Over the Christmas holiday lull, I saw one commenter support Obamacare on the purely utilitarian grounds that the government should do that which benefits the most people. I almost spit out my eggnog. Obamacare will actually harm most people to benefit the minority by reducing the level of medical care we now receive so that the minority can get greater access. I am not saying that is wrong–protecting minorities is usually a very worthy endeavor. But that statement just wasn’t true. For better or worse, the point of Obamacare is to provide less health care for more people, not better health care or more affordable health care.
None other than the liberal columnist Bob Herbert sees it and complains that union members will be hurt by that agenda in today’s New York Times. He writes against taxing so-called “Cadillac” insurance policies–most of which are enjoyed by union members, and reveals an important truth. From his column:
The bill that passed the Senate with such fanfare on Christmas Eve would impose a confiscatory 40 percent excise tax on so-called Cadillac health plans, which are popularly viewed as over-the-top plans held only by the very wealthy. In fact, it’s a tax that in a few years will hammer millions of middle-class policyholders, forcing them to scale back their access to medical care. Which is exactly what the tax is designed to do.
Precisely. And that “cost cutting” agenda is the law’s primarily thrust–which is why the expensive for whom to care will find themselves rationed out.
Moreover, since another primary purpose of the bill is to grant the government greater power over all our lives to promote the cultural agendas of the Left, Obamacare exacerbates the cuts to come by expanding the meaning of health care to encompass non medical things, like paying counselors visit the homes of families with small children. When the health care financing system pays for non health care services, it will mean, by definition, there will be less money to pay for the delivery of true medicine.