Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Obama Knows Best

When you walk up to the cooler full of milk at the grocery store, you have a choice to make.

Should you pay more for the fancy organic milk because experts say regular milk is bad for you, or do you save money and grab the regular milk because, well, you always drank it, it's more economical, and it's just fine for you and your kids?

Imagine for a moment that you were deprived of your ability to choose. Imagine the grocery store manager showing up and removing the regular milk from the shelves right in front of your face, telling you it's fancy organic milk or nothing. Pay up.

This is the essence of what President Obama is telling millions of Americans who, up until now, were allowed to make individual decisions about what kind of health insurance was just right for themselves and their children.

After promising again and again to the American public that his health care plan would allow you to keep buying your favorite health insurance plan, President Obama has been caught in a lie. Millions of Americans are receiving cancellation notices from their health insurers telling them that their plan is no longer available for purchase and they have to pick a new one. (The fact that they actually can't do that because the website is a disaster is another story.)

Yes, every program has winners and losers. We all expect that. But isn't it ironic that a program that supposedly preaches that people should be insured, disproportionately whacks those who already knew that and were already buying their own insurance?

Obamacare makes losers out of people who took personal responsibility for their health care. These are people who understand better than most the cost of health care because they actually have to write out a check each month to pay their premium rather than having an employer automatically deduct it from their pay check. And trust us, writing that check makes you think a LOT about how much you spend on health care.

Consumers in the individual market, which includes many entrepreneurs, small business owners, and other self-employed people, had to shop through their options, read the fine print, and choose a plan and price that covered their personal needs. And in some cases, it was the regular milk equivalent that worked. Others sprung for organic. But the point was, they got to choose. Obamacare eliminates that choice.

As Americans, we traditionally pride ourselves with living in a land of plenty. Living in such a land inherently requires one to make choices, which is as much a personal freedom as it is a requirement for all citizens to exercise personal responsibility.

Obamacare changes that. It is like a wolf in sheep's clothing. It's a law that is promoted as improving access to health care, but it actually limits the option individuals have about their health care coverage, thereby limiting the practical choices many Americans can make. And, sadly, it's precisely those same Americans who prized choice the most, because they were in a position to exercise that choice.

Is this a mistake? Was there a miscalculation by the authors of Obamacare?

Not at all.

President Obama -- and many of his Democratic brethren -- disdain personal responsibility. They don't like it when people are independent and make individual choices. They think the government is better equipped than you are to make decisions about your own health care. In fact, if they truly had their way, they would go beyond Obamacare and put the government in charge of all of your health care decisions by instituting a single payer system nationwide.

This logic is readily apparent in the way the Obama Administration defends the millions of cancellation letters being sent to those who buy in the individual market.

"It's OK," they say. "Your old plan, which you picked yourself, was terrible. So we went ahead and picked some new plans for you, and yeah, you gotta pay more, but trust us: we are protecting you from your own crappy judgment." In fact, they have the audacity to claim that those letters aren't, in fact, cancellations, they're just "transitions" to the better, more sensible approach to health care they set up for all of us.

And while Obama and Co. can't stand those who are personally responsible, they exploit that responsibility by using individual purchasers' money to foot the bill for the entire Obamacare program. For those who became entrepreneurs as a result of losing their job in the recent recession, and who thereby became responsible for buying their own health insurance at huge rates, this is a special form of insult after injury.

Over and over, our Democratic friends try to convince us that Obamacare is going to save millions and millions of uninsured people from dying because they don't have health insurance. Perhaps; perhaps not. But what they refuse to talk about is the hundreds of billions of dollars it will cost us to accomplish that goal, all on top of our already eye-popping $17 trillion national debt. They refuse to talk about the two to seven million Americans who are being forced to give up health care plans they selected, and purchased, and paid for, in exchange for plans they don't want. They refuse to talk about the much-higher premiums these people will be forced to pay for the health care plans they don't want. And that's before they refuse to talk about all of the glitches and privacy bugs with the website they created to accomplish the feat.

The plain and simple truth isn't just that the federal health care website is broken (even though it is). It isn't just that Obamacare is bad, even though it is. President Obama and his ilk actually have a different vision for America than the model we all learned in civics class. Their model isn't about personal responsibility and choice. It's about big government imposing its will and depriving the American public of individual choice while punishing individual responsibility and accomplishment.

And, that's the real worry with Obamacare. It's just the tip of the iceberg.

1 comment:

  1. And add to this problem a projected $43 TRILLION short fall on Medicare ver time and another $20+ TRILLION on Soc. Sec., the numbers are overwhelming. Great article which many need to read and understand. Too bad our political leaders do not get it......


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