An old anecdote has a Russian Communist Party official (sometimes it’s Lenin or Stalin) justifying state atrocities by claiming that “in order to make an omelet, one must first break some eggs;” to which comes the reply (sometimes attributed to Orwell or Pasternak): “I see the broken eggs. Where’s the omelet?”
The eggs, of course, refer to human lives … and it’s wishful thinking to assume that that “egg-breaking” logic was an invention of the Bolsheviks or that it died with the collapse of their regime. In fact, that logic is the operating principle of every government on the face of the planet, ever.
The goals of government functionaries may vary, but their methods and results don’t. The only tool government has at its disposal to accomplish its goals is force or the threat of force, and the the ultimate result the use of that tool achieves is inevitably a scrambled mess which at most only distantly resembles the picture of the omelet on the recipe card.
Keep this fact in mind as you monitor the progress of President Barack Obama’s attempt to put more than 300 million eggs — including you — in his “health care reform” basket. Did I say basket? Sorry … I meant skillet.
Obama and Company think they’re being cagy by front-loading the “benefits” of the plan for three years before springing the jaws of their egg-cracker — the “individual mandate,” under which every American who has a pot to piss in will be forced to fork over big bucks to the campaign contribution indus … excuse me, the insurance industry — on the American public.
In reality, a lot of eggs are going to get broken long before the “individual mandate” takes effect.
Effective six months from passage of the act:
– Lifetime caps on coverage will be banned.
– “Restrictive” annual caps will be banned (all annual caps get banned in 2014).
– Children with pre-existing conditions can’t be refused coverage (that expands to adults in 2014).
– Insurers will be required to cover policy-holders’ children up to age 26 under “family” plans.
– New insurance plans will be required to offer “free” preventive services.
All of these things sound really “beneficial” to the health care consumer … as long as one doesn’t consider the costs and side effects.
How do you expect your insurance company to react to the news that it’s now on the hook for unlimited payouts, that it can’t turn down clients who are already sick and who will be filing claims along with their first premium payments, that it can’t require a co-pay or deductible on “preventive” care, and that its “family” policies must now cover more people for more years than before?
How do you expect the providers of health care services and products to respond to increased demand coupled with those “vault’s open, no limits, take all the cash you need” signs shortly to be hung over the insurance companies’ doors?
Is your wallet feeling the heat yet? No? Give it six months.
There are only two realistic outcomes to the ObamaCare scenario.
The first is that by the time the “individual mandate” takes effect in 2014, nobody will be able to buy insurance because nobody will be able to afford insurance. Insurance companies are businesses. They have to take in more money than they pay out, or they go out of business.
The second is that by the time the “individual mandate” takes effect in 2014, the insurance companies will have gone out of business.
I’m betting on outcome number one. So are the insurance companies. They’re betting that they can survive for three years, jacking up premiums faster than they lose customers, after which you’ll be required to become a customer again whether you can afford to be a customer or not.
I’m taking a side bet against the insurance industry, though. Come 2014, I expect the insurance companies to find themselves expelled from the political class. I expect them to be thrown under the bus and stripped of their privileged status as the same politicians who brought us ObamaCare this year level “gouging” charges, decry the outlandish price of insurance (an outlandish price created by their own legislation), and make their final push for the Great Leap Forward to “single-payer” socialized health care.
Can that outcome be avoided? Sure — we can peck through our shells, spread our wings, and fly out of the basket of government under our own power. And we should.