The following article originally appeared in the Lakeland Times.
President Donald Trump came to Wisconsin this week, and among the things he did while in the Badger state was to meet with some of the "victims" of Obamacare, which he called a catastrophe that must be reversed.
He's right on all counts. There certainly are Obamacare victims. Obamacare is certainly a catastrophe inflicted on America, and it certainly should and will be reversed, assuming Republicans get their act together - a big assumption to make given that spineless party.
Obamacare is a catastrophe, but one thing it should never be called is a failure. Sure, insurance premiums doubled over the past four years, and big insurers have jumped from the Obamacare marketplace like rats from a ship, guaranteeing ever higher premiums.
Sure, Obamacare destroyed many jobs through various mandates and tax increases, and forced people to carry coverages for things they didn't need, like maternity coverage for seniors. It empowered the IRS to oversee a huge chunk of the economy and to fine you if you didn't buy what the government required you to buy.
But that's not failure by any means. That's radical success. It's always what Democrats and Barack Obama intended when they enacted Obamacare.
First, people point to rising numbers of previously uninsured Americans who are now insured as an example of true success, but it's important to point out that most of that came through Medicaid expansion, an expansion financed by higher costs imposed on the middle class.
The idea was to redistribute wealth from the middle class to the poor, with the intended goal of making everyone lower middle class and dependent on the government. It worked.
Those doubled health-insurance premiums crippled what was left of the middle class. A family of four officially loses its subsidy for health insurance at about $97,000 but that family loses virtually all of it at $85,000 and a majority at $75,000.
We know families with those modest household incomes paying $15,000 and more a year for health insurance. What's more, the deductibles are sky-high, some more than $10,000, turning pricey policies into little more than catastrophic insurance.
Still other families have been hit by layoffs as small businesses react to employer mandates.
How are these families supposed to live?
Some spouses have quit their jobs. Others have chosen to remain uninsured despite the threat of government penalties. A 2015 Kaiser study found that 46 percent of uninsured adults tried to get coverage but decided against it because of the cost.
There's another answer to the question of how these people are supposed to live. They are supposed to live by the hand of generous government. The government wants these newly poor people to be on the dole, forever dependent.
Again, though, it was all designed to work this way. The government pencil pushers surely knew healthy young people wouldn't line up voluntarily to buy insurance they didn't think they needed. They knew older and sicker citizens would have to join and bankrupt the system.
They had to know.
And they had to know insurance companies would flee the system when they incurred huge losses on the marketplace. They surely knew the very system they created would implode.
Now that it has, and in relatively short order, they succeeded, perhaps beyond their wildest dreams.
But why would want their system to fail?
Well, that's because most Democrats - but not all - wanted single-payer government-run socialist medicine, but they didn't have the votes to pass it. So they opted for the moderately liberal approach, a quasi-managed-care bureaucratic system.
Brilliantly, though, they designed it to fail so they could then step forward and say: We tried your way, now it's time for completely government-run health care.
Of course, back in 2009, when all of this went down, the Democrats, fresh off of Obama's Kumbaya victory, controlled all of Congress and the presidency, and they assumed they would continue to do so.
They thought the Republican Party was dead. And why wouldn't they? After all, the mainstream media told them the GOP was dead.
Then came the Tea Party revolt and the GOP capture of Congress, and, most recently and most important, Donald Trump's election.
Shocked and stunned, perhaps we should say shocked and awed, the poor Democrats succeeded with their Obamacare plans only to have the American people ruin the second half of the equation, the implementation of a completely government-run system.
Make no mistake, Trump is the reason we have so far escaped the fate the Democrats designed for us. First, it is likely that no one but Trump could have stopped Hillary Clinton and a Democratic victory. Second, even a big-government Republican would likely have given in to Democratic demands, as would the feckless GOP Congress.
For his stopping of socialized health care alone, as well as saving the U.S. Supreme Court from a globalist takeover, Trump should perhaps be considered for a place on Mt. Rushmore. Already he has done more for America than the Nobel-winning Obama.
We are not out of the woods yet, though. Republicans need to carry through with the president's agenda, and once and for all get the official repeal and replacement of Obamacare done. They risk their congressional majority in 2018 if they don't.
And, rather than take any chances, they should push through as much of Trump's agenda as they can before those mid-term elections. The first two years of a presidency is where the damage is done - as in Obama's case - or where great things are accomplished, as could be with Trump.
Traditionally, the Democrats thrive by successfully enacting failure. The Republicans most often fail to enact success, or anything at all.
It's time for some - Trump and Congress - to at long last successfully enact success.