I think – well, to be forthright, I know, with actuarial certainty – that any of the various “Keep Your Plan” legislative fixes floating around Congress would kill ObamaCare. President Obama and the rest of the Affordable Care Act con artists know it, too. There’s a reason he told the biggest lie in modern history, over and over again. More to the point, there’s a reason ObamaCare includes the insurance-slaying regulations and requirements Obama kept lying about. This bill, like all socialist failure, is a massive exercise of compulsive force. It won’t work if there’s an escape valve.
Not many people will voluntarily line up to pay absurdly inflated premiums to buy lousy high-deductible policies, crammed with mandated benefits they won’t use, because they desire the warm, glowing satisfaction of knowing that they are subsidizing a handful of lucky “winners” who had trouble getting insurance in the old days. And these aren’t small, easily-overlooked surcharges, like the little nibbles our glorious welfare state takes out of your monthly cell phone bill to provide “free” phones through an easily-defrauded, widely-abused system. ObamaCare is an incredibly expensive, easily-defrauded, sure-to-be-widely-abused system. The “losers” are encountering premium increases that run into thousands of dollars per year. Even the people who were supposedly hungry for health insurance in the pre-ObamaCare days turn tail and run for their lives when they see the premiums they would be expected to pay. There would never be enough voluntary “losers” to sustain the system.
This isn’t just a matter of those now-infamous “grandfather” rules that end up killing almost every policy that might otherwise have been allowed to continue. Those are Administration rules written by the Department of Health and Human Services. Barack Obama could hold one meeting with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and make them go away. But he hasn’t, and he won’t. He needs those old policies dead. He’s not going to call of the hit. And even if he did, the mandates built into those endless thousands of pages of ObamaCare rules inflate the cost of insurance so much that providers can’t continue offering the old plans at the old prices. Congressional legislation to keep HHS from aggressively destroying grandfather policies would buy maybe a year of time, at most – conveniently just long enough for Democrats to limp past midterm elections that should be a meat grinder for their Party. Simple business sense will then lead providers to drop the old plans over the coming years. Unhappy Americans will end up in the same place, but the Democrats will have more time to weasel out of responsibility for their plight, and trick voters into believing their ire is more properly directed at the Little Partners of private industry who are obeying the foolish laws Democrats passed.. They’re pretty sure they can win that spin game, given enough time to play.
That’s the likely future under Republican Fred Upton’s bill in the House. Democrat Mary Landrieu in the Senate has a bill (which Rep. Upton has said he likes!) that would force insurance companies to keep offering their old plans, even when they no longer make economic sense. Not only is that an outrageous offense against the U.S. Constitution, economic liberty, and the principles of free-market capitalism, it’s politically foolish – all Democrat bills to “fix” ObamaCare should be one hundred percent dead on arrival, absolute non-starters – and it will just kill the insurance industry faster. Instead of a long slog into misery, we’d have providers declaring bankruptcy – or, more likely, demanding gigantic taxpayer bailouts – with horrific speed, probably less than a year.
The insurance industry is already muttering uneasily about insufficient numbers of young healthy types buying overpriced policies. Those horrendously low ObamaCare enrollment numbers released yesterday – only 106,000 nationwide, not even ten percent of the first month target numbers – were absurdly inflated. The Administration admitted, in advance, that it would lie about the numbers, tossing in every half-completed scrap of data left in an online shopping cart, in a frantic effort to pump up the totals. They’re still trying to live from one news cycle to the next, buying a few weeks with lies so they keep the headlines out of apocalypse territory. By the time Republican congressional investigators have subpoenaed the real month-one enrollment numbers out of this flim-flam Administration, they’ll be on to the next distraction. Absurdly, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius insisted yesterday that she doesn’t actually know how many people have paid for policies, an admission that would have gotten her arrested if she was a private-sector accountant. I seriously doubt that the true enrollment numbers are much more than half of the panic-inducing cooked figures released yesterday.
