“Affordable Care” Means: Medicare or Medicaid Only

Don’t hear much about Obamacare anymore? Here are two stories that suggest why.

One is from Associated Press and Newsmax.com, 10/21/14:

Ohio Gov. John Kasich doesn’t think the Affordable Care Act, with its Medicaid expansion provisions, will be repealed, even if Republicans win a Senate majority and consolidate their hold on the House in next month’s election.

Even if their party wins control of the Senate in the upcoming elections, they just don’t see the law going away. Nine Republican governors have expanded Medicaid for low-income people in their states, despite their own misgivings and adamant opposition from conservative legislators. Three more governors are negotiating with the Democratic administration in Washington. Rather than demanding repeal, the governors generally have sought federal concessions to make their decisions more politically acceptable at home. That approach is in sharp contrast to the anti-Obamacare fervor of their party in Congress.

Here’s a second story from Investor’s Business Daily, also reported by The Washington Times 10/21/14:

Obamacare “bronze” plan owners may be in for a shock next year. Investors predict the cheapest healthcare offering under the Affordable Care Act could jump nearly 14 percent in price. In an analysis of expected rates for the biggest 15 cities in the nation, including Washington, D.C., Investor’s Business Daily reported Friday that the cost for the plan could increase by an average of 13.9 percent for 40-year-old non-smokers earning 225 percent of the poverty level. Millions of people who did not enroll in ObamaCare last year are expected to sign up for a plan during the open enrollment session in 2015, but the increase in pricing could negatively impact that enrollment.

Let’s get this straight. For-profit insurance plans skyrocket in premium cost. Medicaid enrollment expands. When people like me suggested that Obamacare was about destroying for-profit medicine altogether, and making sure everyone is dependent on the government, we were called “hateful” and mistaken. Some claimed that Obamacare was a means of preserving the free market, not ending it.

Yet destruction of even a semi-private market for medicine is happening right on schedule. Like clockwork.

None of this should come as a surprise. This is what advocates of the “Affordable Care Act” wanted all along. It was never “affordable care” they were after. It was government control of health care.

If truly affordable care was their goal, they would have supported deregulation. When airlines were deregulated back in the 1970s, cheaper and more competitive flights became the norm. It’s true that freedom and deregulation do not provide guarantees. Nothing in the nature of life or reality provides guarantees. That’s why virtually all politicians are liars. They’re perpetuating the myth that government can provide guarantees that will never exist.

What does deregulation do? Deregulation spawns freedom of competition, innovation, and a celebration of diversity: a recognition of the fact that one size cannot fit all. Privatization of medicine, including the ability of citizens to opt out of Medicare and Medicaid, should have been the standard in health care reform. Instead, everyone is being herded under one federal umbrella, propped up by a gang of narcissistic politicians and inept bureaucrats who cannot even get a website to work right.

Mistakes of this magnitude are never innocent. The people who passed the Obamacare law wanted socialized medicine. (The ones who didn’t were simply naive fools, or dishonest.)

Socialized medicine refers to a context where everybody, from birth until death, has a government medical card. It wasn’t possible to pass socialized medicine outright, not even in 2010 when Obama and his party controlled the entire Congress and the White House. So they settled for a different route to the same end.

What is that route? Just examine what’s happening. “Private” health plans (not really private, because it’s no longer a free market) are skyrocketing in price. Medicaid eligibility and enrollment expands. Medicaid is administered on the state level. It doesn’t matter if the governor supports Obamacare or not. With more and more people going onto the government program — Medicaid — no governor (of either party) feels any incentive to tell the voters, “No more free health insurance for you.”

The best route to power and control is to make people dependent on you. Even before Obamacare, the federal government was already on its way to full control of supposedly private, for-profit medicine. Once enough people are on either Medicare or Medicaid, then the deal is sealed. We’re getting there rapidly, thanks to the Obamacare law.

So what now? It’s important for opponents of socialized medicine to stop complaining about “Obamacare” and start fighting for private medicine. I’m not at all convinced this is what even most Republican politicians want. But the case for private, for-profit medicine — in contrast to the government-run medicine of Medicaid and Medicare — is the only debate worth having; and the only debate possible to have, at this point.

Politically, the socialists have won both the battle and the war. The only thing for opponents to do now is to explain why a private market for medicine would be better. In order to explain something, you must be prepared to visualize and project it. I have no confidence in our present crop of Republican politicians being able to do so (much less willing). And I have no reason to believe that Americans will be any more willing to move towards privatized medicine than they seem willing to do with education. But we have to try, because more than any other area lives — all our own lives — depend on it.

For a long time, private and for-profit medicine has received all the blame for what ails patients; and free, “accessible,” streamlined government “public options” have been provided as the only reasonable and moral alternative.

Now, with escalating health insurance premiums pushing more and more people to Medicare and Medicaid, the vast majority of doctors and hospitals will soon depend on government funds for reimbursement. If you don’t think church and state mix, just wait until you see how medicine and state mix. (We’re already getting an inkling of that in the Ebola fiasco.)

The federal government will become one gigantic HMO, where reimbursement will be determined less by hospitals and more by government clerks and authorities. Remember HMOs and managed care? People hated for-profit HMOs in their heyday. Those were actually created by government incentives (responding to government regulation) more than the free market, but at least there was some competition and they could potentially go out of business. Not so with the federal monolith known as Medicare-Medicaid.

Obamacare advocates won. But patients lost. Private medicine is the only solution, although getting there will now be harder than ever.


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