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December 23, 2009

ObamaCare: You Can Have Anything You Want, As Long As It's What The Government Says You Can Have

Costly and freedom sucking? Apparently those are features not bugs of ObamaCare.

The plan before the Senate creates a set of 50 state-based insurance "exchanges" that are established as markets for health plans. Consumers must buy policies from their employers or through the exchanges--but, either way, their choice of coverage is limited to one of four basic insurance plans that the government sanctions.

Private insurers will still compete to offer policies but must model their coverage on one of these four templates. In short, the Senate bill explicitly standardizes health benefits and then establishes elaborate mechanisms (including subsidies and penalties) to pay for them.

Here's the rub: While these four plans vary from low- to high-cost options, the benefits offered under them are pretty much the same. The difference between the cheaper and pricier plans is mostly the amount of cost sharing (e.g., you pay less for insurance if your co-pays are higher).

In effect, the plan creates a single national health-insurance policy. Consumers' only real option is to trade higher co-pays for lower premiums. But we'll all get the same package of benefits established by a series of new agencies and an "insurance czar" seated in Washington.

Once the exchanges are in place, the individual market--the ability to go directly to an insurer and buy a health-care policy--will disappear. You'll have only two places to buy insurance, in the exchanges or through your workplace.

There's more, including how the only way to free yourself from the loving grasp of your government is to be among the super rich who can afford to pay cash for whatever you want. Though I'm sure that 'loophole' will be closed soon.

I saw some Democrat congresswoman on one of the news shows boasting about how this 're-form' plan would eliminate the disparity in coverages employers could offer different levels of workers. I was incredulous, well not really, that she thought this was a good thing.

The funny thing is, employer based health care insurance was the result of government interference in the market place during the 30's WWII*. Roosevelt and his merry gang of regulators instituted wage controls and the only way companies could reward or compete for workers was through fringe benefit packages and things like health insurance.

Now the circle has come round and we see there's no government screw up that can't be fixed by more government interference. After current health insurance policies are grandfathered out, we will all be subject to the same type of policies, no more, no less.

Doesn't that make you feel better Comrades? Finally, we will be free from the terrible tyranny of, er, freedom!

Let's be honest, 1776-2010 is a good run by any metric. Now we will see what Obama's remade America looks like.

*Thanks to epobirs for pointing out my error.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:49 AM

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