways from Obamacare’s big day this week:
1. Phony Numbers
Krauthammer doesn’t trust that 7.1 million people signed up for Obamacare. In fact, as he said on Fox News Tuesday, that “wonderfully precise” figure is most likely “phony.”
“These guys go six months without any idea what the numbers are, and all of a sudden it’s to a decimal point,” he said.
He said that we can’t be certain of the accuracy of the 7.1 million figure because the White House has yet to offer a breakdown of who has paid to enroll and how many of the 7 million were previously uninsured.
“If it turns out that the overwhelming majority of the so-called 7.1 were people who had health insurance, liked their health insurance, were renewing their health insurance, and got kicked off their health insurance, whose lives are disrupted, premiums are raised, deductibles are raised, and lost their doctors are now among the 7.1 ... it’s a net negative,” Krauthammer said.
2. Is It Worth It?
As the White House hailed its new and questionable data regarding Obamacare sign-ups, Krauthammer revisited one of his longstanding concerns about the health care law: Is it worth it?
“Look, on the issue of what would happen, what's going to happen, but assuming, again, Republicans win control of the Senate, they should be picking through the wreckage of what's left of Obamacare. For example, you cover people with preexisting conditions, young people up to 26,” he said Tuesday.
“You are not going to cancel the insurance of let's assume a million to 1.5 million newly insured that have signed up. And you work around that and you do good reforms which would be Republican and conservative reforms and you present that. If Obama wants a veto, well then I think he'll carry his party into 2016 in really terrible shape,” he added.
He continued, turning his attention to the specifics of Obamacare sign-ups:
But, I mean, on these exchanges, you've got to ask yourself the price we have paid, the estimate is 1 to 1.5 million of these people were uninsured before. The whole idea was insuring the uninsured. So that's going to leave about 40 million uninsured. And for that, we have to cancel 6 million policies? And for that millions of people have lost their doctors and their hospitals and for that people in northern New Hampshire have to drive past the two best hospitals in the state all the way to the south because the two hospitals in the north aren't covered?
I mean, the price of this overturning, uprooting and revolutionizing a sixth of the economy and the ecosystem of medical care is staggering for a million and a half uninsured.
That, according to Krauthammer, is the question that lawmakers in the nation’s capital should be asking.
“Is that the way it should have been done?” he asked.
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