That's the kind of thing we expect folks to start waking up to in the weeks to come. From today's WSJ, here's a first-returns summary:
History and economics tell us this is a bad, bad thing that's happened. So, we guess that makes it "historic."
Mr. Obama and the Democrats have sold this takeover by promising that multiple benefits will follow: huge new subsidies for the middle class; lower insurance premiums for consumers, especially those in the individual market; vast reductions in the federal budget deficit and in overall health-care spending; a more competitive U.S. economy as business health-care costs decline; no reductions in Medicare benefits; and above all, in Mr. Obama's words, that "if you like your health-care plan, you keep your health-care plan."
We think all of this except the subsidies will turn out to be illusory, as most of the American public seems intuitively to understand. As recently as Friday, Caterpillar Inc. announced that ObamaCare will increase its health-care costs by $100 million in the first year alone, due to a stray provision about the tax treatment of retiree benefits. This will not be the only such unhappy surprise.
While the subsidies don't start until 2014, many of the new taxes and insurance mandates will take effect within six months. The first result will be turmoil in the insurance industry, as small insurers in particular find it impossible to make money under the new rules. A wave of consolidation is likely, and so are higher premiums as insurers absorb the cost of new benefits and the mandate to take all comers.
Liberals will try to blame insurers once again, but the public shouldn't be fooled. WellPoint, Aetna and the rest are from now on going to be public utilities, essentially creatures of Congress and the Health and Human Services Department. When prices rise and quality and choice suffer, the fault will lie with ObamaCare. . . .
We fought this bill so vigorously because we have studied government health care in other countries, and the results include much higher taxes, slower economic growth and worse medical care.
*Explanation: (a) our new plan has a high deductible and a Health Savings Account, which we like for its focus on protecting us from big expenses while allowing us to use our own money (before taxes!) for little expenses; (b) ObamaCare mandates "first dollar" coverage, which means that Uncle Sugar will pay the little expenses but tell us what we can and can't have; (c) while existing plans are grandfathered in (BHO: "If you like your current plan, you can keep it"), they'll last only as long as insurers decide there's money in them, as opposed to their new game of footsie with the feds.