Even without the 2010 Health and Human Services (HHS) report admitting that 93 million Americans would lose their health insurance, anyone with half a brain (which is a pre-existing condition) knew that millions of Americans would be thrown off their insurance plans under Obamacare. Under the law, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is to determine what every health insurance plan must cover—and any plans that don't are illegal.
As a result, gay guys are now going to be forced to buy plans that cover maternity care. Mormons will have to buy plans that cover gambling addiction therapy. Elderly couples can buy only insurance that includes pediatric dental care. Catholic hospitals will be required to provide birth control and abortions.
Our federal overseers, led by the arrogant and smug gender-feminist Sebelius, know what's best for us. (Which is so nice of her since, as she recently pointed out, she doesn't work for us.) Her idea of flexibility is not requiring Catholic priests to perform abortions. Not yet, anyway.
Obviously, health insurance premiums are going through the roof with all these federal mandates. Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute reports that health insurance premiums will be higher than before Obamacare in at least 45 states—an astronomical 256 percent higher in some cases. The Los Angeles Times says middle-income families in California will pay 30 percent more for health insurance, even with the subsidies.
Policies are being canceled because your old plan—the one you shopped for and liked—is now illegal. It doesn't cover Sandra Fluke's dental dams. Obama is blaming the insurance companies for discontinuing policies that he made illegal. (At least he isn't blaming the cancellations on a guy who put a movie trailer on the Internet this time.)
Isn't it your basic duty as a caring human being to buy an expensive health care plan you don't really want? Because who knows better about the health care needs of 310 million Americans than a smug gender-feminist? Certainly not you.
And absolutely not your doctor. While campaigning for national health care, our "Conspiracy Theorist-in-Chief" repeatedly claimed that a doctor would rather amputate your foot or leg and make $50,000 than treat you for diabetes because "if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's $30,000, $40,000, $50,000—immediately the surgeon is reimbursed." (Leaving aside Obama's unwarranted slander against doctors, Medicare reimburses a surgeon $740 to $1,140 for a leg amputation.)
Why would you want to keep these psycho doctors anyway? Trust Kathleen Sebelius. Under Obamacare, you'll get a nice nurse practitioner to attend to your needs—provided your needs are limited to birth control and psychotherapy. Meanwhile, your doctor will now be offering shoe repair to make ends meet.
Mickey Kaus, a huge supporter of Obamacare, has reacted to its disastrous implementation on his Kausfiles blog by proposing an "Obamacare Review Commission to monitor the rollout of the exchanges and recommend significant fixes."
Why, that's almost as good as a "super-committee"!
Kaus continues: "This commission could issue periodic warnings—this software project isn't going fast enough! Death spiral at 3 o'clock! CMS staff isn't up to the job! ... It could suggest that the list of mandated 'essential benefits'—including maternity care and pediatric dentistry—be pared back, which would lower 'sticker shock' for all. ... Maybe everyone stuck in the individual market should get some subsidy—$100, $200, $400—financed by tax dollars. Maybe the lucky 80 percent or so with employer plans should pay more than the current system asks. Maybe de facto temporary subsidies of the insurance industry should be made explicit and permanent."
It gives me a headache just thinking about it. But the government is forcing me to think about it.
The best we can hope for is that influence-peddlers and government bureaucrats make wise decisions about our health care, just as they did with Solyndra, Social Security, public education and the Amtrak food service. Oops! (Only the government could lose billions of dollars with a monopoly.) From the people who brought you the Postal Service ... here's Obamacare!
It's the homework requirement that is the most annoying aspect of Obamacare. Sure, millions of Americans will lose their health insurance and be forced to buy plans they don't want. And many, many millions will no longer be able to go to the doctor of their choosing—or any doctor at all!
But we've also all been given homework—mountains of reports, exchanges, insurance plans and mail to study. I'd prefer a 50 percent tax hike to this forced busy-work under Obamacare.
What if Americans don't want to spend weeks online figuring out their new insurance options? What if we don't want to provide the government with reams of personal information simply to be able to buy health insurance? What if we just want to pay our doctor directly for a yearly checkup? Why do we have to examine HHS regulations to find out how much that's going to cost us in fines and taxes?
Under Obamacare, every day is tax day.
And for what? Eighty-five percent of Americans were happy with their health care before Obamacare, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index—higher than almost any other product or service polled, with even Amazon coming in at 88 percent satisfaction. Even uninsured Americans were as satisfied with their health care as Canadians were with their national health care.
Kausfiles assured us there would be no death panels or benefits cuts under Obamacare because the voters would rise up and punish politicians if they dared cut our benefits!
What about those of us who don't want to be in a constant state of agitation just to get the health care of our choice? Not everyone is better off in a world where the pushy win and the quiet and unassuming die because their rare diseases didn't attract a band of noisy lobbyists.
No group of government bureaucrats can substitute for hundreds of millions of Americans making individual choices about their own lives and their own health. It would be as if the government took it upon itself to tell us whom to marry. Only someone who went to Harvard would think central planners should do that.
The smart people in the Soviet Union tried to plan the nation's agriculture, and the result was 50 years of "bad weather." And they were dealing with inert objects—land, seeds and crops.
They didn't have to consider whether the fertilizer was a teetotaler who didn't anticipate needing substance abuse therapy or a priest who preferred to skimp on marital counseling insurance.
Our central planners think they can direct something infinitely more complex than farmland: human beings and their individual health needs. Under Obamacare, the pushy and the connected win. Everyone else loses.
Her most recent book is Never Trust a Liberal Over Three-Especially a Republican.