An Obamacare Christmas present
New rules being proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will give that agency enormous new powers over consumers who use the healthcare.gov website to purchase their insurance.
The proposed rules would allow CMS to automatically renew consumers' policies every year if they don't visit the website to do it themselves. Without any knowledge of an individual's health care situation, their financials, or anything else that might affect what kind of policy they may need, the government wll choose and force you to pay for a policy that they think works best for you.
It seems CMS is taking a page from Jonathan Gruber’s book; rather than allowing the “stupid” masses to make a decision on their own health plan, CMS has proposed a new rule that includes an overly reaching provision allowing CMS to re-enroll anyone who has not made the annual trek back to healthcare.gov in a cheaper plan of CMS’ choosing.
That’s right, the government will choose your plan, perhaps limit access to your doctor, and ultimately make the decision on what is “best” for you.
Not to worry, just like Lady Justice, who wears a blindfold when determining guilt or innocence, CMS will use a blindfold to pick your plan. The agency will select your plan without knowing your medical history. They will do so without knowing if you are currently undergoing treatment or working with a specific doctor. They will do so without knowing your financial status. Despite the fact that the millions of people who already enrolled chose the plan that they believed was best for them.
CMS has laid the perfect trap: Sign up at healthcare.gov one time in your life and we will never let you go. If you don’t continually re-enroll each and every year, CMS will keep you on the plan that it chooses because, after all, CMS knows what’s best and they always make the best decision. Oh, and if you don’t believe that, please go to the 600 million dollar website that will give you all kinds of testimonials handcrafted by MIT professors.
To be clear, a citizen will sign up once for a private plan with a healthcare provider, only to have that plan changed by the federal government. Moreover, CMS will change your plan after the open enrollment period ends, leaving you and your family stuck with a potentially unwanted plan for the year.
The only people that will be happier than the MIT economics professors and “government-knows-best” elitists will be the lawyers who will have the chance to litigate this bureaucratic fiasco. I actually just advised my son to change his studies to healthcare law.
If you're worried about these rules being constitutional, don't be. They're not:
The basic Constitutional question argued at the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was; Can the government force American citizens to purchase a product? Now the question has become; can the government change an individual’s private healthcare provider-without consent-just because that individual is silent and doesn’t opt-in to a new policy? The sound of silence is deafening and frightening.
Speaking of silence, CMS quietly opened a comment period on the new rule that extends until next week—ending on Christmas day.
I often wonder how many more nasty surprises the bureacrats have in store for us as they continue to write rules governing the implemention of Obamacare. The fact is, there was absolutely no congressional intent that health insurance decisions be taken out of the hands of individuals. But small issues like that don't seem to bother CMS, HHS, or the Obama administration.
Whatever they want, they take.