(Note: The Rude Pundit continues his Los Angeles adventure. He taco'd the fuck out of this town yesterday. Today, whiskey.)
The Washington Post's Marc Thiessen writes in his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "The fatuous gargles of a drowning plutocracy") that President Barack Obama has just completely fucked-up this beautiful, un-fucked nation that was left to him in 2009. Well, actually, torture apologist Thiessen doesn't mention the Bush-that-shall-not-be-named; instead, he chooses to compare Obama to the Sainted One: "Reagan defeated Soviet communism and left us a safer world; Obama presided over the rise and metastasis of the Islamic State and left us a far more dangerous one."
Not only is he comparing apples and turtles, Thiessen is leaving out a crucial couple of steps there in getting to the Islamic State, like, well, shit, the Iraq "war" that his former boss started. But, you know, that's Republicans these days, acting like the reign of George the Dumber didn't happen or have any effect on the nation. In their telling of history, we went straight from the shining glory of Reagan to the shit-wallow of Obama.
Thiessen's main point is to flog the conservative talking point that the insurance exchanges in the Affordable Care Act are in a "death spiral" because insurance companies are not making as much money now that sick people have insurance. More precisely, it's that once companies like United Health bail on the exchanges, those sick people will be covered by, horrors, a Medicaid HMO. Thiessen helpfully points out, "Without enough healthy people in the exchanges to pay for the sick ones, taxpayers will be stuck with more and more of the costs over time — a situation that is unsustainable in the long run."
Which would be scary, except for one thing: the sick people signed up first. Now more of the healthier ones, the ones who don't want to pay the (admittedly low) penalty are getting insurance. Yeah, "the evidence shows that with the passing of each month, new enrollees have been coming from healthier and healthier stock. If these trends continue, the price of premiums should soon settle into much more affordable territory, and the rise in premiums from year to year should become much less significant."
Of course, there are fixes that could make the Affordable Care Act work better. A hike in the penalty, for instance, would drive more people to the exchanges. But that would require Congress to stop being such dicks about Obamacare and actually, you know, fix it, like Democrats did with Bush, Jr.'s Medicare prescription drug plan that most of the Democrats in the House opposed.
Just remember, though. It's easier to elide over history, it's easier to forget, and it's easier to complain about something that can be fixed than to actually do something.