Obamacare may have crashed sooner than the White House wanted, but it was always intended to end in failure. The Affordable Care Act could not simply provide coverage for the uninsured while letting the rest of Americans keep their own health care at the same price. President Obama made a lot of promises to get the law passed and enacted in order to push toward his ultimate goal: the whole country on a single-payer, government-run health care system.
On Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius attempted to persuade Congress that the colossal failure of the healthcare.gov website was evidence that "millions of Americans are clearly eager to learn about their options and to finally achieve health security." At the end of the lengthy hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers pointed to a video screen and showed Mrs. Sebelius that the Obamacare website had been down for the entire hearing. "This is more than a broken website. This is a broken law," said the Washington Republican. "Millions of Americans are getting notices their plans are being canceled."
Asked about the NBC report that up to 80 percent of the 14 million Americans with individual policies will be canceled, the secretary countered, "They can get health insurance. They must be offered new plans, new options, either inside the marketplace, or if they don't qualify for a financial subsidy, they can shop inside or outside of the marketplace."
In other words, Obamacare's mandated standards - like maternity care, mental health coverage, mammograms and prescriptions - means Americans are forced into either spending up to double their previous premiums or going through the government. That has been borne out by thousands of American families who wanted to keep their health plans but have received letters from their insurers saying they could not.
The Obama administration has known since at least July 2010 that individual markets would see this drastic turnover, according to the NBC report, yet the president continued to say that Americans could keep their insurance plans. It was a deliberate scam. Sen. Michael B. Enzi told me Wednesday, "Obamacare, both by design and by effect, undermines the private insurance market through new taxes, mandates, red tape and regulation." The Wyoming Republican added that the higher costs would force people "out of the free market and into the federal and state health insurance exchanges."
The other way that the health care law is designed to force people into government programs is by expanding the Medicaid system, which is a budget-buster and a risk for worse health care. Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, said on Fox News on Tuesday, "The design was to push a growing number of people onto Medicaid programs across the country, moving more and more people into like a single- payer-type environment."
Obamacare proponents secretly wanted a system of universal health care. The rollout of the law was carefully orchestrated so that the voters got goodies like coverage for pre-existing conditions before Mr. Obama's re-election in 2012, but only found out afterward that they can't keep their insurance and that prices would increase.
Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, said on Aug. 9 that Obamacare is just the first step to "work our way past" employer- provided health insurance to a government-run health care system. "What we've done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we're far from having something that's going to work forever," the Nevada Democrat said on Vegas PBS. When Mr. Reid was asked whether the country would eventually move beyond the private company insurance delivery for health care, he replied, "Yes, absolutely."
Ten years ago, Mr. Obama openly called himself a "proponent of a single-payer, universal health care program." He moderated his stance when running for national office, but only owing to the logistical difficulty in moving everyone away from private coverage to government insurance plans. This reveals that he doesn't put his faith in the private sector, market economics or individual choice.
Mr. Obama's worldview is one in which the government knows better than we do what we need. American is a nation based on individualism, self-reliance and free enterprise, and should never have a government-run health care system.
Emily Miller is a senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of "Emily Gets Her Gun" (Regnery, 2013).
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