Herding Us Into ObamaCare
Think you'll have a real choice between private insurance and a nationalized health system? Think again. (Also read Richard Fernandez: Getting Better)
July 26, 2009 - 12:39 am
Although the president and Democratic Congress have tried to jam through a massive health care reform plan before the public gets wind of what is going on, they will not, it seems, succeed in passing a bill, or even obtaining a vote in Congress before the August recess. And that is bad news indeed if you are a fan of ObamaCare.
Liberals are in panic mode. Watch an hour or two of the cable news shows and liberals are fretting that the “opportunity will be lost.” The conservatives will be able to “kill” health care and will take to the airwaves to “confuse” the public, they worry. In other words, the cat is out of the bag. ObamaCare is nothing short of a disaster — for the economy and for health care. And now we have the luxury of time to find out just how disastrous it is.
Democrats have gotten themselves into a box. They have constructed a system designed to force us into public health care plans at great expense. And then to deal with the soaring cost they resort to rationing. Both should and will scare the American people.
In what may prove to be the definitive analysis of ObamaCare, James Capretta and Yuval Levin explain in the Weekly Standard what ObamaCare means:
First, there are massive hidden costs inherent in a little-understood provision of the plan. The centerpiece of ObamaCare is a new premium subsidy program. In the House bill, families with incomes up to four times the poverty level would get a fixed cap on their insurance premiums, tied to their incomes. For instance, a family whose income is twice the poverty level would pay no more than 5 percent of its total income for insurance. But providing that guarantee to all such households in America would cost far more than even the Democrats are willing to propose. The plan therefore would make subsidies available only to households getting insurance through the new “exchanges,” insurance pools set up in each state as a parallel system to job-based coverage. And full-time workers in all but the smallest firms would be barred from entering the exchanges, at least for a time, so they wouldn’t have access to the new entitlement.
The combination of the subsidy and the public option, Capretta and Levin note, would likely send still more people into the government’s plans, pushing the cost of ObamaCare still higher.