What’s next, government exchanges for health care-related goods and services like personal trainers, walking shoes, housing, automobiles, gasoline, food and ferry boat rides? Think that’s far-fetched, when President Obama’s Democratic Party policies already attack the poor and middle class by increasing the price of shelter, transportation and sustenance via EPA, HUD and other regulations?
How surreal is it, that in order to buy a private health insurance policy one must employ an Obamacare-government “navigator”? Almost as surreal it has been to be limited to Blue Cross Blue Shield under so many state health insurance monopolies in pre-Obamacare-America.
When not demonizing House Republicans for refusing to grant President Barack Obama and Harry Reid’s Senate Democrats carte blanche to tax and spend (and thus shutting the government down), news media coverage of yesterday’s October 1 launch of Obamacare exchanges focused on widespread government website glitches, despite three years for the government to prepare for the launch.
The import of such coverage is that when the website glitches are fixed (and they will be, probably via sub-contracts with competent private sector corporations), all will be hunky dory with Obamacare. It won’t.
The exchanges (16 state and one federal for the 34 states that opted out) were initially sold by the Democrats as a “market” answer to high health care and insurance costs and the vehicle for providing affordable health insurance for most of the supposed 50 million involuntarily-uninsured before Obamacare. Of course, as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) oft-reminded during his 21-hour non-stop seminar on the Affordable Care Act, the most significant single decision the federal government could make to achieve immediate price cuts in private health insurance would be to regulate interstate commerce in health insurance to allow sales across state lines like it has done for every other product (save for alcoholic beverages) since Chief Justice John Marshall and a unanimous Supreme Court accepted Daniel Webster’s argument to strike down state ferry boat-monopolies in their 1824 decision in Gibbons v Ogden.
One of the main reasons the United States Constitution was ratified to replace the Articles of Confederation was to create a national economy. Yet 189 years later, states either retain health insurance monopolies outside the exchanges, operate their own exchanges or default to the federal government’s. But Mike, at least thru the exchanges individuals have more, and in some cases, cheaper choices. But do they really?
Even before insurance coverage-mandates kicked in under Obamacare over two years ago, Medicaid and Medicare regulations coupled with state monopolies, had so distorted the health care and insurance markets that unless one received health insurance through their employer, only relatively wealthy and/or high income individuals could afford a policy, and then usually only with high deductibles. But now, some Obamacare exchanges do lower premium policies than would otherwise be available for low income individuals under previously existing law. However, unless one has $5000 in available discretionary income to cover the deductible, one’s premium payments or fine/tax via the individual mandate will be money down a rat hole and unavailable to pay for the higher energy and food prices after five years of Obamanomics.
The exchanges will hardly make a dent in the population of people for whom the emergency room is their only realistically available venue for health care, especially when those whose health insurance has been dropped, due to the employer mandate, are added. When one also considers the probable effect of Obamacare fines on hospitals that provide non-emergency care more than once per month for indigent individuals, Obamacare can fairly be characterized as just the latest attack on the poor by Obama and the Democrats.
The United States Constitution established the basis for the only “exchanges” We the People need to purchase “health insurance” or any other product. It’s called the liberty of free people in a national economy to buy and sell to each other in a competitive free market that keeps prices as low as is economically feasible. What we don’t need are individual, employer or contraception/abortion/sex change coverage mandates that raise the price and restrict desired choices; nor government “navigators” to hold our hands while they imperil the privacy of our medical records and increase the risk of identity theft. And if we had a truly free national market in health insurance, the task of ensuring affordable medical insurance and care for pre-existing conditions would be much less expensive to solve.
A glitch-free Obamacare-exchange website won’t solve the problems of the uninsured nor high medical care costs that threaten to bankrupt the country as Baby Boomers retire. Government regulation of health care and insurance markets IS THE GLITCH that has been destroying free markets for decades, and now exponentially more so via its Obamacare iteration.
Mike DeVine‘s Right.com
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson