Demolishing the private health care industry
Obamacare has planted the seeds for socialized medicine
Obamacare has blown up on the launch pad. People are having their health plans canceled, and they are now stranded, unable to replace their old insurance policies with new plans purchased through the insurance exchanges because the Obamacare website is dysfunctional. President Obama is trying to prevent a chain reaction from getting out of control by proposing a system restart, requiring insurance companies to reinstate canceled plans for a year to give the administration time to “fix” the website and get the exchanges operational.
The turmoil with Obamacare is best understood not as an unexpected explosion, but rather as a case of controlled demolition gone haywire, in which the control mechanisms were short-circuited and the timing of the charges were out of sync. Rather than blowing up, the website and insurance exchanges were meant to manage and control the demolition of the rest of the private health insurance market. The president’s latest maneuver is a damage-control effort to fix the website’s wiring, delay and re-sync the demolition charges, in effect restarting the controlled demolition of private health insurance.
Obamacare is doomed to fail eventually, not because of a website failure, but rather because the law itself is internally contradictory and in violation of the fundamental laws of economics, the hallmark of all grandiose schemes of central planning and government control. In the process of failing, Obamacare will destroy not only the individual health insurance market (which there is now little doubt was an integral and intentional design objective of the measure), but also eventually eliminate the employer group health insurance market as well, which will doom Obamacare as we know it.
Fascinating isn’t it? By signing onto Obamacare, the health insurance industry signed its own death warrant, and just as Lenin predicted, the industry also provided the rope with which to hang itself. When Obamacare goes, so goes the private health insurance industry. That’s what happens when the business community allows its own greed to lure it into a Faustian bargain.
Whether or not destruction of the private insurance market was an intentional booby trap planted by Obamacare’s architects, there is no doubt that forward-looking activists and politicians on the left are now gleefully anticipating the destruction of private health insurance in the hopes of using the Obamacare implosion as the catalyst for replacing it with the president’s and their own true objective: a centralized, single-payer system — real socialized medicine. The trick for them is to control the demolition process.
For opponents of Obamacare, the fact that the law will fail is of little consolation because the manner in which it fails and the configuration of political power that exists when it occurs will determine whether something better or worse arises from its ruins.
Whatever the original intention of Obamacare’s congressional architects, the intention of the Obama administration is now to preside over a controlled demolition of the private health insurance system while it hides behind a disingenuous, faux effort to “save” it through the insurance-exchange monstrosity, which it knows cannot possibly work even with the best possible website. Voters should not be as gullible as the health insurance industry continues to be about the law. Mr. Obama’s efforts to “fix” Obamacare are not about saving the private insurance industry. At the end of the day, the administration’s efforts are all about damage control as the industry disintegrates so Obamacare can be replaced by real socialized medicine.
The destruction of the individual health insurance market already is well underway with millions of policy cancellations and rate hikes beginning to plow it under. Corrosion of the employer-provided, group health insurance market also has begun, as smaller employers rejigger their workforce to keep the number of full-time employees below the magic number of 50, which triggers the employer mandate in 2015. Even large firms that will not be able to avoid the employer mandate are refusing to hire full-time employees, preferring instead to fill the ranks with as many part-timers as possible, who are not covered under Obamacare’s employer mandate.
Unless the American people rise up in opposition to Obamacare soon, it will be too late to defuse the booby trap. The entire private health insurance industry will be effectively demolished within five years if the demolition is allowed to continue unabated. The 2016 presidential election will be the last exit before the abyss. Without pushback, odds are on the administration’s being able to manage the failure successfully between now and 2016. Mr. Obama is a master at outlasting the outrage, and in doing so preventing voter outrage from boiling over and bringing about a political realignment in Washington over Obamacare’s failure. If the president successfully regains control of the demolition process, there will be no stopping the transformation of Obamacare into real single-payer, socialized medicine.
The bad news is millions of Americans will be harmed as Obamacare collapses. The good news is, with the 2014 midterm elections providing a skirmish ground and the main presidential battle still three years off, the continuing daily horror stories surrounding Obamacare will provide an opportunity, if handled properly, to persuade the public that the law cannot be fixed, that a socialized, singlepayer system will be worse, and that a political realignment in Washington is necessary to prevent the Obamacare disaster from becoming a socialized-medicine catastrophe. unless you count Maine’s then-Sen. Olympia J. Snowe’s crucial vote in 2009 to get the bill out of the Senate Finance Committee.
The government shutdown is already forgotten, but not Sen. Ted Cruz’s remarkable speech drawing a bright line in the sand. That 21-hour tour de force was about much more than the immediate, doomed vote to defund Obamacare. It was about educating the American people for the long haul and drawing distinctions between the two parties.
The pundits who say you should never try such a bold tactic unless you are already assured of victory should acquaint themselves with the Battle of Trenton.
We live in a nation that still depends too much on a “mainstream” media composed of liberal scribes and radical leftists who never recovered from the brainwashing they got at Harvard Yard. It has gone beyond mere bias to a shockingly obvious daily assault on traditional American values and free-market principles. When a mule this stubborn is blocking the road, you need a Cruz missile.
Do not try to fix what is entirely a Democrat-hatched abomination for which the American people will soon express their gratitude. Delaying or easing the pain lets the perps off the hook. The only thing that makes sense right now is another vote to defund the entire monstrosity.
Second, dust off those good ideas for free-market health care reform that were ignored or trampled by the media in their single-minded pursuit to jam Obamacare down America’s throat. Doing nothing is not an option after Obamacare collapses. There is real pain and suffering out there among people who lack insurance, which is why Obamacare became attractive to so many.
Dr. Ben S. Carson has made an eloquent case in his column in The Washington Times for the power of health savings accounts and other ways to remove the middleman between doctors and patients. Other GOP ideas include flat and universal tax credits for coverage, tort reform, sales of insurance across state lines and reform of Medicaid, giving states more flexibility to ensure coverage of the poor.
Access can be improved without wrecking the system we already have.
Here’s some free campaign advice for Democrats, which is much simpler: “Obama who?”