The Election Became a Referendum on Obamacare

The Election Became a Referendum on Obamacare

Why is it that our access to and pricing of food, clothing, car rides, home repairs, auto insurance, and every manner of digital service, have improved vastly in the last decade, while healthcare has become ever worse?

In my own case, I recall getting a notice within days after the program went into effect that my premiums would go up to hilariously intolerable levels. I don’t recall the specifics but it looked like a typo. Clearly the insurer was trying to kick me off. So I joined millions in immediately losing the coverage I had. Getting new coverage required navigating a labyrinthine system of confusion and chaos. It hasn’t been the same since.

The new system punched every middle-class person in this country right where it hurt the most.And that was only the beginning. The collapse of the health-insurance system accelerated from there. There were ever fewer choices as ever more insurers went belly up. Even if you were insured, you had no way of knowing whether your doctor or hospital would accept your provider, since no one could force them to. You had no way of forcing the insurer to actually cover what it said it would cover on paper, and the demands for documentation grew and grew within the sole purpose of paying for as little as possible.

Millions of people suddenly lived in a state of extreme anxiety. A doctor’s visit could mean a $40 bill or devastating bankruptcy. Even if you faced no healthcare issues, the fear that you might was enough to keep you up at night. The new system punched every middle-class person in this country right where it hurt the most.

All polls showed this to be an incredibly bad system, and it was one that Hillary refused to admit had failed. All she could do was congratulate herself for fighting so long and hard for it. Talk about blind. It approached sheer cruelty when in the debates she dismissed all concerns. As I watched debate after debate, her answers on this topic, more than any other, were chilling and breathtaking.

Occam’s Razor

What about all the other concerns of the election, from globalism to race to foreign policy to women’s rights, and so on? Let’s invoke the principle of Occam’s Razor (named for medieval logician William of Occam). It is as follows: “Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.”

Given this, it makes sense to adopt this assumption to explain the outcome of this election: people hate Obamacare. In the swing states that determined the outcome, it was the thing that turned passive voters into active voters, Democrats into Republicans, and independents into Trump voters.

Look at Wisconsin, for example – a largely blue state that shocked everyone by going for Trump. The exit polls show no greater consensus on any issue than the question of whether Obamacare went too far. Only 17% said it was fine as is. Fully 45% of those surveyed after the vote said that it had gone too far. Among that 45%, 81% voted for Trump. That alone was enough to turn Wisconsin from blue to red and provide a turning point in the electoral count.

A June 2016 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation demonstrated the scope of the problem. The number of people who rated their health insurance as “not so good” or “poor” increased from 20% to 31% between 2015 and 2016. People who rated their service as “good” or “excellent” fell by the same amount. And this was just this past summer. The problems dramatically worsened in the fall.

Bill Clinton’s Warning

Jeffrey Tucker
Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education and CLO of the startup  His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.  Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook. Email

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