With the Supreme Court changing the meaning of words to once again save Obamacare, the law as the President said is here to stay. Republicans are pretending that they can repeal it. Representative Paul Ryan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” said “this law is going to collapse under its own weight, I am as motivated as ever before to repeal and replace this law, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
However, as history has shown, once an entitlement is established it is impossible to get rid of. A case in point is Social Security, which also was opposed by Republicans. Representative James W. Wadsworth (R NY) said that it would lead to a government power “so vast, so powerful as to threaten the integrity of our institutions and to pull the pillars of the temple down upon our descendants.”
With this type of rhetoric you would think Republicans would have moved against the system the first chance they got. You would be wrong though. When the system began to show cracks in the 1970’s with shortfalls projected Republicans helped shore up the system with an increase in the FICA tax. Then the 80’s arrived and with it America’s most conservative President in decades Ronald Reagan. Instead of winding down the system and replacing it with a market based system he strengthened it. The contribution amounts and retirement age went up to make the system fiscally sound for a time.
Based on this track record we can expect the first Republican President after Obama to feign an attempt to repeal Obamacare but declare it politically impossible. He or she will then enact some minor reforms to make the system appear more stable.
As the years pass though all the worst predictions about Obamacare will begin to be fulfilled. By then it will have been transformed into the “Fourth Rail” of American politics and we will be stuck with an ever worsening healthcare system.