I’ve already expressed irritation at how the unemployed in many states are still shut out of health insurance under Obamacare and I’d like to thank everyone who shared that post. Since it went over so well, I’d like to behave like the movie studios and create an inferior sequel. Maybe I can cash in once again.
By now you’ve surely heard of the millions whose old insurance was cancelled because of Obamacare and who could not afford the new alternative. An article in today’s Los Angeles Times opens with a fair assessment of Obama’s response to this problem:
With millions of consumers getting cancellation notices for their current health plans, President Obama announced Thursday that he will encourage insurance companies to continue offering their customers the same health plans next year.
You read that correctly. Mr. President is “encouraging” insurance companies to do something. As we all know from the 2008 financial meltdown and auto industry bailout, businesses always respond to “encouragement” from politicians, especially when the recommended actions seem to conflict with their financial self-interest. Thank you Mr. President for taking decisive action.
But let’s look at this more closely, shall we? Obama has just allowed people the opportunity to keep their insurance for one more year before they face the same inevitable result of losing it… conveniently after the 2014 elections. Congratulations Mr. President on your shrewd political move. You now get to look like you have a heart, just like the Democratic senators who are supporting a bill that would permit that same one-year extension.
These good feelings may not last long.
The Republicans, erstwhile defenders of the insurance companies, are already demanding the permanent repeal of the minimum requirements that caused people to lose their old insurance. They will correctly point out that Obamacare will remain unaffordable in a year for those millions of people. And then, if they’re not completely incompetent, they will produce the most audacious defense of the insurance industry we’ve ever seen:
We want these minimum mandates repealed permanently because we support universal health insurance.
Thank you Mr. President for giving us a country in which the insurance industry’s wishes are the least horrible option before us. And thank you for giving us major legislation that you now have to “encourage” businesses to circumvent.