Obamacare’s condign punishment

Back when the Democrats were in the process of pushing Obamacare through Congress without the support of a single Republican (not even Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins), I made what seemed like an obvious point: once Obamacare kicks in, Democrats will be cursed almost every time something goes wrong with someone’s health insurance and, indeed, will frequently be cursed when things go wrong with the health care system in general.

Now, Dana Milbank has come to the same realization:

President Obama and the Democrats don’t just own Obamacare as a political issue. They own health care. Anytime something bad happens — premiums rise, or employers change plans or pare coverage — Obamacare will be blamed, even if the new law had nothing to do with the change.

Milbank is appalled by this prospect, which he considers hugely unfair. But I submit that it represents condign punishment (as George Will likes to say) for the Party that pushed through transformational legislation in an area that affects every American, often in matters of life-and-death, without the vote of a single Republican, and without following the normal legislative process of reconciliation/conference.

Unfortunately, though, Obamacare will also punish America. I’ll leave for others the question of whether that punishment is condign.


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