Why Fight Obamacare?

Because It’s A Mess

Posted: October 19, 2013

The issue that precipitated this (partial) government shutdown — i.e., ObamaCare, and the effort to (take your pick) defund it, delay it, or repeal and replace it — largely got lost in the Horse Latitudes of debt ceilings, spending levels, and sequestration. The debt ceiling having been raised and government re-opened for business, it’s worth nothing why so many people oppose the Affordable Care Act on principle.

Everyday opposition is grounded in everyday, kitchen-table concerns — i.e., whether the ACA will do everything (or anything) it’s supposed to do, and whether it will be accessible and/or affordable. These concerns are real, as the following example shows.

Tirge Caps is a “diarist” at the uber-liberal website Daily Kos. Recently, Mr. Caps got a wake-up call about Obamacare. Indeed, it more like a thunderbolt. Mr. Caps and his wife are relatively young, and relatively healthy, people. So, some time ago, they purchased a low-cost, high-deductible catastrophic health plan. They were happy.

Not anymore. Recently, the Capses received a note from their insurance provider — a well-known company — informing them of their rates for the coming year, rates reflective of the onslaught of ObamaCare. His monthly bill, Mr.
Caps wrote, jumped from $150 to $284, and his wife’s from $168 to $302.

Tirge’s response? “I am canceling insurance for us, and I am not paying any (expletive) penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?”

Mr. Caps. of course, isn’t the only supporter of Obamacare to get a rude awakening, but at any rate, others’ reservations about the bill are grounded in notions many of the law’s advocates consider hoary and overwrought — i.e., that once the state seizes greater control over such a basic consideration as health care, there’s no limit to what it will seek to control. These, too, are valid concerns, at least for those who recall a nation conceived in liberty and swaddled at birth in the revolutionary concept of inalienable rights.

Then, too, the conservative green-eyeshade brigade — foremost being Casey Mulligan, an economics professor at the University of Chicago — informs us that the ACA will usher in a new redistributionist wave that will slam “those who hire, work, and produce to pay full price for health care, while creating generous discounts for practically everyone else.” In Mr. Mulligan’s mind, an “essential consequence” of this “wave” will be the same as those that preceded it: “a reduction in the reward for working.” And at a dear, intergenerational price tag.

Is there hope? Columnist Mona Charen suggests there is hope in the law itself. It is a typical Democratic overreach to “solve a discrete problem of the few,” i.e., lack of health insurance. In other words, folks will find the law’s excesses so maddening they will be open for genuine, smaller-scale reform such as high-risk pools to cover those with pre-existing conditions. Now how’s that for optimism?

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