The Corner

900,000 — Not 500,000 — Californians to Lose Health Insurance

My wife, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders, caused quite a stir over the weekend when she discovered that 500,000 Californians would lose their health insurance under Obamacare. That means often paying more to buy a new policy, on the exchange.

It’s actually worse than she first thought. At an editorial-board meeting yesterday, she questioned the head of Covered California about the matter. He admitted the actual number is between 800,00 and 900,000.

And that got me to thinking about Ross Douthat’s recent blog about Obamacare that I found disturbing because he seemingly accepts the premise that the Technocracy should choose winners and losers:

But not every form of “asking some people to pay more” is created equal. A cap on the tax break for employer-provided health insurance, for instance — which is central to most right-of-center health care proposals, and is taking effect in a more limited way in the form of Obamacare’s so-called “Cadillac tax” on expensive insurance plans — basically asks people who have been getting a very good deal from current health care policy (the well-off and upper middle class, and some union members with generous benefit packages) to live with a somewhat smaller subsidy and somewhat less generous employer coverage going forward. . . .

This policy change isn’t cost free, and it would still violate President Obama’s unwise “if you like your plan, you can keep it” pledge. But it promises to level the health-insurance playing field somewhat while asking the most from those Americans who have benefited from its existing tilt. But “rate shock” seems different, because premium increases in the individual market creates a set of Obamacare losers within a group of people who weren’t obviously winners to begin with.

Isn’t the heart of the problem with Obamacare the idea that the government should control and manage the delivery of health care from Washington, D.C.? I am just sorry that some conservative commentators, like Douthat, seem to embrace increased technocracy as the solution to our country’s problems.

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