- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Obama administration has finally admitted that everything it told us about Obamacare was a lie.

During their hard sell, the Democrats — starting with President Obama — swore up and down that the “Affordable” Care Act would lower costs, expand choice and allow you to keep your health plan and doctor. They knew none of those things were going to materialize — ever. Because they also knew that Obamacare was never about health care. It was only and always about government power and control. Over you.

This week, the administration implicitly conceded that Obamacare is being smothered by an array of existential problems. Average premiums, they said, will spike by a whopping 25 percent next year. And that’s a low-ball estimate, given that premiums in places like Arizona are increasing by a staggering 116 percent and Oklahoma by a breathtaking 69 percent.

The administration also admitted that at least 20 percent of consumers will have only one health insurer from which to choose. With less or no competition, costs will continue to rise while choice shrinks. So much for keeping your plan and doctor. You’ll be lucky to even find a doctor at all. Physicians are leaving Medicare in droves because of the pittances paid to them in reimbursement.

Subsidies are also disappearing, Obamacare co-ops are collapsing, fewer people are enrolling and loss ratios are soaring. The long-anticipated death spiral is here.

Mr. Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats own this catastrophe, but none of it comes as surprise — least of all to them, who designed it to implode. The built-in collapse is proceeding right on schedule.

Mrs. Clinton is, of course, the grandmother of socialized medicine, having spent much of her public life pushing for it.

Since Obamacare’s passage, the left has effectively moved the goalposts so far to the extreme that single payer will no longer seem like a radical approach but the logical solution to fixing the program’s problems. Mrs. Clinton is already arguing that single payer is the obvious next step, a fait accompli.

That, of course, was the endgame all along. The Obamacare architects rigged the system to fall apart so they could ride to the rescue with single payer.

That was always the leftists’ ideal vision. In 2003, Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama laid it out: “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

But Democrats facing re-election in 2010 and 2012 did not want to have to vote for a highly unpopular single-payer system, so they pursued an easier political path.

They designed a health care scheme that was as close to single payer as was politically possible and stacked the deck so that it would be the inevitable result.

A parade of leftists telegraphed that intention. When Obamacare was passed in its final form in March 2010, Sen. Tom Harkin said, “I think of this bill as a starter home. It’s not the mansion of our dreams, but it has a solid foundation.” He added, “By passing this legislation, we will achieve a progressive prize that has eluded Congresses and presidents going back to Teddy Roosevelt.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chimed in, “Once we kick through this door, there’ll be more legislation to follow.” Mr. Obama himself told Rep. Dennis Kucinich, “We’ve gotta start somewhere.”

This is why they purposefully built collapse into the program: They want employers to drop private coverage and push ever more Americans into government-run care.

They have already started to argue that we tried the market approach, but gosh golly, it just didn’t work, so we’re going to have to go the full socialized medicine route.

The night of the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision, which upheld federal subsidies in states that did not establish their own exchanges, Mrs. Clinton released a fundraising email, indicating that she was ready to go far to the left, and destroy the Republicans as villains.

“This ruling is a reminder that while progress never comes easy, if we keep working, keep pushing, and never, ever give up, anything is possible,” she wrote.

“The next president, “she continued, “will either protect and expand health care for every American, or undo the progress we’ve made.”

Her language is code for moving Obamacare quickly and seamlessly into a single-payer system — under the guise of “improving health care for all.”

The real reason is to finalize the critical cornerstone of what Mr. Obama in 2008 called the “fundamental transformation of the nation.” After all, if the government controls your health care, the government controls you.

Mrs. Clinton knows this. So does Donald Trump, who will repeal and replace this socialist nightmare with market- and patient-based solutions.

On Nov. 8, we have one last chance to take back our health care — and our freedom.

Monica Crowley is editor of online opinion at The Washington Times.

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