The young vic­tims of Oba­macare

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

It’s time for Amer­ica’s youth to buckle up and take a rough ride on Re­al­ity High­way. For the past two years, Pres­i­dent Obama has promised our chil­dren the moon, stars, rain­bows, uni­corns and uni­ver­sal health care for all. But the White House Santa’s cra­dle-to-grave en­ti­tle­ment man­dates are a spec­tac­u­larly pre­dictable bust.

Don’t take it from me. Take it from Oba­macare’s own biggest cheer­lead­ers.

The Ser­vice Em­ploy­ees In­ter­na­tional Union re­cently in­formed dues-pay­ing mem­bers of its be­he­moth 1199 af­fil­i­ate in New York that it was drop­ping its health care cov­er­age for chil­dren. That’s right. A rad­i­cal left­ist union, not an evil Repub­li­can cor­po­ra­tion, is aban­don­ing the young ‘uns to cut costs.

More than 30,000 low-wage fam­i­lies will be af­fected, ac­cord­ing to The Wall Street Jour­nal. Who’s to blame? SEIU 1199 ben­e­fits man­ager Mi­tra Behroozi sin­gled out op­pres­sive new state and fed­eral reg­u­la­tions, in­clud­ing the much-bal­ly­hooed Oba­macare rule forc­ing in­sur­ers to cover de­pen­dents well into their 20s: “. . .(N)ew fed­eral health-care re­form leg- is­la­tion re­quires plans with de­pen­dent cov­er­age to ex­pand that cov­er­age up to age 26,” Behroozi ex­plained in an Oct. 22 let­ter to mem­bers. “Our limited re­sources are al­ready stretched as far as pos­si­ble, and meet­ing this new re­quire­ment would be fi­nan­cially im­pos­si­ble.”

In a re­lated devel­op­ment, over the past sev­eral months sev­eral in­sur­ers across Cal­i­for­nia, Colorado, Ohio and Mis­souri have dropped child-only plans be­cause of Oba­macarein­duced pre­mium in­creases. Un­told tens of thou­sands of fam­i­lies who pur­chase their plans in the pri­vate in­di­vid­ual health mar­ket will be af­fected.

Let us pause for a moment to ru­mi­nate on this wholly man­caused dis­as­ter. To sell Oba­macare and man­u­fac­ture sup­port, des­per­ate Democrats pan­dered to the col­lege set and their par­ents. For­mer SEIU chief Andy Stern specif­i­cally touted the un­funded kid­die in­surance man­date as a strate­gic sell­ing point, telling the Washington Post early this year that the lob­by­ing and pub­lic re­la­tions cam­paign would be “helped by which parts of the bill go into ef­fect im­me­di­ately. It’s hard to talk about things that’ll hap­pen in 2019. But if you can say to peo­ple that if your kid is 26 years old, you can keep him on your in­surance plan? . . . They get that.”

Some 20 states had al­ready passed leg­is­la­tion re­quir­ing in­sur­ers to cover adult chil­dren be­fore the fed­eral rule was im­posed. Cit­ing re­sults in New Jersey, Wis­con­sin and else­where, many crit­ics pointed to how such top-down ben­e­fits man­dates were driv­ing up the cost of in­surance and lim­it­ing ac­cess in­stead of ex­pand­ing it. In re­sponse, top SEIU thug Den­nis Rivera ac­cused Oba­macare op­po­nents of “ter­ror­ist tac­tics” in a con­fer­ence call ear­lier this spring with Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­re­tary Kath­leen Se­be­lius.

Now, con­fronted with the thorny al­lo­ca­tion of scarce re­sources, prof­li­gate money man­agers at the SEIU are drop­ping thou­sands of kids’ health cover- age be­cause they, too, can’t af­ford to foot the bill im­posed by the pres­i­dent whom their union bosses spent more than $60 mil­lion to elect. And SEIU’s Rivera is nowhere to be found.

The SEIU also pumped tens of mil­lions of dol­lars in union funds di­rectly into the cam­paign for Oba­macare. Work­ers re­gur­gi­tated White House talk­ing points hyp­ing in­creased ac­cess, lower premi­ums and peace of mind for the work­ing class. SEIU 1199, which is now cut­ting off health care cov­er­age to chil­dren whose par­ents work in the health care in­dus­try of all in­dus­tries, was at the fore­front of those D.C.-di­rected “re­form” ral­lies. The same mil­i­tant lead­ers of SEIU 1199 sent hordes of their work­ers on buses to an anti-tea party rally con­vened by Com­edy Cen­tral clowns in Oc­to­ber, while their ben­e­fits and pen­sion funds eroded.

Yes, the union road to hell is paved with work­ers’ own hard­earned dues money. All hail pro­gres­sivism!

How far we’ve come from the hal­cyon moment when Pres­i­dent Obama ral­lied young col­lege stu­dents at Ge­orge Ma­son Uni­ver­sity in Vir­ginia in March.

To wild ap­plause, he pledged: “If you buy a new plan, there won’t be life­time or re­stric­tive an­nual lim­its on the amount of care you re­ceive from your in­surance com­pa­nies. (Ap­plause.) And by the way, to all the young peo­ple here to­day, start­ing this year if you don’t have in­surance, all new plans will al­low you to stay on your par­ents’ plan un­til you are 26 years old. (Ap­plause.)”

Cue bit­ter laugh­ter here. As I re­ported last month, more than 111 unions (in­clud­ing two SEIU af­fil­i­ates), com­pa­nies and in­sur­ers have now se­cured fed­eral waivers to es­cape the first pro­vi­sion Obama men­tioned to the Ge­orge Ma­son Uni­ver­sity stu­dents.

And more fi­nan­cially strapped union af­fil­i­ates like SEIU 1199 will un­doubt­edly be can­cel­ing chil­dren’s cov­er­age to es­cape the costs tied to Obama’s sec­ond vow.

For the kid­die hu­man shields who helped the Democrats dig their own ditch, re­al­ity bites. Live and learn.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Cul­ture of Cor­rup­tion: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies”.

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