President Obama, after reporting that eight million people have signed up for a Obamacare Exchange insurance policy before the end of the extended April 15, 2014 deadline, proudly stated he has won. What did he win? Americans are not taking to the streets to celebrate his victory. Most people don’t know what he is referring to. Apparently he considers getting people to sign up for a Obamacare Exchange insurance policy to be a game for which he creates and can, at his whim, change the rules. Almost everything President Obama has said about Obamacare for the last 5 years has been an outright lie or deliberately misleading. Now, because he set up a meaningless goal of signing up 7 million registrants before the deadline, which was apparently exceeded, he claims he won. Even if all of the 8 million people have validly registered on a Obamacare Exchange and paid their premium (which is doubtful), it is almost certainly a meaningless number.
Why should the fact that eight million people registering on an exchange be a meaningful number or be something to be proud of? After all, five million people had insurance policies cancelled because of Obamacare and over 40 million individuals had no coverage before Obamacare. The percentage reduction in the number of uninsured is not significant considering the extensive and costly effort made to get people to do so. Moreover, since Obamacare is a new welfare program that offers poor, low-income and people with pre-existing conditions healthcare for free or for a price of 20% or less than its true cost, you would expect more people to have taken advantage and signed up for it. However, the insurance policies being offered on the Obamacare exchanges are so confusing and limiting as to hospitals and doctors, that, even the folks being offered a bargain, are sceptical.
Obamacare is being paid for by higher insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays being charged to the healthy middle class and above who (i) do not qualify for a premium subsidy and (ii) who as taxpayers are going to be taxed to supplement the 18 Obamacare taxes (most of which are being paid by or will be passed on to them) adopted to pay for the US government Obamacare costs, including the subsidies, and the increased Medicaid coverage for the poor. The more sick and highly subsidized people who sign up for a Obamacare policy, the greater the costs that will have to be borne in large part by the middle class. As a result we are going to discover that the more people who sign up for Obamacare, the more disastrous it will be to the middle class. For that reason 8 million people signing up for Obamacare policies is worse than 7 million. The draftsmen of Obamacare knew how unfair it was to the middle class and that large numbers of people would opt out of coverage. They therefore included a penalty, that increases each year, to compel the purchases. The penalty, if collectible, is payable to the government (and not the insurance companies) and, therefore, will not limit premium increases.
President Obama doesn’t talk about Obamacare as a welfare program for low-income people because he is trying to induce the middle class into signing up for it to generate revenues for the insurance companies by collecting excessive premiums from low-cost customers and thereby limit future premium increases. However, the middle class, particularly those who are young and healthy and targeted by Obamacare mandates to pay the most excessive amounts for their coverage, are discovering sticker shock when they learn the cost of their premiums, deductibles and co-pays. We do not yet know for sure, because President Obama refuses to tell us, the important facts he must know about the registrants, including whether they are people who (i) are sick or had pre-existing medical conditions, (ii) were replacing their cancelled insurance, (iii) are paying little or nothing for their coverage because their premium payments are being highly subsidized by the US Government and the taxpayers or (iv) are healthy middle class people. We can expect to find out that a high percentage of the those who have registered for coverage are sick, poor or low-income folks taking advantage of the bargain. They are the only individuals who will be getting fair value for purchasing a Obamacare qualified insurance policy.
President Obama, with assistance from the liberal press, has also prevented the American people from finding out other important facts about Obamacare, including the enormous costs of (i) eliminating pre-existing conditions from consideration or (ii) providing the expanded mandated coverage of Obamacare qualified insurance policies. He stresses only the benefits, not the costs.
It should be obvious that President Obama doesn’t care what the cost of providing Obamacare is to the US Government or the taxpayers or about the excess amount being paid by healthy, middle class people. He lied about Obamacare to get reelected and is now lying to try to keep control of the Senate in the mid-term elections.
He has repeatedly tried to trick middle class, young people into signing up for Obamacare by making fraudulent statements about its cost, recently claiming it will cost no more than a monthly cell phone or cable bill. That statement is deliberately misleading because it only applies to low-income people entitled to a large premium subsidy. When the true cost of their premiums, deductible and co-pays becomes known to young people, many of them will elect to pay or risk paying the penalty and go without coverage, or will cancel or not renew their coverage and premiums are likely to skyrocket in future years.
The US is a wealthy country which can afford to give adequate healthcare to the poor and low-income people. We can set up clinics at or near hospitals to provide free or low-cost preventive care and certain types of emergency care. However, we cannot afford to give Rolls Royce or Cadillac plans to everyone, including people with pre-existing conditions whose coverage may cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per year. President Obama proudly claims that as a result of Obamacare no-one will ever again lose their home because of illness. He doesn’t care whether they are rich and getting an unneeded benefit or their pre-existing condition was self-caused as a result of smoking, drug or alcohol abuse, or high carb diets causing obesity. He doesn’t tell middle class workers that as a result of Obamacare (i) they are required to pay for most of the healthcare costs of their low-income and sick neighbors, or (ii) they may never be able to buy a car, own a home, save for retirement or their children’s education or even pay off their college loans. Nor does he tell them that when the employer mandate kicks in, they may lose their full-time job or their employer paid coverage.
We must find a way to help people deal with the cost of pre-existing conditions and to help low-income people get acceptable healthcare without placing the burden on the backs of the middle class. President Obama will gladly have the government pay the subsidies to the insurance companies on behalf of low-income people to make it look like Obamacare is gaining popularity. President Obama doesn’t care about the people being harmed by Obamacare because (i) he wants the government’s providing of healthcare for the poor and low-income folks to be his legacy and (ii) because he is an entitlementist who wants to use Obamacare and government control of healthcare as a new welfare program to gain net votes for Democrats from low-income people and the poor. He is using his power as president to convert our economic system of dynamic capitalism that engenders exceptionalism into a socialist state, favoring mediocrity, that will inevitably be doomed to economic stagnation.
President Obama doesn’t care that most doctors dislike Obamacare. He thinks of them as highly paid and rich. He doesn’t care that they are facing greatly increased operating costs and reduced income as the insurance companies seek to limit their costs and future premium increases and the government reduces Medicare payments to providers. He is concealing from the American people that the quality and availability of healthcare is precipitously declining. Obamacare policy holders can expect to encounter long waits to be treated at a hospital or by a doctor not of their choosing. As in European countries, those people who can afford to pay for their own high quality and timely provided healthcare will pay extra for private doctors and hospitals operating outside of the exchanges.