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.

Most Popular

Elections

How Can Bernie Sanders Happen in America?

A number of pundits have recently argued that younger voters, especially those under 30, are less inclined to be bothered when they hear the word “socialism,” since they have no firsthand memory of the Cold War. To some extent, this must be true. Those who weren’t alive during socialism’s cruelest ... Read More
Elections

How Can Bernie Sanders Happen in America?

A number of pundits have recently argued that younger voters, especially those under 30, are less inclined to be bothered when they hear the word “socialism,” since they have no firsthand memory of the Cold War. To some extent, this must be true. Those who weren’t alive during socialism’s cruelest ... Read More
Media

‘Undiagnosed Sociopath’

As we abandon moral language for clinical language, we run into technical difficulties. Writing in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman describes the 2020 presidential election as one that may be a contest between “a self-proclaimed socialist and an undiagnosed sociopath.” There is no such thing as an ... Read More
Media

‘Undiagnosed Sociopath’

As we abandon moral language for clinical language, we run into technical difficulties. Writing in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman describes the 2020 presidential election as one that may be a contest between “a self-proclaimed socialist and an undiagnosed sociopath.” There is no such thing as an ... Read More
Elections

Bernie Sanders Is a Moral Monster

Bernie Sanders complains that some criticism of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is “unfair.” The Castro government lined up political dissidents and shot them. It tortured them. It weaponized the medical profession to torture and deform its critics. Its campaign of murder was extraordinary, its ... Read More
Elections

Bernie Sanders Is a Moral Monster

Bernie Sanders complains that some criticism of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is “unfair.” The Castro government lined up political dissidents and shot them. It tortured them. It weaponized the medical profession to torture and deform its critics. Its campaign of murder was extraordinary, its ... Read More