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Obama Admin: ObamaCare is Just Like Car Insurance

Could switching to ObamaCare really destroy our health care system? Do liberals make weak, emotional arguments defending horrible policies?

by
Bryan Preston

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December 14, 2010 - 9:38 am
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Somebody get the GEICO gecko.  He’s about to be put in charge of our health care.

In the wake of Monday’s court decision ruling the individual mandate component of ObamaCare unconstitutional, the White House is trotting out a new line, which is actually an old line, and they’re trying to change the terms of the debate.  We shouldn’t be surprised, I guess: These people are trying to put a tax on breathing.  Any other tactic is fair game once you’ve tried that.

The White House blog, taking its cues from the left wing blogosphere, trotted out the car insurance argument Monday afternoon, here:

This concept [of forcing Americans to buy something as the price of citizenship] is clearly seen in other areas of commerce.  For example, in most states, drivers are required to carry a minimum level of auto insurance. Accidents happen and when they do, they need to be paid for quickly and responsibly. Requiring drivers to carry auto insurance accomplishes this goal. Similarly, the Affordable Care Act, through the individual responsibility requirement, will require everyone to carry some form of health insurance since everyone at some point in time participates in the health care system, and incur costs that must be paid for.

And then today, out come attorney general Eric Holder and HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius, with the same line in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

Imagine what would happen if everyone waited to buy car insurance until after they got in an accident. Premiums would skyrocket, coverage would be unaffordable, and responsible drivers would be priced out of the market.

This, along with changing the label of the “individual mandate” to the softer “individual responsibility,” forms the backbone of the Obama admininstration’s new strategy to defend ObamaCare.

Holder and Sebelius open their piece with the usual liberal sob story, about someone who couldn’t get coverage until ObamaCare rode in to save the day:

In March, New Hampshire preschool teacher Gail O’Brien, who was unable to obtain health insurance through her employer, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma. Her subsequent applications for health insurance were rejected because of her condition. With each round of chemotherapy costing $16,000, she delayed treatment because she knew her savings wouldn’t last.

Then President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. Thanks to this law, O’Brien is getting treatment through a temporary program that provides affordable coverage to people who’ve been shut out of the insurance market because of a preexisting condition. Even better, she knows that in 2014 insurers will be banned from discriminating against her or any American with preexisting conditions.

Funny thing about all that.  ObamaCare didn’t even contain state level high risk pools until the end stages of the debate, when according to Yuval Levin, the Democrats tacked them on to make the bill appear to be more effective before 2014.  Another funny thing about that: Most states already have high risk pools.  Texas has had its high risk pool in the law since 1989, and funded since 1997.  State high risk pools are expensive and like everything else, imperfect, but they generally work.  Texas didn’t need ObamaCare to tell us to create it.  If anything, ObamaCare’s mandates threaten to bankrupt the states by saddling them with billions in unfunded mandates, which will presumably destroy state health care risk pools and other similar programs.  ObamaCare isn’t the antidote, it’s the poison.

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