Green Room

Let’s Get One Thing Perfectly Clear…

posted at 10:30 pm on February 9, 2012 by

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 riskpool 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 Big Lizards

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Yepper, and there are far too many people who still don’t get it.

climbnjump on February 9, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Fundamental Transformation.

tjexcite on February 9, 2012 at 11:51 PM

One day the ‘eyes’ of Americans will open, but will it be too late? I never liked this plan, I had a clue that it was gonna get worse instead of better, and as Dafydd pointed out, all that was needed was to opent the rolls to allow those without Ins to get Ins, Obama had no need to change everything for 30 to 40 million people did he…

I hope the SCOTUS realises this, and thinks things through and strikes down Obamacare once and for all…

It sickens me to know that Obama is misusing his office…

Please please someone get a clue a stop this man!

Scrumpy on February 9, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Erick Erickson at CPAC is pessimistic about defeating Obama in November, and I find that hideously depressing. If this happens, Obamacare will not stand a chance of being repealed. It won’t matter if we get a heavily Republican Congress if Obama is still President, because they lack the guts to do anything about his naked power grabs. The country we knew will die.

After reading that article, in the Washington Examiner, I won’t sleep tonight. I may never have a good night’s sleep again.

hachiban on February 10, 2012 at 1:13 AM

You forgot the involuntary servitude portion of EMTALA — where patients must be served regardless of demonstrated ability to pay — and the ludicrous government-sanctioned practice of not having fixed prices in the medical field nor publicly accessible information about outcomes (so that normal “shopping” was impossible) in your list of problems caused by the government itself that served as a springboard to further government intervention.

cthulhu on February 10, 2012 at 1:14 AM

We beg for help with the manners of Obama with his unrelenting twisting of the laws only to realize he is one third of the power in government while 535 others who are the other one third of the power of government whine about the Executive Branch. The public is in shock while Congress twiddles their thumbs. We realized too late that Congress is deaf to our screams and blind to the written word we send. We also realize that there are 10,000 Congressional staff members that do the largest amount of the work involved with the office that filter our voices and mail. No wonder Pelosie said, “Pass this Bill so we can find out what’s in it”.

mixplix on February 10, 2012 at 6:36 AM

Great piece!

cmsinaz on February 10, 2012 at 7:51 AM

“Dumbth”, coined by Steve Allen and exposited hilariously in his book by that name, could pretty well sum up the State of the Union and especially Washington’s inhabitants. What else is Ed’s OOTD, most of the time? Tie that to “The Peter Principle”, and you can explain most of the actions of government, and a great deal of everything else.

AesopFan on February 10, 2012 at 10:04 AM

A one page health care answer to the 1800+ page Ocare. See how simple govt can be.

Kissmygrits on February 10, 2012 at 10:09 AM

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.

Everyone of the solutions Dafydd gives was floated by someone, sometime, before 2009, but collecting them, as he does here, greatly strengthens his prime thesis:

ObamaCare was, first and last, a power grab by the federal government at the expense of states, local governments, and individual Americans.

Many pundits, bloggers, and church leaders now see the issues at stake here; when will the people?

AesopFan on February 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM

So well said! This issue isn’t specifically or only about Catholics or religion but is just more of the Obamascare mandate insinuating itself into every facet of our lives. I hope you’re right about the “naked savagery and unAmericanism” being exposed and that it will hopefully wake up–no, jolt–the sleeping dreaming fantasizing part of the population that supports him into realizing how urgently we have to get rid of “Obubbleboy” and the sooner the better!

stukinIL4now on February 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Judging by the comments on this article by JAKE TAPPER, some of the people are getting the picture.

Here’s another good analysis by JEFFREY H. ANDERSON at the Weekly Standard.

AesopFan on February 10, 2012 at 12:41 PM

You’re right, Dafydd Ab Hugh. You’re right.

J.E. Dyer on February 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Judging by the comments on this article by JAKE TAPPER, some of the people are getting the picture.

One of the commenters points out that Tapper’s wife works for Planned Parenthood.

YehuditTX on February 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM

The federal government could have obtained the most bang for the buck by giving subsidies to hospitals and emergency care clinics in the poorest neighborhoods. $5-$10 billion a year and the people who need care the most would have had access to it. No need to spend trillions.

As it is, there are hospitals in hundreds of communities that are still at risk of closure.

J Baustian on February 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM