COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., November 17, 2013 — The news from the implementation of Obamacare is abysmal. That should surprise no one. Critics of the law have talked about its flaws from the beginning. But for bribery — the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase — chicanery — “Abortions won’t be funded under this law,” “You have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” — and outright lies — “If you like your plan, you will be allowed to keep it” — this bill would never have become law.
This kind of sweeping law has never before been attempted in this country. People do have to understand how it affects them; they seem not to take notice until it affects them.
In the first month, only 26,000 enrolled; 7 million are needed. Over 5 million people in the individual market have had their health plans cancelled — so far. The employer mandate has been postponed until after the 2014 elections. Employers who can read the handwriting on the wall have cut hours below the point at which they will have to offer insurance or have cancelled plans to expand the labor force.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that UnitedHealth Group has dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks. The company blamed underfunding of Medicare Advantage plans — something they should have seen coming. The administration planned all along to fund Obamacare, in part, from cuts in Medicare.
In Colorado, CBS Denver reports that a woman who worked for Obamacare is now shocked that she has lost her insurance plan — one of 250,000 people in Colorado alone who have lost their policies in the last few months.
“I was really shocked … all of my hopes were sort of dashed,” Cathy Wagner said. “’Oh my gosh, President Obama, this is not what we hoped for, it’s not what we were told.’ “
Responsible adults know that hope is not a plan and change isn’t always for the better. Josef Stalin reportedly said that the death of one man is a tragedy; the death of millions is a statistic. One could say the same for health insurance.
Under pressure from Democrats who will face the voters next fall, Obama will now allow people to keep their insurance policies after all. He intends to change the law without the bother of going through Congress.
House Speaker John Boehner said there is no way to fix Obamacare. Republicans are in the perfect position to say “I told you so.” The House passed numerous bills to repeal Obamacare; all foundered on the rocks of Harry Reid’s Senate. Senator Ted Cruz led the charge to do the next best thing and defund Obamacare. The effort failed, leading some to say it shouldn’t have been attempted in the first place.
All of this debate on who has what plans, whether they’re being cancelled and what to do about the plans misses the essential point: Government has no business deciding what kind of health insurance you should have. It has no business deciding whether you should have health insurance. It certainly has no business managing your premiums and using your tax money to subsidize other consumers.
Entirely missing from this debate is the question of who has the responsibility of managing your health. It is certainly not government.
John Locke wrote in his Essay on Toleration:
“Laws provide, as much as is possible, that the goods and health of subjects be not injured by the fraud and violence of others; they do not guard them from the negligence or ill-husbandry of the possessors themselves. No man can be forced to be rich or healthful whether he will or no.”
Yet that is exactly what Obamacare aims to do. It aims to tell us how we should be insured and then what that insurance will cover. When the inevitable rationing comes, unelected government boards — aka the “Death Panels” — will decide who gets what care.
Stalin’s quote really does apply to the deaths of millions — not just their health care policies. His collectivization of agriculture in the 1930s resulted in widespread famine. It only made the situation worse.
Collectivists always justify their action on the greatest good for the greatest number. They are filled with boundless optimism that their plans will work and that central planning is better than individual planning and a free market economy. A few sacrifices along the way — even many — are worth the cost.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., is a great example of this kind of thinking. She sits on the committee that oversees Obamacare. She said:
“As we work through all of this, I think that a year from now people overall are going to be very, very happy with the way the Affordable Care Act is working.”
And pigs will fly.
At The Voice of Liberty, we seek to advance the principles of liberty, because tyranny never sleeps.