When Sandra Fluke (it rhymes with “yuck”, not to mention a few other “-uck’s”), a law student, testified before Congress that she needed Obamacare so that her policy would be forced to cover her contraceptives, average Americans assumed that this was an umbrella clause for her personal policy.
We didn’t realize that the mandate for such things as contraceptives, abortions, and other elective procedures and medications would apply to all insurance policies, forcing many insurers to cancel policies or raise their premiums so high to cover all this health care clutter that policyholders couldn’t afford to pay them.
Now that we know what’s in Obamacare’s medicine chest, and even we opponents didn’t realize what the Fluke regulations would mean, legislators are frantically backing away from Obamacare. No wonder he’s trying to convince Americans to refer to it by its legal name, the Affordable Care Act.
Patients are always advised, but never do, read the precautions that come with their prescribed medicines. We certainly didn’t read – never got a chance to peruse – the precautions that came with Obamacare. Health insurers were bailing out long before Obamacare came on the scene. The state regulations, particularly here in New Jersey, were onerous enough for my former employer to cease offering health care insurance in this state.
Extraneous costs, particularly regarding the indigent, were one of the reasons the price of health care was rising. Having no doctors, the poor would go to the emergency room for everything; an expensive proposition. They were also dependent upon the government for all their care and all their medications, even the over-the-counter remedies.
Anytime the government gets involved, the price goes up. Health insurers were not increasing premiums to get rich; they were increasing premiums because doctors and hospitals were required to process more government paperwork. More paperwork, for doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies meant hiring more employees to push the papers around.
Onerous regulations meant fines. The government looked for any excuse to impose them, too. With Obamacare, regulation becomes nationwide and inescapable. There will be no borders to cross to find a free-market alternative to expensive insurance. You couldn’t cross state borders before; you had to purchase insurance in the state in which you lived.
Single-payer insurance, which we now know is inevitable, means higher costs for wealthier policyholders. The higher costs are all for maladies we don’t have, remedies we don’t need, and premiums we can’t afford. A similar model was used for auto insurance in high-density states like New Jersey. Insurance companies were forbidden from “redlining;” charging policyholders who lived in high-density, accident-prone, crime-ridden areas more for their insurance. It was unfair, our Democrat legislature cried, to “punish” the poor simply because of where they lived.
The state Department of Banking and Insurance tried to do an end-run around the insurance companies by slapping a hidden fee on suburban policyholders. Insurance companies would be forbidden to tell customers what the fee was for. The last time I heard, the auto insurance industry fought it off. What the regulation’s current state is, I don’t know.
Columnist Charles Krauthammer was correct when he said let Americans get a dose of Obamacare and see how they feel after they take it. One of the interesting side effects was to give Democrat legislators a case of the runs. They’re running to try and deflect the worst of Obamacare, to stall its implementation until after the 2014 elections.
The truth is a marvelously effective curative and expungent.