So, let’s tally the results:
Winners: the federal government (more control) and health insurers (more government-mandated business, in exchange for losing most of their autonomy and ceasing to be private businesses in any meaningful sense), the minority of low-to-middle income Americans who don’t have employer-provided insurance and would henceforth receive large federal subsidies at the expense of other Americans.
Losers: American taxpayers, Americans who care about Medicare’s solvency and the dire threat that it already poses to rising deficits and debt, Americans who like choice and competition in health insurance and health care, Americans who like lower health costs, Americans who like to control their own health-care dollars, and Americans who don’t relish having the federal government start rationing health care in a desperate attempt to control skyrocketing costs in the absence of the market mechanisms that work so well in the other five-sixths of our economy (soon to be the other three-fourths, if — against the people’s will — Obamacare passes).
Capretta writes, “After all, what is the Reid plan now…? In essence, its a requirement that all Americans pay health-insurance premiums to secure qualified coverage. And if there is no government-run option, the public will have no choice but to pay their premiums to private insurers. Yes, thats right. The Democratic party is on the verge of enacting a requirement, enforced with federal tax penalties, which would effectively require hard-working Americans to hand over even more of their wages to profit-hungry, private insurance companies.”
Here’s another idea, one that’s anathema to the Obama administration and Democratic congressional leaders: Let’s cut back, rather than expand, the roles of both the government and of health insurers, and leave a greater percentage of health care in Americans’ private hands.
Posted by Jeffrey H. Anderson on December 15, 2009 08:22 PM on Weekly Standard’s The Blog.