“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” President Obama said that, but it isn’t true. At this article notes, Obamacare wipes out existing health care plans in 10 states: California, Missouri, Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Georgia. More than 50 percent of Californians expect to lose their coverage, and this writer is one of the 58,000 in that state who will lose his plan for sure. So his plight may be instructive.
In 2011, this writer lost an editorial director job after more than 13 years, with no warning or severance, in a conference call, several months after being assured that no such thing would happen. Despite 30 years experience in journalism, publishing and the think-tank world, nobody offered a new conventional job with benefits. But in one’s 60s health care is not exactly an option. I did not qualify for MediCal or Medicare, and the COBRA plan was prohibitive.
After much searching I did find a health plan that met my needs at reasonable rates. When I broke a hand in a bicycle crash, the doctor performed beyond my expectations. So naturally I wanted to keep my plan and was pleased when President Obama said I could. Then several months ago I was notified that my plan did not conform to Obamacare. And this past weekend the news was worse. The plan from my carrier that did conform with the “Affordable” Care Act increases the monthly premium nearly 50 percent, placing it in the range of a mortgage payment. For all but the willfully blind there is a lesson here.
Under government monopoly health care – what some people wrongly call “socialized medicine” – you get as much health care as the government wants you to have, no more. Obamacare is not a full-blown government monopoly, but one reality is clear. The president and his backers want you to have only the health care they want you to have, not the health care you want to have, however much you might want it.
Despite his rhetoric, the president wanted millions of Americans to lose their health plans. This is an example of destructive destruction, and that is not a tautology. Under creative destruction, as outlined by Joseph Schumpeter, vanishing industries are part of the growth system. The growing computer industry, for example, quashed the typewriter industry. Obamacare, on the other hand, destroys the health plans people want as a raw exercise of government power. Want proof? If you opt out, the government will fine you.
Wait, I almost forgot to tell you. Under Obamacare, federal government employees get to keep their upscale health plan. And you can bet it’s much better than anything embattled Americans will find on any state “health exchange.”
Obamacare is another example of the Frank Zappa principle. The people up in Washington, he sang, are looking out for number one. Number one ain’t you, and you ain’t even number two. But under Obamacare the government rubs your face in it.