Health Care for the Pushy and Well Connected

GTY_obama_2obamacare_tk_131021_16x9_992So now it turns out Obama knew that 93 million Americans would have their health insurance canceled the whole time he was claiming, “If you like your insurance, you can keep it. Period.”

Obama lied.  Period. “Hope and Change” was actually “A Sucker Is Born Every Minute.”

Even without the 2010 Health and Human Services (HHS) report admitting that 93 million Americans would lose their health insurance, anyone with half a brain (which is a pre-existing condition) knew that millions of Americans would be thrown off their insurance plans under Obamacare. Under the law, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is to determine what every health insurance plan must cover — and any plans that don’t are illegal.

As a result, gay guys are now going to be forced to buy plans that cover maternity care. Mormons will have to buy plans that cover gambling addiction therapy. Elderly couples can buy only insurance that includes pediatric dental care. Catholic hospitals will be required to provide birth control and abortions.

Our federal overseers, led by the arrogant and smug gender-feminist Sebelius, know what’s best for us. (Which is so nice of her since, as she recently pointed out, she doesn’t work for us.) Her idea of flexibility is not requiring Catholic priests to perform abortions. Not yet, anyway.

Obviously, health insurance premiums are going through the roof with all these federal mandates. Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute reports that health insurance premiums will be higher than before Obamacare in at least 45 states — an astronomical 256 percent higher in some cases. The Los Angeles Times says middle-income families in California will pay 30 percent more for health insurance, even with the subsidies.Policies are being canceled because your old plan — the one you shopped for and liked — is now illegal. It doesn’t cover Sandra Fluke’s dental dams. Obama is blaming the insurance companies for discontinuing policies that he made illegal. (At least he isn’t blaming the cancellations on a guy who put a movie trailer on the Internet this time.)

Isn’t it your basic duty as a caring human being to buy an expensive health care plan you don’t really want? Because who knows better about the health care needs of 310 million Americans than a smug gender-feminist? Certainly not you.

And absolutely not your doctor. While campaigning for national health care, our “Conspiracy Theorist-in-Chief” repeatedly claimed that a doctor would rather amputate your foot or leg and make $50,000 than treat you for diabetes because “if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that’s $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 — immediately the surgeon is reimbursed.” (Leaving aside Obama’s unwarranted slander against doctors, Medicare reimburses a surgeon $740 to $1,140 for a leg amputation.)

Why would you want to keep these psycho doctors anyway? Trust Kathleen Sebelius. Under Obamacare, you’ll get a nice nurse practitioner to attend to your needs — provided your needs are limited to birth control and psychotherapy. Meanwhile, your doctor will now be offering shoe repair to make ends meet.

Mickey Kaus, a huge supporter of Obamacare, has reacted to its disastrous implementation on his Kausfiles blog by proposing an “Obamacare Review Commission to monitor the rollout of the exchanges and recommend significant fixes.”

Why, that’s almost as good as a “super-committee”!

Kaus continues: “This commission could issue periodic warnings — this software project isn’t going fast enough! Death spiral at 3 o’clock! CMS staff isn’t up to the job! … It could suggest that the list of mandated ‘essential benefits’ — including maternity care and pediatric dentistry — be pared back, which would lower ‘sticker shock’ for all. … Maybe everyone stuck in the individual market should get some subsidy — $100, $200, $400 — financed by tax dollars. Maybe the lucky 80 percent or so with employer plans should pay more than the current system asks. Maybe de facto temporary subsidies of the insurance industry should be made explicit and permanent.”

It gives me a headache just thinking about it. But the government is forcing me to think about it.

The best we can hope for is that influence-peddlers and government bureaucrats make wise decisions about our health care, just as they did with Solyndra, Social Security, public education and the Amtrak food service. Oops! (Only the government could lose billions of dollars with a monopoly.) From the people who brought you the Postal Service … here’s Obamacare!

It’s the homework requirement that is the most annoying aspect of Obamacare. Sure, millions of Americans will lose their health insurance and be forced to buy plans they don’t want. And many, many millions will no longer be able to go to the doctor of their choosing — or any doctor at all!

But we’ve also all been given homework — mountains of reports, exchanges, insurance plans and mail to study. I’d prefer a 50 percent tax hike to this forced busy-work under Obamacare.

What if Americans don’t want to spend weeks online figuring out their new insurance options? What if we don’t want to provide the government with reams of personal information simply to be able to buy health insurance? What if we just want to pay our doctor directly for a yearly checkup? Why do we have to examine HHS regulations to find out how much that’s going to cost us in fines and taxes?

Under Obamacare, every day is tax day.

And for what? Eighty-five percent of Americans were happy with their health care before Obamacare, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index — higher than almost any other product or service polled, with even Amazon coming in at 88 percent satisfaction. Even uninsured Americans were as satisfied with their health care as Canadians were with their national health care.

Kausfiles assured us there would be no death panels or benefits cuts under Obamacare because the voters would rise up and punish politicians if they dared cut our benefits!

What about those of us who don’t want to be in a constant state of agitation just to get the health care of our choice? Not everyone is better off in a world where the pushy win and the quiet and unassuming die because their rare diseases didn’t attract a band of noisy lobbyists.

No group of government bureaucrats can substitute for hundreds of millions of Americans making individual choices about their own lives and their own health. It would be as if the government took it upon itself to tell us whom to marry. Only someone who went to Harvard would think central planners should do that.

The smart people in the Soviet Union tried to plan the nation’s agriculture, and the result was 50 years of “bad weather.” And they were dealing with inert objects — land, seeds and crops.

