Politics

Single Payer Coming Under Obamacare

Leftists who opposed Obamacare because it was not the British-style National Health Service or the Canadian “single payer” system should take another look.

Constitutional conservatives who feared that Obamacare was a blueprint for an incremental roll out of “single payer” have been proven right.

California’s governor is about to sign legislation to set up that state’s Health Benefits Exchange. The HBE is authorized under Obamacare and is supposed to be a place where small business and individuals can access the best insurance plans at the cheapest price—a real exchange where customers can compare benefits and price in a competitive atmosphere.

Not in California. The main feature of the California HBE allows the exchange governing board to meet in secret and determine not only which insurance companies can participate and what must be covered, but also what they can charge.

Exchange employees would not be limited by Civil Service pay rates and personnel decisions would also be secret. The exchange would operate independent from either legislative oversight or the governor’s authority.

The main goal of this California HBE is to impose government price controls on insurance while mandating the expanded coverage that policies must provide.

California appears to be fulfilling the real intent of Obamacare. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius assailed the “free rein” which insurers had before Obamacare to set any price they wished. Obamacare she vowed would bring “accountability” to health insurance price.

States already regulate the health insurance industry. Responding to higher premium costs driven by new benefits mandated in Obamacare, the HBE in California and soon in your state will destroy what’s left of the insurance free market.

We’ve seen this slow motion nationalization before.

Decades ago, flood insurance carriers were hit by a political flood when Congress criticized alleged high premiums, slow response and stingy payouts following severe Mississippi flooding. Mandated coverage, de facto price controls, and federal subsidies from Congress eventually forced private insurance carriers to drop flood insurance.

These days, flood insurance is a federal program. Environmentalists should be livid. The federal coverage is so generous that homeowners in flood prone areas have built new homes after every flood. Taxpayers foot the bill. This year the federal flood insurance program is running a deficit over $25 billion. Is this the model for “affordable” health insurance under Obamacare?

The architect of Obamacare, Sen. Harry Reid (D.-ev.), tired of being hammered by challenger Sharron Angle on Nevada’s worst in the nation unemployment, has gone on the attack defending Obamacare.

Ignoring the public revulsion over the midnight secret bill drafting, the bribes to individual senators to secure votes, the fact that senators voted on a bill that they did not read, and the repeated lies about what was in the bill, Reid brought Sebelius to Reno, Nev., to tout the benefits of Obamacare.

Democrats vowed to “run on our record.” And what a record it is.

Sharron Angle continues to point out that Obamacare will force everyone to pay for coverage they may not need because the federal government will dictate through the political process what coverage is required in every policy. You may not want a transgender operation, but you’re covered for it and will pay for it anyway.

The Reid/Sebelius retort was to present 5 year-old Brennan, an autism patient, whose father (an admitted Reid supporter) claimed he could not get insurance coverage for the expensive autism treatment.

No further facts were offered, leaving many questions. Did he have individual or group insurance? Was the father’s preferred “treatment” different from a treatment allowed for autism under the coverage? Was the autism a “pre-existing” condition? Did the father try to get insurance before or after the autism diagnosis?

Reid’s appeal to emotion clouds the fact that mandated coverage coupled with price controls would eventually put the sky-rocketing costs of medical coverage on the backs of taxpayers was not lost on Angle. In a Reid TV ad meant to slam Angle, she is shown saying “Take off the mandates for coverage… You’re paying for things you don’t even need.”

True. And it’s another reason Angle is right and Reid just plain wrong for Nevada and for the country.

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