Monday, November 14, 2016

Democrats Will be a Lot Less Disappointed in Trump than They Think

High on the agenda of the new unified Republican government is to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Yet already, Trump has said he will keep two key features; the mandate to allow parents to keep their children on their policies until age 27, and the mandate banning insurance companies from refusing new policies because of pre-existing conditions.

As to the first, why should the government even be involved in this issue. That should be between insurers and their customers to decide by mutual agreement.

The second—the pre-existing conditions mandate—is the biggie. That’s the mandate that necessitates the individual mandate—the cornerstone of ObamaCare. So repealing two key features of ObamaCare are already off the table. Of course, other changes, such as switching off government policies that created the third-party-payer, or employer-based, insurance—a main cause of the pre-existing conditions problem—would help a lot. We’ll see if we get that.

But, repeal and replace ObamaCare? Maybe in name only. More likely, we’ll get reformed ObamaCare—ObamaCare without Obama. That may be an improvement. The final result will probably be a little more liberty in health insurance, and push back the Left’s drive for what they really want; single-payer.

Don’t get me wrong. The election result was significantly less bad than a Hillary victory and a Democratic Senate. I may have to eat those words if Trump let’s his authoritarian impulse dominate more than I think it will. But I don’t think so, if for no other reason than that Congressional Republicans will resist him. But one thing is obvious: The election result is no unalloyed victory for liberty-leaning government, either.

I’m getting a big kick out of the over-the-top, end-of-the-world reaction of many Democrats and Leftists, including the protestors. I suspect that the Democrats will be a lot less disappointed in the Trump presidency. My prediction is that the Trump, a big spending center-Left welfare statist, will have a lot of differences with the more right-leaning Republican Congress, and I can see him aligning with Democrats a number of times. Though we have a two-party system, Trump is as close to having an Independent in the White house as we’ll ever get. Trump has no real allegiance to either party, and the mixed election results—his win in the Electoral College combined with his loss in the popular vote—only validates his fence-straddling and strengthens his hand as a governing Independent—not a principled Independent, but a pragmatic Independent.

In any event, Trump’s win made it a little easier for Liberty advocates in the short term, in my view. Having Trump in the White House could be beneficial in that freer markets work, and pragmatism is all about what “works”—is expedient—in the here and now. So we may get some of the good policies that our struggling productive citizens need. But in the long term, we still have our work cut out for us. You can’t hold on to, and build upon, free market reforms without the philosophical firepower that free market principles provide. Trump will not reverse the statist trend, longer term. But I think he bought us time

It’s going to be interesting.

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Mike Kevitt said...

I think Trump's bit of softening, already, is really his attempt to create perceptions in everybody that will give him needed room to do all he has said he wants to do. I'm not sure he's really softening at all, and I don't want him to soften. But, if he can make possible jillions of jobs to open up, he might want to keep the otherwise law abiding illegal immigrants here because there will be more jobs than people, without them, to fill them. Those otherwise non-criminal illegals can fill employers' needs, even regardless of needed skills and qualifications. (?) Is there anything wrong with 0% unemployment?

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

One area I hope he softens in is trade. That’ll be hard, given that he flipped many “blue” states to “red” on a protectionist agenda. He has some good ideas, such as on corporate tax reform. But any jobs gained from trade restrictions and possibly wars will be dwarfed by the job losses.

I think Trump can go either way, which is why I voted for him. We shouldn’t have to wait long to get an indication. The power of the executive branch has accumulated to the point that the president is almost like a King. That’s why a lot of Obama’s damage was done by executive order. But there’s a silver lining to that, in the short term. Executive orders are a lot easier to reverse than laws. Trump has vowed to rescind a lot of Obama executive orders immediately on taking office. The climate agreement is one. The tax inversion and overtime orders are a couple of others. If he follows through on the promise, it’ll be a good sign.