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Obamacare and the Concession on Its Higher Costs

One of the key selling points touted by proponents of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was that it was, well, affordable. That it would make health care cheaper for everyone. The equation went like this: More patients + more requirements of insurance companies + the same amount of doctors = Cheaper costs and better care. Those who opposed the landmark legislation were castigated as catering to “Big Pharma” and insurance companies. Ideological arguments regarding the scope and size of government aside, one of the chief criticisms of Obamacare from the start has been that it would have the reverse effect—that healthcare costs (and in particular, premiums) would rise. Well, it’s 2013 and our friends over in Wolf Blitzer’s “Situation Room” have an update on how things are going: “The president has long pledged that his health care law would reduce premiums and raise benefits. Now the Obama administration is conceding that some people, yes, some people will have to pay more, potentially even a lot more for health insurance coverage.”
This concession stemmed from recent remarks made by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who acknowledged as much. We’re just now “discovering” that massive government intrusion into an already bloated and expensive system will negatively impact costs? I’ll give you a moment to collect yourselves from the shock. Costs of health care premiums in states like California are set to rise nearly 62%. In Wisconsin and Ohio, the rise in costs will be 80%. Those free citizens who can currently only afford basic coverage plans—i.e. “Catastrophic” plans—will be forced to purchase more expensive health insurance in coming years. The ultimate goal here is clearly government annexation of as much of the health care industry as possible. Then, three or four years after the fact, we’ll hear more “Well, it may actually turn out that those pie-in-the-sky promises we previously applauded don’t add up” reporting like that you witnessed in the clip above. Forget politics. Forget partisanship. We’re talking about math here. We’re talking about basic concepts of liberty and free enterprise. And we’re talking about rising premiums—meaning the real budgets of real Americans with real health care costs will be further stretched. But health care, simply because it involves sentimental and intensely personal issues relating to our own bodies and of the lives of our loved ones, is not immune from the disease of unaccountable spending. It’s a recipe for disaster, and we haven’t even yet seen the tip of the fiscal iceberg ahead.