The Pattern of All Patience

I faced this status report on the PPACA from Sharyl Attkisson at The Daily Signal with a bit of reluctance due to its source and its title. The Daily Signal is, after all, the new venture of the Heritage Foundation. Have some patience with it. I thought that all in all it was a pretty fair assessment of the progress of the plan to date. Here’s the meat of it:

In fact, the measure of the Affordable Care Act’s success rests neither with individual anecdotes nor in the Obama administration’s self-assessments. It’s a long-term process that many analysts say will take years to unfold.

One thing that’s not in question: The insurance industry already has been largely transformed.

Many who were considered uninsurable now have affordable policies. But the Affordable Care Act has shifted the cost burden for those who already had insurance. More policies now have bigger deductibles and cost more.

“In general, healthy people are paying more and unhealthy people are paying less,” says a source who supports and helped implement Obamacare but is disappointed with the results to date, “with those above-average [income] tending to pay more and those below-average [income] tending to pay less.”

“Is the new law effective in reducing the number of uninsured? Yes, but so far not very,” he says.

Read the whole thing.

Those who thought the PPACA would be an overnight success which, I presume, includes the president must surely be disappointed. So, too, are those who assumed it would be an immediate failure.

Those who, like me, are focused single-mindedly on cost control have even greater reason to be disappointed. We’ve got to take it on faith that there’s a pony in here somewhere, something to which we are not predisposed as a matter of temperament. The reliance on time inconsistency on the part of supporters of the PPACA, i.e. they assume that Congress, for example, will behave differently than it has in the past although its incentives remain the same, is very frustrating.

Still, the key point here is patience. The reform will neither succeed nor fail overnight.

7 comments… add one

  • CStanley

    We’ve got to take it on faith that there’s a pony in here somewhere, something to which we are not predisposed as a matter of temperament.

    All of that shoveling takes a lot of stamina.

  • michael reynolds

    The incentives don’t remain the same for Congress. As more people get policies and come to rely on them, voter attitudes change. It is rational to guess that in most cases the slow evolution toward greater acceptance will change Congress’ outlook. In fact it’s already begun.

  • Please produce evidence that voters’ attitudes have changed.

    They might change some day but they haven’t changed yet. Politicians tend to behave retrospectively.

  • jan

    IMO, the main reasons the PPACA will probably survive are: 1) once programs become bureaucracies, like crab grass, they are difficult to get rid of; and 2) entitlements become rooted in peoples lives, evolving into rights in their mind’s eye, thus perpetuating their staying power, no matter what the negative costs are to society.

    These two aspects alone tend to trump people’s ability to honestly reevaluate and scratch bad legislation, which the PPACA continues to be. After all, it was muscled into our lives by the hand of one party. The administration lied about the adverse effects it would have on those already having health insurance. Constructive criticism by the opposition party was jeered and maligned by dems, even when said judgment calls proved to be true. Basically, the law was created in a flawed way, and continues to function in the same manner. But, oh well……

  • Andy

    Here you go Dave. I threw in a princess for good measure.

  • CStanley

    My impression is that Sheryl Attkinson isn’t a partisan, although she has now been shunned by the left so she’s courted by the right.

  • jan

    Sheryl Attkinson defied CBS’s rules by being a professional Washington Bureau reporter, seeking truth in her investigations, rather than cookie-cutting stories to fit a certain popular political POV.

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