A broken public trust may ruin the first black U.S. president's legacy, said evangelical neurosurgeon and conservative darling Dr. Benjamin Carson.
"Well…you know…I…I'd struggle with a good answer for that," Carson stuttered, when asked about Obama's legacy in an interview with the Daily Caller released today. "What is he going to be known for with all these scandals that are coming up, and things that don't seem to be consistent with the truth?"
Amid the scandals, Carson searched for "something good," and lighted on his health care reform. The president's comprehensive reform of the medical profession, passed as the Patient Protection and Afforable Care Act, has long since gained the moniker "Obamacare."
"Not very many presidents get to have something named after them that has such a gigantic impact on so many people," Carson said. He added, however, that for Obama, this may not be a good thing.
Echoing his earlier criticisms of a bloated government, Carson laid out the alleged shortcomings of Obamacare. "You're taking this gigantic bureaucratic program and foisting it on everybody by force…utilizing the same mechanisms that haven't worked for all kinds of other programs," thinking they'll work this time.
Carson said he and other doctors don't hold the optimistic view that Obamacare will work. He argued that government regulation makes it harder for doctors to make money. "You're seeing a lot of people leaving the profession. If they have the ability to leave financially, a lot of people are leaving, because it's not fun anymore."
But the costs also hit patients, he said. "What we're seeing is a program that was supposed to reduce everybody's healthcare premiums by $2500 has increased them by $2500 or more."
This claim is still hotly disputed. A New York Times headline on Tuesday contradicted it – rates in New York City will fall by 50 percent under Obamacare, the Times reported. Forbes' Avik Roy argued that premiums will only fall in the Big Apple because Obamacare fixes that city's uniquely dilapidated healthcare system, but it will raise premiums in most other states. Fact-checking website Politifact found the claim "half true," because "people with different types of coverage will likely see a range of outcomes."
But Carson also mentioned the law's effect on businesses. "A lot of businesses who would be responsible for a lot of healthcare costs for a full-time employee, but none for a part-time employee, are going to be very tempted to change their workforce to part-time employees." He predicted a general shift in the labor market away from full-time work to many part-time gigs.
"As the costs of this and all the taxes associated with it that hit everybody – not just the rich – become more and more apparent, you'll find dissatisfaction will grow very, very significantly," he predicted.
Carson called for more effective healthcare reform. "Something that really works is not a Democrat thing or a Republican think, it's an American thing," he proclaimed.
While Carson had few positive words about Obama's presidency, he did admire the man's rhetoric in his first presidential campaign. "Probably the most positive way you think of him," Carson explained, "is during the 2008 campaign, when he talked about real hope and change."
In his election speeches, Obama promised an end to special interest groups, a new era of transparency, and full cooperation between Republicans and Democrats, Carson noted. Then he broke into spontaneous, reminiscent laughter.
"I've got to tell you, it really sounded good."