The Stillborn Legacy of Barack Obama ; His Only Domestic Achievement Has

By Krauthammer, Charles | Charleston Gazette Mail, October 11, 2016 | Go to article overview

The Stillborn Legacy of Barack Obama ; His Only Domestic Achievement Has


Krauthammer, Charles, Charleston Gazette Mail


WASHINGTON Only amid the most bizarre, most tawdry, most addictive election campaign in memory could the real story of 2016 be so effectively obliterated. Namely, that with just four months left in the Obama presidency, its two central pillars are collapsing before our eyes: domestically, its radical reform of American health care, aka Obamacare; and abroad, its radical reorientation of American foreign policy disengagement marked by diplomacy and multilateralism. Obamacare

On Monday, Bill Clinton called it the craziest thing in the world. And he was only talking about one crazy aspect of it the impact on the consumer. Clinton pointed out that small business and hardworking employees (out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week) are getting whacked ... their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half.

This, as the programs entire economic foundation is crumbling. More than half its nonprofit co-ops have gone bankrupt. Major health insurers like Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, having lost millions of dollars, are withdrawing from the exchanges. In one-third of the U.S., exchanges will have only one insurance provider. Premiums and deductibles are exploding. Even The New York Times blares Ailing Obama Health Care Act May Have to Change to Survive.

Young people, refusing to pay disproportionately to subsidize older and sicker patients, are not signing up. As the risk pool becomes increasingly unbalanced, the death spiral accelerates. And the only way to save the system is with massive infusions of tax money.

What to do? The Democrats will eventually push to junk Obamacare for a full-fledged, government-run, single-payer system. Republicans will seek to junk it for a more market-based pre-Obamacare-like alternative. Either way, the singular domestic achievement of this presidency dies.

The Obama doctrine

The presidents vision was to move away from a world where stability and the success of liberty (JFK, inaugural address) were anchored by American power and move toward a world ruled by universal norms, mutual obligation, international law and multilateral institutions. No more cowboy adventures, no more unilateralism, no more Guantanamo. We would ascend to the higher moral plane of diplomacy. Clean hands, clear conscience, smart power.

This blessed vision has just died a terrible death in Aleppo. …

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