Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Law Only Its Creators Can Love, From A Distance

How much do Democrats love ObamaCare, their one significant piece of legislative victory this year?  Los Angeles Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman plans to hold a town hall meeting with her constituents this week, by telephone from Washington.  Though she was in L.A. this past weekend, she is not scheduled to talk about health care until Wednesday during the teleconference.  Running away from her voters is nothing new to Ms. Harman, one of the richest members of Congress with assets listed at over $160 million.  During the debates before passage of ObamaCare, she also failed to hold local meetings with her own voters while other congressmen were skewered in their own town hall meetings.

Why would this eight term Congresswoman not want to stand up for something she voted on with such conviction last spring?  Perhaps enactment of the first phase of health insurance reform this last week gave supporters pause.  At the six month anniversary of the passage of ObamaCare, insurance companies had to accept on their child-only policies all children, regardless of preexisting medical conditions.  These policies are popular for their low cost and also for parents whose employers' health insurance does not cover dependents.  The insurance companies feared that parents will now avoid buying health insurance for their children until a health crisis hits, saddling them with sick patients in their insurance pools.  So instead of accepting guaranteed losses on their child-only policies, all the major health insurers just stopped writing them.

What happens in 2014 when everybody has to be covered by insurance regardless of preexisting illnesses?  The law says we all have to buy health insurance to widen the insurance pool or otherwise face a financial penalty.  I doubt the penalties will be enough to force people to buy insurance as the people who can least afford it will be the ones penalized.  Therefore the insurance companies are going to face worsening losses as people decide to buy only when they're sick.  I think the endgame will be when all the insurance companies decide they only want to sell auto insurance and leave health insurance to the federal government.  Thus the back door way to the single payer system will be opened.  European style socialist programs will at last take place in America.

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