Human Exceptionalism

Public Insurance “Option?”–No, Back Door Mandate

President Obama has repeatedly assured us that the private health insurance system is safe under his reform plans, but that he wants a public policy to serve as competition to the private plans as a way of keeping costs down. But that is camoflauge. It seems clear that the point of reform is to kill private health care.

The House bill proves it. As written, the legislation would make it all but impossible for companies to create innovative new policies once the health care reform law goes into effect. From the Investor’s Business News editorial busting the scam:

It didn’t take long to run into an “uh-oh” moment when reading the House’s “health care for all Americans” bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal…It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section of the bill clearly states: “Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

Actually, that would not outlaw private coverage, but would cause it to whither it on the vine since it would prevent companies from creating new policies unencumbered by new onerous government regulations making it impossible to keep costs down, as this Heritage Foundation blog points out. In the end, the effect of the bill is to create a public mandate via the back door.

Some of these interpretations are controversial–which is precisely why we need the time to sort it all out. That Obama wants to deny us that time should set the alarm bells ringing off the decibel chart.

The more we learn about what is in the 1000-page + bill, the more it becomes clear that we are being pushed into a UK or Canadian style system, albeit in slow motion. It is urgent that the train be slowed so that we can create proper and needed reform, without destroying a system that for the vast majority of our citizens is the best in the world.