WASHINGTON, July 5, 2015 – While Americans were celebrating their nation’s founding of the so-called “land of the free,” the New York Times reported that health care insurance companies are seeking to raise Obamacare premiums “20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected,” said the Times.
President Obama told the nation’s “newspaper of record” that state insurance regulators should strong-arm insurance providers to keep costs down. “My expectation is that they’ll come in significantly lower than what’s being requested.”
Less than a week after six sagacious luminaries on the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare constitutional for a second time, the immutable market forces of supply and demand refuse to bend to the arbitrary whims of idiots in black robes or the 535 fools on Capitol Hill who flatter themselves capable of “regulating commerce” while incapable of reading legislation.
The future cannot be predicted. But the present is proving what we stubbornly refuse to learn from the past: that command economies (like that of the defunct Soviet Union) don’t respond kindly to, well, commands.
But that does not stop political charlatans from claiming to see the future and to know how to trick it into doing their bidding.
I seem to recall that in 2009 President Obama said, “This law [Obamacare] will cut costs and make coverage affordable for families and small businesses.” He added that this monstrous monument to one man’s twisted, authoritarian ego included “tough new consumer protections to guarantee greater stability.”
One would think Obamacare’s danger to health care price stability would inspire Republicans to denounce the law vociferously and make its repeal the central issue for its army of candidates now tripping over one another as they seek their party’s presidential nomination.
But last May, Karl Rove, the high-pitched soprano of the GOP’s moderate castrati, warned Republicans in his Wall Street Journal column to stop all their talk of “wholesale repeal and replacement” of the president’s dictatorial law.
Obama took Rove’s tacit endorsement and ran with it, “There’s a reason fewer [Republicans] are running against Obamacare,” said the president, “because while good, affordable health care might still be a feigned threat to freedom on Fox News, it’s working pretty well in the real world.”
Of course, as medical costs rise and government reimbursements remain low, more doctors will opt out of the system, triggering a rationing of care. The doctors that remain will be forced to see more patients per hour, risking missed diagnoses and higher death rates.
When Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote his 1967 novel “The Cancer Ward,” Soviet officials were outraged by his honest portrayal of state-run medicine. As we saw with the Veterans Administration scandal, Obamacare’s neglected patients, or those that die, will be expunged from the official record.
In one passage, Dr. Oreshchenkov tells a patient and friend:
The family doctor is the most comforting figure in our lives, and now he’s being pulled up by the roots. The family doctor is a figure without whom the family cannot exist in a developed society… How many adult human beings are there, now, at this minute, rushing about in mute panic wishing they could find a doctor?… In fact, it’s a matter as essentially intimate as a search for a husband or a wife. But nowadays it’s easier to find a good wife than a doctor ready to look after you personally for as long as you want, and who understands you fully and truly.
“That’s all very well,” says the patient, “but how many family doctors would you need? It simply doesn’t fit into the system of a free universal national health service.”
“What does ‘free’ mean?” asks Oreshchenkov, “The doctors don’t work for nothing, you know. It only means that they’re paid out of the national budget and the budget is supported by patients… If a patient kept the money that pays for his treatments, he would have turned the ten rubles he has to spend at the doctor’s over and over in his hands. He could go to the doctor five times over if he really needed to.”
For this observer, yesterday was nothing more than an evening of pyrotechnic displays and loud noise. A nation that sings of its bravery and love of freedom rings hollow while its government issues mandates on its ruled subjects, who sheepishly accept chaotic government-provided “security.”
The Sovietization of America is nothing to celebrate.