Posted at Center for a Stateless Society:
ObamaCare in brief: Government feeds you to the insurance companies, while simultaneously feeding the insurance companies to you. The state takes home a doggie bag.
That’s the substance of President Obama’s proposals in his Wednesday speech to Congress.
First, feeding you to the insurance companies:
[U]nder my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance — just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise — likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers. There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still can’t afford coverage, and 95 percent of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements. But we can’t have large businesses and individuals who can afford coverage game the system by avoiding responsibility to themselves or their employees. Improving our health care system only works if everybody does their part.
Nothing complicated there. It’s a poll tax, payable directly to the insurance industry, courtesy of Uncle Sugar. You can pay “voluntarily” or you can pay with the mugger’s gun visibly drawn and pointed at you, but you’ll pay whether you want insurance or not.
Next, feeding the insurance companies to you:
Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition. As soon as I sign this bill, it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it the most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime. We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick. And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies — because there’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse.
So much for freedom of contract. Insurers will be forced to sell to anyone who wants to buy, in perpetuity, regardless of whether or not the deal is profitable for them.
Do you prefer a low premium and high deductible? Too bad. “Arbitrary caps” are illegal — except for the one on the customer’s expenses — and since care you may not want or need is mandated for coverage, you’ll get (and pay for) the policy Obama wants you to have, not the policy you want.
Finally, the doggie bag:
If you’re “too poor,” or the policies are “too expensive,” you can take advantage of a “public option” subsidized by taxing the insurance companies (and, indirectly, their customers) on the policies everyone else has been forced at gunpoint to purchase. That’s the doggie bag. The “public option” won’t be good insurance — most of its revenues will be spent creating sinecures for bureaucrats — but it will be there. And if ObamaCare manages to lurch forward from the starting line at all, its proponents’ real goal is to eventually dispense with what little is left of “private sector” health care entirely and pull every last American into this “public option.”
Now for the really bad news:
Not only will ObamaCare not deliver the promised result (affordable health care for all), it won’t even deliver what I described above.
Even if Congress can be persuaded to pass a turkey of a bill incorporating these monumentally stupid and destructive ideas, the insurance companies and their K Street lobbyists have other ideas and all the money in the world to get those ideas amended into the law as time goes on.
At the end of ObamaCare, “the excluded middle” won’t just be a logical fallacy you’ve heard of, it will be an apt description of the world you live in. The “individual mandate” will remain and the insurance companies will make bank on it. The “public option” will remain too — as a place for insurers to dump customers who aren’t profitable. All those “a free unicorn and ice cream for everyone at insurers’ expense” parts? Silly citizen … unicorns are for people who can afford lobbyists!
In health care as in all other areas, government is a cannibalistic enterprise in which the privileged elites get treated to lunch. You? You are lunch.