Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Obamacare, Rationing, and the Immutable Law of the Universal

Remember when Nancy Pelosi promised us that we would love Obamacare, but we would have to pass it to find out what was in it?  Well now, we are just a few months away from the full implementation of this massive monstrosity, and it seems that most Americans are not feeling the love.  With the potential impact of the bill's job killing incentives about to hit Americans full force, the Obama Administration has unilaterally decided that the employer mandate can be postponed for a full year, until after the 2014 elections.  Unfortunately, we as individuals will still have to obtain our own health insurance or pay a penalty.  Employers are cutting workers back to part-time to avoid the costs and penalties associated with Obamacare.  Even the unions are now getting involved--last week the heads of three major unions sent an open letter to President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat members of Congress warning that Obamacare as it is being implemented threatens the middle class and "will destroy the health and well being" of every American unless changes are made.  The letter reminds the president that the unions threw their full support behind him and he promised them, in turn, that they would be able to keep their present plans if they liked them, but now they are discovering that this is not really the case.  Of course, the unions' solution to this chaos is to demand that government subsidies, which the Obama Administration set up to help lower income people buy health insurance, be used to pay for the union plans. When retiring Democratic Senator Max Baucus called Obamcare a "train wreck" he about summed up the situation perfectly--he just failed to mention that the entire nation is on the train about to go over the cliff.

I have read a lot of perspectives on how Congress should handle the president's decision to set aside the employer mandate for one year.  Red State's Erick Erickson argues that the American people voted for President Obama twice, and they need to feel the full effects of his vision for our country, so Congress should insist that all parts be implemented.  I respect Erickson's point of view on this, but as an American who had an excellent health insurance policy a few years ago that I had to let lapse as the economy grew worse, I also understand that in real terms a lot of Americans are hurting badly.  Having more and more jobs cut, and higher and higher taxes imposed on us may be an appropriate "lesson" and motivation for our nation to begin to make better choices, but in human terms it just extends the misery that has already spread through our nation.  I really am on the "delay/defund/repeal" side of the argument--delay implementation, defund the law, and repeal it in its entirety.  No tweaks; no edits, no fixes--just straight out repeal.

I do want to point out, however, that there is much that we as a nation can learn from our experience with Obamacare which could be instructive for our collective futures.  The last week of June, I attended the Las Cruces, NM Tea Party meeting.  The local Tea Party had invited a state rep from Las Cruces who is also a physician and a cardiologist from Las Cruces to talk about the impact of the law on the administration of health care.  The cardiologist said plainly that one of the immediate effects of the implementation of Obamacare will be that sick people will not be able to get care because the law incentivizes doctors for having "well patients" and punishes them for having sick patients.  No doctor wants to be penalized, so they are going to tend to refuse to treat the sick.  After many years as a cardiologist, he is making so little money that his physician's assistant is earning more than he is.  Much of his time is spent completing onerous amounts of paperwork for which he receives no compensation; he receives very little compensation for the patients he does treat. He is about to reach a place where he has to bring in his own funds to keep his practice open, and at that point it will no longer be cost effective for him to continue practicing medicine.

I really empathized with this doctor, because the problems he was describing with running his practice were nearly identical to the problems that invaded mortgage finance after the Dodd Frank bill was passed.  This man has spent several decades of his life treating sick patients, but now he is being regulated into retirement by a bureaucracy created by people who know nothing about medicine and have set arbitrary rules into place that govern how patients can be treated.

I have always been completely opposed to the Affordable Care Act, but as I sat in this meeting listening to these two doctors, I had a new appreciation for what the law really is and what it really does.  Remember that the Affordable Care Act was supposed to provide insurance for the 30-40 million uninsured Americans.  However, a couple of months ago we learned from the Congressional Budget Office that because of holes in the law it will still leave about 30 million Americans uninsured.  The law does not provide equal health care to all--no such law is even possible.  What it does do is create a system where wealthier Americans who have cash to pay for their healthcare can afford to visit doctors in cash only practices, while Americans who rely in insurance, Medicare or Medicaid will have to accept whatever treatment the government or their insurance companies will authorize on their behalf.

When Obamacare was being debated, many conservatives and opponents of the law levied the charge that the Affordable Care Act would cause rationing.  That is not quite correct.  A more correct statement would be that the Affordable Care Act IS rationing.  Anything "universal" is rationed--once a commodity or a service or a way of life is designated as a "universal right" it is only a few short steps away from becoming the exclusive property of an elite few.  The idea that every American should own a home led to the housing crash, which in turn led to Dodd Frank which will turn 60% of Americans into permanent renters with no chance of home ownership.  Likewise, the "universal" right to healthcare will mean that only a few elite Americans will have access to medical care.  (And don't say--"well that's the way it was anyway."  I have had some personal experience with the U.S. healthcare system via uninsured family members who needed extensive medical care, and they received excellent treatment in the pre-Obama system without insurance.) 

Much has been made of the fact that Obamacare levies heavy taxes on the "Cadillac plans"--the types of health insurance policies that union members, for instance, have access to through their unions.  One supporter of Obamacare commenting on Fox News referred to these plans as being "over insured" and stated plainly that no one needs a policy that good.  I am not a fan of anything union, but the fact is that in America every citizen should be able to have the fanciest plan he can afford, if he chooses to spend his money on that.  If I want an insurance plan that pays to paint my toenails and I can afford to pay the premiums, then to do so should be my personal right and none of anyone else's business.  Likewise, millions of twenty-somethings who feel invincible and therefore carry only a catastrophic insurance plan should have the right to do that.  If a twenty-six year-old in otherwise good health needs to access the insurance at all, it probably is because of a catastrophic event.  No government board should be able to tell someone what kind of insurance they have to purchase, or whether they have to purchase any kind of insurance.

Whenever we tie the moniker "universal" to any item, we can be assured that, to paraphrase the villain in The Incredibles, if everyone is entitled to a particular thing, then in fact no one is.  This is the immutable law of the "universal".

It is my sincere hope that Americans will look up and realize that they have been sold a huge pack of lies and completely reject Obamacare, and the socialist single-payer system which is following right behind it.  But I also hope that we will learn as a nation to reject any "universal" right--whether it be a "universal" right to nutritious food, or housing, or preschool, or safety, or anything else. I hope that we will understand that it is not possible for any government to guarantee our happiness or our fulfillment in life or our access to everything we would like to have.  May we always remember our experiences the last three years and bear in mind that when "everyone" has something, that's really another way of saying that no one does.

Learn about Agenda 21, the United Nations' policy document for sustainability, how it is implemented and what you can do about it.

Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.



  1. Many people are choosing other insurance policy by neglecting Obama care i think this policy has a flaw .What are the flaws in Obama care policies?

    William Martin

    PPI Claims Made Simple

  2. The dirt secret's most Americans are not aware of are:
    1) The President CANNOT roll back a 'GOVERNMENT MANDATE', that is why 'he' said they would not enforce it.

    2) The IRS has at minimum 3 years to go back and 'enforce' it, causing most businesses to pay HUGE fines [Don't believe it, look it up]

    3) Documents delivered to the Hospitals show that ages under 15 and over 40 do not get immediate care if there is another person between those ages that needs care.

    This plan was not a good plan for the people, it is more about control and power, it isn't working in England or Canada and sadly it will not work here . . . next time someone tells you; "you do not have to read it, just sign here", you should pop them in the mouth.

    1. Very interesting. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing this.