ObamaCare: Republicans who voted for the American Health Care Act are doomed. The bill will push 24 million off health insurance. It will be terrible for those with pre-existing conditions. These are the claims being made about the GOP's plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. And they are everywhere: Every time a Democrat speaks, on the nightly news, on late-night television, at town halls. But wait a minute. Who exactly is making these claims? Oh, right, the very same people who predicted that ObamaCare would be a great success.
Remember? They said ObamaCare would be a huge political win for Democrats.
Back in 2010, President Obama's pollster predicted that ObamaCare would "win over public support once it becomes law."
A top advisor, David Plouffe, said that "Republicans are going to regret turning this (into) 'ObamaCare.' "
David Axelrod claimed that "I think that health care, over time, is going to become more popular."
But ObamaCare ended up costing Democrats the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016. It's become somewhat more popular lately only because of the lavish praise heaped on it in the press.
Democrats said ObamaCare would increase competition in the individual insurance market and lower premiums.
"Now you've got new competition, because insurers want your business.  And that means you will have cheaper prices," Obama proclaimed in September 2013, just before the ObamaCare exchanges opened for the first time.
"What we know for sure," ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber said in 2009, "is that (it) will lower the cost of buying nongroup health insurance."
They said ObamaCare would create a great product that everyone wanted.
The Congressional Budget Office — the supposedly infallible predictor of what the GOP health reform plan would do — predicted when Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law that 23 million would be enrolled in the exchanges by this year, and the number of uninsured would have dropped by 31 million — leaving just 5% without coverage.
As it turned out, enrollment is less than half that, and the ranks of the uninsured are far higher than the CBO predicted.
The CBO also predicted that ObamaCare would cut deficits in the second decade by as much as $1 trillion. But that was based on gimmicks Democrats built into ObamaCare, assumptions that the programs would work as intended, and on wildly unrealistic cuts to Medicare. The actual result is that ObamaCare will, if left in place, add significantly to federal red ink.
Meanwhile, the predictions made by ObamaCare critics have turned out to be spot on.
Just like they said it would, ObamaCare has led to spiraling premiums, fewer insurance options, worse care and loss of jobs. Critics predicted that the young and healthy would avoid buying overpriced ObamaCare plans, despite the tax penalty. And they did. They said the government-controlled markets wouldn't work. They didn't.
Now these same ObamaCare critics are predicting that, while the American Health Care Act might not be perfect, it is at least a step in the right direction toward lower costs and more choices. Shouldn't the public be paying more attention to them?
The boilerplate warning for investors is that past performance is no guarantee of future success. But what smart investor would take the advice of someone who was so spectacularly wrong in the past, instead of the person who got the results exactly right?