February 9, 2012
Let's Get One Thing Perfectly Clear...
The recent order by President Barack H. Obama (and Kathleen Sebelius at the Department of Health and Human Services) -- that every employer must offer health insurance that fully covers birth control, sterilizations, and morning-after abortion pills, regardless of any religious objection employers, including faith-based employers that are not actually churches, might harbor to those procedures -- is not an "unintended consequence" of ObamaCare. Its architects are not that stupid.
Rather, that was one of the very reasons for enacting ObamaCare in the first place.
As many of us said back in 2009, the purpose of ObamaCare was never to give health insurance to needy people who couldn't afford it. First, that category was nearly empty:
- The deserving poor were already covered by Medicaid; and if necessary, its qualification threshold could have been temporarily lowered to allow more people to benefit -- say, by expanding availability to those who had recently lost their jobs (hence health insurance) but were not yet living below the Medicaid poverty line.
- The biggest chunk of those who did not have health insurance comprised the rich (who prefer to pay for their health care as necessary, rather than buy insurance), and the young, healthy, and shortsighted, who can afford health care but choose instead to gamble that they won't get so sick or injured that they need expensive treatment. Making such a choice, even if it turns out to be a big mistake, is part of individual liberty. The proper "solution" is to allow us that liberty, then hold individuals accountable for their own decisions; actions have consequences. (Innocents swept up in those bad decisions, such as children, can be helped separately.)
Finally, a small percentage of the uninsured could have afforded a cheaper, stripped-down policy, but cannot afford the "Cadillac" health-care plans whose costs are driven up by government mandates and regulations.
For those unfortunates, the easiest fix -- which would have benefitted everyone else as well -- was to eliminate all the government meddling the caused the problem in the first place: Requiring health insurance by law to cover a littany of specialized services; policies that make it difficult for insurance companies to offer greater variety in policies, such as a medical savings account coupled with catastrophic care (which encourage more parsimony among patients, as they must pay to refill their MSA if depleted); regulations prohibiting insurance companies from offering policies cross-state and cross-border; overly plaintiff-friendly (and especially lawyer-friendly) medical malpractice laws; and so forth.
Real problems, such as people with pre-existing conditions (the faux "casus belli" for the war against private insurance), could have been handled the same way bad drivers are handled for automobile insurance: Create an "assigned risk" pool among health insurers to spread the cost; allow a reasonable increase in rates for those with such conditions, and have a reasonably short waiting period (e.g., six months) before full coverage occurs; and allow for temporary government assistance for those who truly cannot wait and incur unpayable costs. (This isn't laissez-faire Capitalism, of course; but it's a reasonable and inexpensive compromise between liberty and safety net.)
Such reforms would have cost a fraction of the trillion dollars that ObamaCare expropriated from the private sector. In fact, once the lifting of government mandates and the squelching of "jackpot justice" malpractice suits lowered actual health-care costs, insurance reform might have wound up cheaper than the original system it replaced. And in any event, it would have been a move towards greater freedom of choice for employers and individuals.
But the Obamunists had precisely the opposite purpose from the beginning; rather than freedom, their ultimate goal was to put more Americans than ever before under the iron boot-heel of the government. Never was it about health insurance for the poor and uninsured; it was always about the federal government seizing control not only of the health care of individuals but also nationalizing those state and local health programs already in place. ObamaCare was, first and last, a power grab by the federal government at the expense of states, local governments, and individual Americans.
So please, let's not imitate Captain Renault in Casablanca -- shocked, shocked to discover that Barack Obama has violated our First-Amendment right to freedom of religion! In fact, that specific mandate was at the heart of ObamaCare tyranny: a frontal assault on the Catholic church in particular, which is so virulently hated by the gay-activist and feminist wings of the Left.
The only element of this policy that should shock anyone is the unbelievably hamfisted way that Obama decreed it: A politically savvy politician would have patiently held off until after the election, giving himself two years to allow the furor to die down.
Instead, the president once again mistook unanimity among his left-liberal friends for a Progressivist "consensus" among the American people; he lives in a bubble of epistemic closure, talking only to true-blue believers on the left. I formerly gave him the nickname "Lucky Lefty," because (a) he is left handed, (b) he is left-leaning, and (c) he was extraordinarily lucky. Well he's still (a) and (b), but not so much (c) anymore, so I can no longer call him that.
Obama's new nickname is "Bubble Boy," honoring his world view.
But what's done is done and cannot be undone; Obama has ripped off the mask, and he can't put it back into the bottle. We now see ObamaCare in all its naked savagery and unAmericanism. Thank goodness for Obamunist "dumbth!"
Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 9, 2012, at the time of 7:43 PM
The following hissed in response by: snochasr
It is more than you imagine. A Mayo study released many years ago concluded that eliminating just 4 aspects of the government-mandated insurance "model" would cut US healthcare costs by HALF. I know, because I got one of the few policies that did not follow the model, and custs were cut, literally, by half. When I later had to go back, costs doubled.
The following hissed in response by: MikeR
Ah - unfortunately the administration is going to cave on this one. Too many people upset. By November they'll be boasting about the statesmanlike "solution" they found that protects everyone's important rights.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
By November they'll be boasting about the statesmanlike "solution" they found that protects everyone's important rights.
Too late. A voter would have to be completely clueless not to realize that the moment the election is over, Obama will reinstate the original policy.
The vast majority of us may be fools, but to quote Peter Cushing, not utter fools!
[I originally misremembered that quotation spoken by Vincent Price; but now I think it was Cushing, from Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. If anybody cares!]
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at February 10, 2012 12:45 PM
The following hissed in response by: GW
Obama is displaying much the same grasp of subtlety last seen displayed when Stalin was a head of state.
By all accounts, this early roll out of the plan was supposed to win kudos from women voters and the many Catholics who support birth control, while splitting Republicans. The fact that even Catholics who support birth control might be uncomfortable at it being forced down the throat of the Church was wholly lost in Obama's secular, poll driven math.
There is no question that Obama had no clue the can of worms he was opening. I don't see how he backs down from this before the election, and I don't see how this does anything other than put his reelection on shaky ground indeed.
The above hissed in response by: GW at February 11, 2012 3:20 AM
The following hissed in response by: seePea
I think Team Barak knew exactly what they were doing. They put enough distance between the President and the 'decision maker' so that the President can have plausible denialbility. Then they make it look that he is being gracious in giving in on 'key' points for the benefit of the Catholic Church, all the while the MSM is singing Hosanahs for and to him.
The conservatives in the USA are making a huge mistake in thinking voters will vote intelligently. They won't, especially with the MSM being four-square behind the President and being THE major influence of political thought.
President will be easily re-elected in the Electoral College unless the GOP starts playing advertisements everywhere against the President before the primaries are over.
The following hissed in response by: snochasr
SeePea is right. Most people get their "feelings" about the candidates long before the election, they get those feelings from the MSM and from negative advertising, and those attitudes are hard to change in the last few weeks. Only those trying to make an "intelligent" decision decide very late, and even that is generally colored by how the campaigns have "painted" the opponent. On the other hand, such obvious and deceptive missteps-- saying that employers don't have to pay for abortions, their insurance companies do-- don't do anything to improve the narrative the Prez is trying to spin. project.
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