Bill Clinton used to say “it’s about the economy stupid”. That’s a bit of an overgeneralization, but not much. What it’s really about is people’s wallets. The sad fact is that many Americans don’t pay close attention to what is going on in Washington or their state capital until it is impacting what is in their wallet.
For those willing to listen, conservatives were hollering from the mountaintops that Obama-care was a horrible idea and that all of the President’s brazen promises about it were patently false. It simply could not achieve what he indicated it would accomplish. Recent news accounts are starting to show that the very things conservatives predicted are now coming to pass. And many who chose to believe an inexperienced, ideological president over those who knew better are complaining that they are losing their jobs and health care costs are going up.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the Department of Health and Human Services is about to spend millions of dollars to convince people how great the Affordable Health Care Act is for them. Before we go further, stew on that for a minute. If it’s so great and accomplishing so much, why do they need to convince us of how wonderful it is?
As actuaries and others publish studies on the reality of the law, Secretary Sebelius was finally forced to admit that the cost of health care will go up as a result of Obama’s signature legislation. The national average will be roughly 32% according to the non-partisan group Society of Actuaries. In some places like Ohio and Wisconsin, it will increase by as much as 80-100% of current rates according to some accounts. And here’s the dirty little secret: it’s income redistribution at the root again. And the Democrats knew this would be the outcome.
There are many things I could point to, much of it already known. But one aspect of this is being missed and not commented on widely. As only one example, Wisconsin’s rates will go up by 80% and New York’s will go down by 14%. So what are we doing? We are taking money from people who take care of themselves and are generally a healthier population and transferring that money to cover people who are (as a general proposition ) poorer and less healthy. Stated another way, money will be taken from people who have made good life decisions and given to people who have not. Rates will also go up for men and younger poeple, not down for those who traditionally had higher premiums like women and older people. The Secretaries explanation? We are fixing “price discrimination”.
This was predictable. Even the cover story now being trotted out could be, discouragingly, outlined well in advance of the public arguments being made by the Secretary. I don’t blame insurance companies like the Administration is sure to do. Putting aside the profit that the President so eagerly demonizes, insurance companies have to take in enough premium to cover the losses and claims they pay out just to stay in business. It’s a simple business model analysis. So when the government tells them you have to cover people who didn’t buy insurance before because it was too expensive (read free health insurance), they have to get that premium from somewhere. The cost of health care is not going down (which is the real problem created in part by government’s already too large role in it), so the insurance companies have to take in enough premium to cover the much higher-risk-people it is now forced to cover. It’s not discrimination, it’s simple math.
The other instances of how people are seeing the real impact of Obama-care abound and are too lengthy to write about in one post. They include massive layoffs by companies to get under the threshold number that makes the law apply to them, the inability of people to keep the doctors they had as the President promised, and the decrease in deficits and federal debt this would prevent.
It’s pretty simple folks, the grand experiment in government run health care – and make no mistake about it, that’s what it’s intended to be – is going exactly as many on the right predicted. It will only get worse, and it will surely not end well. How do we know? A quick look at the outcome of every other country that has tried to socialize anything has failed.
But then again, history and the facts only matter if people wake up and take notice. The President and Democarats are counting that people won’t.