The Corner

Freeloaders

If you watched the Sunday shows over the weekend you’d have discovered that the new term of art in the ObamaCare debate is “freeloaders.” From a TPM story headlined “Dems: Individual Mandate Is About Punishing ‘Freeloaders’”

 

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision to uphold the ‘Obamacare’ mandate under Congress’s taxing power, Democrats are unifying behind a message to refute the GOP contention that they raised taxes on the middle class.

The Dems’ response: No, we didn’t. We simply punished freeloaders. Just as Mitt Romney did.

“It’s not a tax on the American people,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “It’s a penalty for free riders.”

“The massive so-called tax increase they’re talking about is the freeloader penalty,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said on CBS’ “Face The Nation, “which would affect at most 1-2 percent of people that could afford health care and instead want to be freeloaders on the rest of us with uncompensated care.”

 

Walk me through this. In the past, it was considered outrageous to say that people who relied on the government were “freeloaders.” Under ObamaCare, large numbers of people who pay less in taxes than they receive in government benefits will now get even more subsidies from the government. But they are not “freeloaders.”

The freeloaders, according to Pelosi et al, are for the most part the young healthy people who can afford to buy health insurance but opt not to. Indeed,  the whole reason the insurance companies want these people to be forced to pay for health insurance isn’t in fact because they are freeloaders, but because the insurance companies will make a huge profit from the premiums paid by people who don’t in fact need the insurance. To listen to all the experts, these people cost us money because they end up going to the emergency room anyway.

I don’t mean to disparage the truly needy who will benefit from government assistance they cannot afford. But we’re in a very different world when the

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