There are colleagues and friends of mine who I have known and colluded with on many an issue for nearly three decades who absolutely believe the left’s line about ObamaCare: once the subsidies start, they will not stop.
Therefore, they reason, it is imperative that ObamaCare is stopped now.
But the notion that the subsidies will never stop, or that they are figuratively heroin-like in nature, is false.
The subsidies are not heroin-like. For the healthy, the subsidies are more like nails on a chalk board, itching powder, or a month-by-month financial pain inflicting mandate forcing millions of Americans to buy a product they have already decided not to buy, or in other cases, forcing Americans to buy a more expensive version of something they already have, building resentment and anger over time, among both those who choose not to comply, and among those who choose to comply.
The exchanges themselves are based on another false notion and fatal error made by the Democrats. They truly believe that if we just offer health insurance with subsidies to the uninsured, they will sign up.
The Democrats reasoning is: who wouldn’t want subsidized health insurance, especially really good insurance, that the collective Democratic-we-know-what’s-best-for-you wonks and experts prescribe?
But ObamaCare does not offer subsidies that cover all of the cost of ObamaCare. The subsidies cover some of the premium, that’s it. That is all. All other costs are on the uninsured and others who choose to comply with ObamaCare.
Yes, ObamaCare offers the chance for the young and other now uninsured, to pay more for a product they already decided they could not afford or did not need (hence, their financially related fact or decision of millions of Americans that they can’t afford to be insured.)
But the Democrats cannot even understand the part about deciding to be uninsured — they don’t get it. (They are, generally speaking, regarding health care, risk adverse worriers.)
Their entire political orientation is: everyone must want insurance, everyone needs insurance, and since they worry about those who don’t, they want everyone to be insured so they can stop worrying about the uninsured.
And while the Democrats worry, the independents and Republicans and now union members, who are seeing the effect of ObamaCare on their own health plans, are becoming less supportive of ObamaCare over time, and will become more and more angry, as their new, monthly financial strain grows.
George Will quotes President Lincoln’s observation of the silent artillery of time.
In this case, time is the enemy of ObamaCare, not it’s heroin-drip, addiction-creating-friend.
There is historic precedence in many states that guaranteed issue and community rating is repealed after several years because the insurance price escalation is so severe that it is politically unsustainable. So, to those on the right thinking that we are at DEFCON ONE, I would simply advise, step away from the nuclear weapons and know that historic precedence is on the side of the complete collapse of ObamaCare due to massive spikes in premiums.
The young must offset the cost of the sick, and the hill for ObamaCare to climb on the sign up of the young and healthy, and previously uninsured, is extremely high and steep.
First, the administration must find them and secure a dialogue with them.
Then, the administration must walk each one through the long and involved application process.
Then, the administration must get them to accept a government subsidy and all that entails, providing intimate details about their life, like income and their work and health history.
Plus, as those in the Health Savings Account industry can attest, Americans resist good or bad change and innovation in health care mightily. When it comes to change in an American’s health plan, stand by for serious push-back. People, in general, hate that.
But assuming the ObamaCare implementation team overcomes all of this (in an atmosphere of general skepticism and a poll-after-poll proven majority who view ObamaCare negatively) — then comes the real test: Americans must pay out of their declining wealth and paychecks for the premium, every month.
For the uninsured, ObamaCare will be new spending, not now in their budgets.
The percentage of those Americans who sign up, and then keep paying every month, will be small.
And it will be especially small among the young and healthy.
And it is the young males that the government needs the most, since women (with or without children) use more health care, and young males are the least likely to sign up since they intuitively know that the actual risks to them, from a hard numbers, actuarial fact-based point-of-view, are extremely low.
Given the colossal cluster that the ObamaCare roll out has become, and the higher prices for health insurance it has imposed on the young, it is clear to me that the odds greatly favor massive premium spikes due to the sick flooding the application process and that the young males — even the small number who actually sign up — will not keep paying the premiums.
Now, add in two other key facts: the penalty may exist, but the IRS does not have the authority to enforce it. Simply put, they cannot make any American pay the penalty.
Secondly, the guaranteed issue part of the law, that guarantees any person will be given insurance during open enrollment, will convince many that if they get sick, they can simply wait until open enrollment to sign up, rather than pay for the premium when they do not need health insurance. There is plenty of historic precedence for the coming failure of the ObamaCare subsidies.
Once the healthy decide to stay out of ObamaCare, the premiums will skyrocket, forcing those relatively healthy out, forcing the premiums even higher.
Instead of anger and angst, conservatives and libertarians concerned about the ObamaCare subsidies, should focus instead on the financial pain imposed by the new spending on monthly premiums those who actually sign up for insurance will be forced to endure, month after month after month.