Deal With It

02.21.13

Accept It: ObamaCare is Here to Stay

MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/GettyImages ()

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has agreed to add 1 million people to his state's Medicaid rolls.

“While the federal government is committed to pay 100 percent of the cost, I cannot, in good conscience, deny Floridians the needed access to health care,” Scott said at a hastily called news conference at the Governor’s Mansion.

Meanwhile over at the Reuters blog, Doug Holtz-Eakin and Avik Roy argue that conservatives must abandon the drive to repeal Obamacare and work instead to improve it.

President Barack Obama’s re-election was a strategic victory for his signature healthcare law. Once the bulk of the program begins to be implemented in 2014 — especially its trillions of dollars in new health-insurance subsidies — it will become politically impossible to repeal. And as the baby boomers retire and Obamacare is fully operational, government health spending will reach unsustainable levels.

The great irony of Obama’s triumph, however, is that it can pave the way for Republicans to adopt a comprehensive, market-oriented healthcare agenda. The market-oriented prescription drug program in Medicare has controlled the growth of government health spending. Similarly, conservatives can use Obamacare’s important concession to the private sector — its establishment of subsidized insurance marketplaces — as a vehicle for broader entitlement reforms.

As Tom Wolfe once said, it's no good being even ten minutes ahead of the times.