ObamaCare: Health Insurance Gets Worse, But You’re Not Allowed to Complain About It Any More

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The latest round of very bad news for ObamaCare involves insurance premiums blasting into orbit, with insurance companies preparing for price hikes of 20 to 30 percent. That’s nowhere near the ceiling you’re going to hit, you poor saps.

Part of the gigantic ObamaCare swindle is a program called “risk corridors,” which basically amount to taxpayer subsidies (mixed in with a bit of profit redistribution) to insurance companies, designed to keep premiums artificially low for the first three years of this disaster. When it expires, those premiums are going to break orbit and head into deep space.

That’s right, ObamaCare victims: those massive premiums you’re struggling to pay, while simultaneously forking over fat tax payments to subsidize the premiums of your neighbors, are much lower than they really should be, because vampire government is also sucking tax money out of you to pay the insurance companies off. The whole scheme falls apart right about the time Barack Obama leaves office, confident that a huge and surly army of insurance welfare dependents, backed up by heavy political and lobbyist artillery from rent-seeking insurance companies, will make his boondoggle indestructible, no matter how unpopular it gets.

Of course, even the inflated premiums don’t tell the full story of ObamaCare’s cost. Just ask anyone who actually tried to use their mandatory socialized insurance… and discovered they can’t afford the staggering deductibles. It has to count as one of the most cynical moves by rapacious politicians in history that so much of ObamaCare’s cost was loaded into out-of-pocket expenses, on the theory that it would take years for a critical mass of customers to actually visit a doctor and discover just how much “cheap” price-controlled insurance actually costs.

Just wait until you find out how much “free” socialized medicine costs. That’s coming, right on schedule, as the architects of ObamaCare exploit its pre-programmed failure to demand even more power and money.

Taxpayers have also gotten to enjoy watching billions of their dollars vanish into black holes of outrageous mis-management, for which no one will ever be held accountable: almost $700 million for failed ObamaCare exchanges in Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, Maryland, and now Hawaii, plus some $2 billion for the craptastic federal website and the extensive repairs needed to make it do anything other than vomit 404 errors into the faces of frustrated visitors.

Then there’s the heavily downplayed story of the Medicaid expansion – a welfare program that was already in bad financial shape, coupled with horrible performance, before millions of new dependents were added by stealth, through the back door of a program sold to the American people as the brilliant technocratic re-invention of private insurance. Wait until the governors who signed onto that expansion find out their beefy “partners” in the federal side of the racket can change the terms of the deal any time they please… and they will, because the temptation to dump the costs of the imploding program onto hapless state governors (some of them Republican!) will be too great to resist.

That’s an insane amount of money to spend – well, let’s be honest, confiscate – for a program that has done very, very little to address any of the problems it was created to solve. The number of uninsured Americans isn’t changing all that much; it’s more a matter of forcibly re-allocating uninsurance. The “cost-shifting” problem of people using hospital emergency rooms for primary care – absurdly exaggerated in magnitude, and presented to the American people as a primary reason for imposing all those trans-Constitutional mandates – is getting worse.

But one thing really has changed about health insurance as ObamaCare oozes into our lives, and it’s the only thing that really matters to its creators: we’re not allowed to complain about how much health insurance stinks any more.

That’s the only thing that ever really “improves” when the government seizes control of any industry. The Leviathan State’s courtiers in the media immediately stop reporting on the public dissatisfaction they formally harvested like so much grain for the baking of socialist bread.

When Obama and his crew wanted to seize control of the insurance market, we were subjected to endless sob stories about the horrors faced by uninsured Americans. An ever-changing number of uninsured people was proffered by the President – 47 million, 30 million, 21 million, 17 million, largely depending on whether he thought he could get away with including illegal aliens in the total – while a half-dozen human props would be dutifully marched on stage as corroborative evidence. (For those keeping score, illegal aliens are indeed getting health care benefits now, completely vindicating Rep. Joe Wilson’s famous public accusation that Obama was lying when he promised they would not.)

It was enough political static to completely obscure the fact that most Americans pronounced themselves satisfied with their insurance, something ObamaCare can’t come anywhere close to claiming, even in its salad days, before it really started going into effect. We were looted for billions of dollars to impose a system less popular than the alleged “crisis” it was supposed to “solve.”

But now the court media is no longer interested in your complaints. Every time I write an ObamaCare story, I get forum responses, emails, and Tweets from people telling me how they’re struggling to pay high premiums and deductibles they never wanted, people who believed Obama’s vicious lie about how they’d be allowed to keep their old plans if they didn’t like the new options. There are millions of those people… but the media is not even slightly interested in hearing their stories. In fact, they aggressively attacked the first wave of people who complained about getting soaked by the new system, or discovering that their expensive Obamanized insurance plans don’t actually give them access to, you know, doctors.

If you complain about your jacked-up premiums or lousy access to actual health care, you’ll be told you’re a selfish monster who just wants to murder the almost entirely unseen cohort of people ObamaCare is supposedly helping. (Funny how we never hear from more than a handful of those folks, isnt’ it? We’re just supposed to accept that X number of people are now dependent upon the generosity of the program for their very lives, based on how many millions of dollars in subsidies it’s shoveling out.)

That screeching will increase to deafening volume if the Supreme Court does the right thing and rules the Affordable Care Act must be enforced as written – a quaint notion in these days of lawless gangster government, I’ll admit – and the federal system is not allowed to dispense subsidies. That trap was written into the law to bludgeon reluctant state governors into setting up their own ObamaCare exchanges – you know, like the ones that just dissolved into toxic puddles of red ink in Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, Maryland, and Hawaii. There’s no reason to doubt it will work exactly as intended, once the ObamaCare con artists fail to convince the Supreme Court that what a law said when Congress and the President passed it mean less than what they find politically expedient years later.

Here’s an example of what those governors will be facing, if the rule of law prevails over ObamaCare’s will to power:

No, the “premiums” won’t change by a nickel. All that will change is who gets to pay them: the actual purchaser of the insurance policy, versus a few hundred people he never met, courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service.

Not only will the State and its media force ObamaCare to appear less of a failure by stifling criticism, but an important component of that plan is that people don’t even know what to complain about any more. When Big Government absorbs part of our lives, we lose our ability to discern what anything truly costs. Part of the tax burden is hidden, much of it is paid for by other people, and if we dare to ask whether things could be better, we get a flock of left-wing harpies on our faces screaming “How dare you stand against progress!”

The crucial objective of ObamaCare defenders is to keep the public so confused, divided, and filled with despair that they can’t organize the powerful political energy needed to repeal one of the biggest disasters ever shoved down their throats. It really isn’t that hard to prevent such a potent coalition from forming. Of course, they didn’t tell us the 2008 election would saddle us with an eternal regime under banana-republic electoral rules: one man, one vote, one time.

The challenge facing 2016 Republican candidates is to offer the kind of clear, energetic leadership that can penetrate the veil of despair and convince taxpayers it is possible, desirable, and indeed urgently necessary to take control of their lives and fortunes back from the liars who stole it.And yes, my liberal friends, Barack Obama and his accomplices stole that money and freedom. Fraud is theft, as you are all eager to point out, when anyone except your beloved Leviathan does it.


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