The Affordable Care Act is an administration-defining failure.
ByRamesh Ponnuru NRO
Obama lied, insurance plans died.
Okay, it’s not as catchy as the equivalent Bush-era slogan. The thought — that there are parallels between the signature initiative of the George W. Bush administration and that of the Obama administration — has nonetheless occurred to a lot of people, especially in recent weeks, as Obamacare’s exchanges have failed to launch.
In both cases, presidents undertook ambitious projects: to remake part of the world, or a huge portion of the economy, along the lines that our government wanted. Redesigning Iraq proved to be impossible, and reorganizing health care may prove impossible as well. It is at least proving to be very difficult.
The Iraq War contributed to Republicans’ losing control of Congress in 2006. Obamacare contributed to Democrats’ losing control of one of its chambers in 2010. But the political trajectory of these projects was different. The Iraq War started with a level of bipartisan and popular support that Obamacare never had. Most Senate Democrats voted for the authorization of force in Iraq, while Republicans were nearly unanimous in opposition to Obamacare. But if the Iraq venture reached greater heights of support than Obamacare, eventually it also hit lower depths than Obamacare so far has.