That’s just not enough people to sustain this disastrous system, no matter what “fixes” are implemented to alleviate the political pressure of Obama’s Big Lie unraveling. None of these “fixes” would address the other critical flaws in the scheme, such as its offenses against personal and religious liberty. They won’t stop the flood of lost jobs from employers desperate to avoid those onerous ObamaCare mandates – which, despite frantic liberal efforts to wish it away, is a very real phenomenon, as a yet another survey recently established. Addressing the mass cancellation of insurance policies will do nothing to save Americans from the wave of computer crime that awaits them as they’re forced to use a computer system the Administration knows – thanks to suppressed memos – will have critical security flaws for at least a year to come. If you think the current user numbers for HealthCare.gov are bad now, wait until the first headline-grabbing security breach.
If ObamaCare survives, it will consume even more piles of taxpayer money, on top of the existing billions in wasted, irresponsible spending. We can’t even seem to get numbers from the Administration about how much it’s costing to rebuild the garbage web system they already blew hundreds of millions of dollars on. No fiscally responsible Republican can possibly vote to rescue a system he knows will bleed red ink for decades to come…. and if the “fix” leads to an insurance-industry bailout, the money wasted so far will look like small change in retrospect. Also, further money poured into the ObamaCare rat hole diverts precious resources from reforms that really would improve health insurance and accomplish the goals many voters say they support.
President Obama’s horrendous crime – and it is a crime, because lying to an electorate in order to force them into a compulsive, inescapable scheme is an offense against the principles of liberty and self-government – has dealt a possibly mortal blow to the health insurance marketplace. We have to heal this wound, quickly, before it can do any more damage to the health care industry, which is separate but related, and in terrible jeopardy. ObamaCare has torn through muscle, and threatens to puncture vital organs, if the blade is not swiftly removed.
From a political standpoint, it is fitting and satisfying to watch terrified Democrats scrambling for “keep your plan” legislation to mitigate the wrath of voters, their week-old talking points about “red herrings” and mercy-killing crummy old junk policies already discarded and forgotten, covered with the dust of political aeons. But the Republicans should offer them no such escape. ObamaCare is Carrie White covered in pig blood; the GOP should do nothing except bar the gym doors to keep Democrats from escaping her wrath. They deserve what’s coming to them. Those who were in office when ObamaCare passed knowingly voted for a bill that didn’t read, on a fabulously corrupt party-line vote spiced with kickbacks and payoffs, in a mad grab for power. Saying “Oops, my bad” as the headlines fill with stories of outrage and anguish three years later doesn’t cut it. America needs them to suffer an existential crisis. It’s part of the healthy democratic process of an electorate recovering its balance after a disaster, and painfully reforming the party that inflicted it.
So yes, I know that a “keep your plan” bill will initiate the protracted demise of ObamaCare… but that demise should not be protracted. We need to get rid of this garbage right now. Barack Obama’s ego and “legacy” are a small price to pay for preventing the cancellation of millions of insurance policies, and that’s the only deal that should be put on the table for Democrats to consider. It is ludicrous to drag out the pain and chaos of an inevitable process, just to give Democrats a fighting chance of surviving their next encounter with voters. I certainly can’t see why any Republican would want to do that, but really, it’s just the wrong thing to do from the standpoint of our representatives’ bipartisan responsibility to the people they serve. The first “offer” to Democrats should be full ObamaCare repeal; the second offer should be repeal; the bottom-line offer Republicans are willing to negotiate down to should be repeal. It would be relatively inexpensive to provide for the tiny number of people who have bought insurance under the program so far.
It’s time to be honest with the American people, and that simply will not happen, ever, while ObamaCare exists. Everything about it has been a lie, right up to the phony enrollment numbers released yesterday. End this now, and let freedom ring. Coercive Big Government tactics cannot fix a disaster created by Big Government, but we the people – entrepreneurs and the willing customers they pursue – can make things right. We deserve to regain a trust that never should have been taken from us.