They didn’t have to consider whether the fertilizer was a teetotaler who didn’t anticipate needing substance abuse therapy or a priest who preferred to skimp on marital counseling insurance.

Our central planners think they can direct something infinitely more complex than farmland: human beings and their individual health needs. Under Obamacare, the pushy and the connected win. Everyone else loses.

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  • physicsnut

    One guy on new jersey TV said that city hospitals deal with ‘trauma’ and half the cases are charity or medicaid. Well – to translate that into plain english, you have GANGS and they are shooting each other, stabbing each other, having drug overdoses and whatnot. But they don’t say that – they call it ‘trauma’. It sounds like a medical variation of Political Correctness.
    So, let us see … various types want out-of-control immigration. Those aliens hang out in gangs and do what gangstas do, and WE get to pick up the medical costs. Somebody ought to check out what it costs if someone gets stabbed or shot. I bet it drags out for months. I think somebody ought to tell the truth, without all the misleading terminology. Then I bet they get accused of Raaaaacism.

    • susan

      the city hospitals ER will now see fewer doctors available, a much, much longer wait tine, and less care, so even the Obama-lover will find that he/she is negatively impacted by this obamanation of a plan.
      Who said there wasn’t a silver lining?

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    This is one of Ann’s best. After the 20th century’s detour into government planning, we know the result of paternalistic government.

    I hear Hayak, Rand, and Friedman here: “No group of government bureaucrats can substitute for hundreds of millions of Americans making individual choices about their own lives and their own health”.

  • justquitnow

    Ann…you didn’t tell us anything about your personal experience. Surely this horror of biblical proportions has effected you personally. Sure you talk about all the mounds of reading you have to do….but I would be interested in what kind of coverage you actually have and if you have “kept” it “under” ACA.

    Republicans have been doing everything they can to make sure that no benefits actually reach the voters. Red States will have harder time because every effort has been made to prevent the expansion of Medicare and the setup of exchanges.

    “What about those of us who don’t want to be in a constant state of agitation just to get the health care of our choice?”

    Give me a break Ann…you’re whole career is keeping people in a constant state of agitation…THIS ARTICLE is about agitation.

  • james connolly

    Ann describe the horrendous disaster Obamacare is like nobody else, with great wit and irony. As a single man, I really need maternity care, birth control, abortion coverage. The central planners don’t know their you-know-what from a hole in the ground and are determined to control nearly aspect of our lives, no matter how totally incompetent and arrogant they are! Not to mention bankrupting a country that is already bankrupt.

    The USSR dissolved and has now been abbreviated to US. GOD HELP US!

  • Mohammad Izzaterd

    Actually poor people win with Obamacare. With subsidies, their comprehensive health plan is almost free. The real losers are the middle class just above the threshhold for any subsidy. So if you are single, making $50K a year, no subsidy for YOU! But if you are single making 15k, almost free insurance for YOU. As the poor enroll and weigh down Obamacare, the premiums for those making too much will increase. Likewise, the subsidies will consume enormous amounts of money, and the taxes in Obamacare, remember them?, will, lo and behold, be inadequate. Of course the solution to that problem is to lay more taxes on those who have income just above the subsidy privilege. Of course, as the expense probem becomes clear in the next year, we will all lose, except for poor people. They are the really big winners. How much empathy do you have for poor people? Do you wish to sacrifice your own financial well being so that their financial well being can be improved?

    • susan

      don’t agree. there are no winners. With much fewer doctors, except those from other countries who are the right color, who get race money to go to school. So quality of care is less, time to wait for appointment (as opposed to old system of ER) is dramatically increased, and every medical person makes less money, so they are unhappy, thus impacting care.
      this is a lose/lose

    • tagalog

      I don’t know if I agree with you about the low cost. That will surely become very clear pretty soon. I’m really interested in how many people actually enroll in the Affordable Care Act by March 31, 2014.

      If the number is small, I think I’ll start taking the claims that something like 12,000,000 to 15,000,000 people are going to be cancelled out of their health plans in the private industryvery seriously, and weighing the number who get low cost insurance against those who get cancelled.

  • tagalog

    Some commentator has suggested that the Obama pledge, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it. Period.” is consumer fraud.

    For some support for that contention, please permit me to refer you to the case of Lhotka v. Geographic Expeditions, Inc., California Court of Appeal, 181 Cal. App. 4th 816, 104 Cal. Rptr. 3d 844 (2010), in which a company that made a contract with a person was found to have made an unconscionable contract because they (falsely) told the person that such contract terms are standard in the industry, would not negotiate terms, and therefore deprived the person of “meaningful choice” and deprived the person of bargaining power in making the contract.

    Of course, the feds will cite Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603, in which a claimed entitlement to Social Security benefits as a contract or property right was held by the U.S. Supreme Court to be invalid, there being no contract right or property right to Social Security retirement benefits, to overcome such a claim of consumer fraud in a contract context.

  • donqpublic

    Well, under the new dispensation, or indentured servitude, the state will pretend to reimburse the declining share of doctors, and the doctors will pretend to be doctors providing health care to the teeming millions.

  • http://www.shugartmedia.com/ Chris Shugart

    Obamacare: your compulsory, government issued license to breath.

  • Lowest Common Obamanator

    Obama said there’d be days like this, there’d be days like this, Obama said:

    “If you like your late term abortion doctor, you can keep your late term abortion doctor.”

    “If you like Dr. Kevorkian, you can keep Dr. Kevorkian.”

  • herb benty

    It’s all about the millions of new, unionized, overpaid government employees that will be permanent Democratic voters. THIS is what tha ACA is for-nothing else.