O’Care is a poorly designed Marxist-influenced, job-killing junker. O’Care asks the uninsured to buy coverage in many areas that are not needed. Who in their right mind would wish to buy such insurance? The insurance industry has known from the start that O’Care was a structural clunker. And if the administration did not know this, how could such a group be in charge of running this country? Has there ever been an administration with as little business acumen. Democrats own O’Care and are going to have to run on this ghastly folly this fall. One of the primary reasons O’Care was a non-starter out of the gate is the heterogeneous makeup of America. A large percentage of Americans are not really connected with the fiber of the country. This is not the case in, by example, Scandinavia, as Michael Barone observes here. Obamacare must be repealed in the entirety and replaced with a market-based system keyed on patient responsibility.
Liberal policy makers have long regarded Scandinavian policies as a model. If a welfare state can work there, they have long argued, it can work here. But the Scandinavian countries have homogeneous populations with high levels of trust, conscientiousness and social connectedness. It is not a coincidence that in the two states with the highest levels of the social connectedness Mr. Putnam described, North Dakota and Minnesota, most people are of Scandinavian or German descent. But policies that work well in Scandinavia or Minnesota and North Dakota won’t necessarily work well in a wider United States, where a much larger proportion of people are socially disconnected.
And such policies may not work as well as they might have in the United States of the 1950s and early 1960s, in which disconnectedness was much less common. That was an America in what I call the Midcentury Moment, a period when World War II and unexpected postwar prosperity produced a conformist and (mostly) culturally homogeneous nation with low rates of divorce and single parenthood, and high rates of social connectedness. A nation accustomed to a universal military draft and wage-and-price controls, and in which increasing numbers worked for giant firms and were members of giant labor unions, probably would have been more amenable to a centralized command-and-control policy like ObamaCare than the culturally fragmented America of today.
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