While you may not have heard about it given all the other news dominating the political sphere the last several months, there is an Obamacare “time-bomb” set to go off right before the mid-term elections.
In another self-inflicted wound, Democrats shot money out of their backside in order to provide extra Obamacare subsidies last year as part of their “American Rescue Plan.” That spending package ended up forming the basis for the current inflationary boom that is crushing the country. But hey, at least you got that $1,200 check, right?
Now, those increased subsidies are set to expire, and the Democrats have no plan on how to extend them or avoid the blowback when they do.
Democrats are sleepwalking towards a political time-bomb that could go off immediately before voters cast their midterm ballots in November.
Last year, President Joe Biden beefed up subsidies to cut monthly premiums and make health insurance more affordable for millions of people buying individual plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For Democrats, that was an important part of the stimulus law designed to improve Obamacare and widen access to the middle-class.
But that temporary program is set to expire if Democrats fail to revive a reconciliation bill that extends that financial assistance past the end of the year. Under that scenario, steep price hikes often totaling hundreds of dollars will hit 13 million Americans benefiting from the program during a punishing stretch of inflation.
This is the stupidity of politicians in Washington on full display. The Democrats could have easily ascertained that they were unlikely to get another massive spending bill through, with the Senate being split 50-50. Instead, they pushed through their $2 trillion COVID “relief” bill along party lines, ignoring the landmines they were planting in their own path, with multiple hand-outs expiring in the coming years. That arrogant decision has left Joe Biden and his party nowhere to go.
With the “Build Back Better” agenda dead at the hands of Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, there isn’t another vehicle to push through an extension of these subsidies, nor should they be extended anyway. I think most people are sick and tired of paying exorbitantly higher prices, so a chosen few (in this case, 13 million people) can reap more government benefits as part of a ridiculous vote-buying scheme. Most Americans are giving when it comes to entitlements, even to the detriment of the nation’s long-term well-being, but there’s always a limit. I think we’ve reached it.
Yet, Democrats have the problem of having to try to explain to people demographically predisposed to vote for them why their healthcare premiums are suddenly skyrocketing. Their inability to do so, even as they hold the House, Senate, and the White House, could depress turnout among key voting pools going into November. And while the Democrats will no doubt try to blame Republicans for not helping them pass an extension, that’s just how things work for an incumbent party.
At some point, the ride comes to an end and the bill comes due, both financially and politically. That’s where we are as a nation, with inflation destroying the middle class and the stock market collapse. Democrats thought they could defy the rules of economics and spend their way into a utopia without consequences. That hasn’t happened, and now they will be left holding the bag, as they should be.