It's the redistribution, stupid
That which could never be uttered, the massive redistribution of wealth occassioned by Obamacare was always the dirty little secret that the president and Democrats tried to hide from the American people.
James Oliphant at National Journal reminds us of the way the president tried to sell the program: "it would "keep government out of health care decisions"; it would prevent insurers from "dropping your coverage." He said the program "would not add to our deficit," that it would "slow the growth of health care costs in the long run," that it would be "paid for" but not "on the backs of middle-class families."
In other words, President Obama forgot to mention that somebody would have to pay for all of this:
Four years later, as the program that all sides now dub "Obamacare" stumbles through its tortuous implementation, the furor over the rollout of the federal online insurance exchange has obscured a larger, more fundamental truth: If the program was going to fulfill all that Obama pledged, not everyone was going to come out ahead-someone was going to have to pay the freight. Some subgroups of Americans were going to be worse off than they were before.
Obama didn't say that in July 2009-or any time while the program was being debated in Congress. He couldn't. He couldn't stand up before the American public and say that the only way to achieve the program's goals was to reallocate money within the health insurance market. That there would need to be a transfer of wealth-from the young to the old, from men to women, from the healthy to the sick. That to raise the floor, you had to lower the ceiling. To do so would have handed his enemies the kind of weaponry they craved, validation that Obama was indeed some sort of "socialist" who believed in "redistribution." It could have killed the effort in its tracks, then and there, making the tea-party eruption in town halls across the country in the month that followed look like a Kiwanis meeting.
It's hard to disagree with Andrew McCarthy who points to the massive fraud perpetrated on the American people by this president and the Democratic party in Congress. And the idea that the "rich" are the only ones paying more is absurd. Young invincibles are paying more. Families who got their insurance through the individual market are going to pay more. Workers whose group plans don't meet the minimum standards established by Obamacare are going to be paying more if they contribute to their company's plan.
Who won't pay more? Labor unions and corporations who got waivers from HHS, single women, minorities who will now be covered by Medicaid - in short, the coalition that re-elected Barack Obama president.
The Middle Class will pay more in the form of higher and new taxes. Every policy bought through the exchanges are subject to a new tax. Anyone who buys a medical device or has one implanted will pay a tax. There's a tax on brand name drugs. There's a tax on insurance companies that will almost certainly be passed on to the consumer.
These are not taxes on "the rich." These are all taxes that will be paid by Middle Class families.
Oliphant thinks things would have been fine if the website had launched with a minimum of fuss:
Instead, the exchange website's woes sparked a media feeding frenzy that filled the airwaves with middle-class citizens relating heartrending tales of canceled policies and rate hikes, adding to the perception, fair or not, that the entire program is in deep jeopardy, or at the very least is some sort of scheme that will either collapse or soak consumers and taxpayers alike. The curtain has been yanked back to expose the ungainly reality that lies at the very heart of the program: Very simply, under the Affordable Care Act, there are winners and there are losers. And there were always going to be. That fact, even more than the star-crossed rollout, may be the more enduring political threat to Obamacare.
Needless to say, Americans were not consulted about this redistribution. The level of coercion involved in Obamacare, with its "bureaucratic nudges" to force people into buying coverage they don't need or want, but must do so for the "good of all" is incredible. It's not just being forced to purchase insurance. It's isn't only the mandated coverages that, if left to their own devices, most Americans wouldn' buy - and certainly wouldn't buy because of some altruistic scheme:
Maternity coverage has emerged as a prime example. A plan purchased through a health insurance exchange must cover the costs of pregnancy and childbirth, even if the insured is a 24-year-old single man, even if there is little or no chance of his ever using the benefit. To advocates, that's a positive result, one that encourages and supports quality care for expectant mothers. To detractors, it's a direct subsidy based on gender.
Everyone "enourages and supports quality care for expectant mothers." The question is why a 60 year old couple should pay for it. This is not "insurance" as we understand it. It is a massive scheme to redistribute society's wealth without the informed consent of the people. Such was not given because the truth was hidden from them by a lying president and his party.