The mighty editors of the mighty New York Times have spoken. In an editorial as flagrantly partisan as any this full-fledged arm of the Democratic Party has ever published, the editors of the Times want you to know that you’re stupid for buying an insurance policy that wasn’t as wonderful, as comprehensively sweet, as just plain good as those being offered as a result of changes made by the Affordable Care Act.
Congressional Republicans have stoked consumer fears and confusion with charges that the health care reform law is causing insurers to cancel existing policies and will force many people to pay substantially higher premiums next year for coverage they don’t want. That, they say, violates President Obama’s pledge that if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it.
Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that.
One presumes that English is not a second language for at least some of those on the Times editorial board. If true, it’s puzzling why the Times would use the word “misspoke” when describing the president’s promise that if Americans liked their insurance plan, they could keep it. It’s also clear that the august editors at the Times don’t read much in the way of news that isn’t published in their newspaper. The Times didn’t cover the revelation that the administration knew all along that millions would not be able to keep their insurance and that Obama aides made a conscious decision to continue making the false claim.
The applicable word to use to describe the president’s statement is definitely not “misspoke.” It is “lie.” Webster’s defines “lie” as “to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive.” What the president said about people being able to keep their insurance was an “untrue statement” and it was definitely made to “deceive” people.
Which is exactly what the New York Times did when using the weasel word “misspoke.”
At issue here are not the 149 million people covered by employer plans, but the 10 million to 12 million people who buy policies directly on the individual market.
But insurers are not allowed to abandon enrollees. They must offer consumers options that do comply with the law, and they are scrambling to retain as many of their customers as possible with new policies that are almost certain to be more comprehensive than their old ones.
Indeed, in all the furor, people forget how terrible many of the soon-to-be-abandoned policies were. Some had deductibles as high as $10,000 or $25,000 and required large co-pays after that, and some didn’t cover hospital care.
They can’t be serious. Perhaps there are some zombies or brain-dead morons who purchased insurance with those kind of coverages but to believe that enough Americans acted so stupidly that it required a 2,000 page law and trillions of federal dollars to save them from their own stupidity is idiotic.
The number of individual policies is closer to 16 million than 12 million. Second, what if you don’t want a “comprehensive policy” — or the government’s version of a comprehensive policy? Pre-Obamacare, there were dozens of comprehensive policies that didn’t force a consumer to purchase coverage for maternity care, mental health, or substance abuse. The Times’ idea of “comprehensive” coverage is the government’s idea of comprehensive coverage — not mine nor, I imagine, that of millions of people who are too old to have children, don’t abuse drugs, and aren’t likely to suffer a mental breakdown.
But the Times explains that it doesn’t matter that you can’t possibly use a big chunk of your Obamacare comprehensive insurance:
Many higher-income people who won’t qualify for subsidies, however, will have to buy policies providing more benefits than they want. Maternity care for those who will not have children is one sore point. But that is one price of moving toward universal coverage with comprehensive benefits. And some of these higher-income people could suffer a catastrophic accident or illness that would previously have bankrupted them, but will now be paid for by insurance.
I’m glad the Times explained it to me. Having to pay for maternity coverage, contraceptives coverage, drug rehab coverage, certain preventative care coverage, coverage in case I need a padded room, excess hospitalization coverage — all the stuff that I wasn’t paying for in my old insurance plan that I liked a lot and felt perfectly safe and financially secure with keeping — is being forced down my throat for my own good and the good of the country.
Call me a sunshine patriot, but I’ll skip “paying the price of moving toward universal coverage with comprehensive benefits.” I’ve got better things to do with my money.
A loss of choice is a loss of liberty. This fundamental aspect of Obamacare is not pointed out often enough. I am perfectly capable of making rational choices when it comes to insuring myself against catastrophe. The Times and the government believe otherwise. And that’s the great tragedy that is being played out across America today. It’s not cancellations that are the problem, despite the Times’ dismissal of the “furor” as a Republican political ploy. It is the loss of individual liberty and our ceding control over a significant portion of our lives to government.
That’s something for which no “comprehensive coverage” can replace.