Refuse to be nannied? Then get ready to be sued.

November 18, 2010

This quote is part of a longer article on why the author won’t ever vote for Mitt Romney for president until he admits that RomneyCare was a mistake, but there’s a clip that is relevant to our future under Romneycare’s national cousin, ObamaCare. Mitt’s bad medicine:

No, this is all about policy, specifically Romneycare – which has thus far been the Big Dig of health care, except costs have risen faster.

Obamacare has the benefit of having not yet been fully implemented. It’s already hurting the economy and costing people their jobs, but the worst has yet to arrive. Well the Romneycare disaster is already upon us.

The highest health insurance costs, the highest medical costs and the fastest rising costs. Massachusetts has them all, thanks to Romney. And they’re getting worse.

Meanwhile the Herald reported yesterday that the folks at the beloved Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector created under Romneycare are “cracking down on more than 3,000 residents who are fighting state fines, and has even hired a private law firm to force the health insurance scofflaws to pay penalties of up to $2,000 a year.”

Big Brother is watching – and suing – you.

Emphasis added.

The same is almost inevitable under ObamaCare, because its universal coverage provisions require universal subscription, either through buying one of the government-approved (and more expensive) plans, or by paying a tax penalty fine for refusing to buy a plan. That’s the infamous individual mandate, which takes the unprecedented step of requiring citizens, as a condition for merely living, to engage in an economic activity whether they want to or not – and punishes you if you refuse. And it is unconstitutional.

But, the government has to have this money in order for ObamaCare to even have a snowball’s chance of working. It must take money from the more healthy, younger portion of the workforce that won’t need as much insurance to subsidize universal coverage for the remainder, which is likely to need more frequent and more expensive care. (Rationing comes into this, too, but that’s a separate issue.)

Thus, as costs increase under ObamaCare (and even the government says they will), pressure will mount to go after those who refuse to pay the fine,  as the article describes, and maybe even after those who game the system by paying the fine and then buying coverage only when they truly need it.

So, get ready. Not only will Uncle Sam tell you what kind of insurance you must buy and at what price, but he’ll probably sue you if you don’t play along.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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The Thugocracy in action, health-care division – UPDATED!

September 10, 2010

So, the whole point of ObamaCare (well, one of the points) is to put private insurance companies out of business and pave the way for single-payer national health care:

And yet, when those same targeted private insurance companies complain about ObamaCare and raise rates to meet the new costs it imposes, the President’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, gets annoyed and tells them to shut up and take it, or they’ll be put out of business even sooner:

President Barack Obama’s top health official on Thursday warned the insurance industry that the administration won’t tolerate blaming premium hikes on the new health overhaul law.

“There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to the insurance lobby.

“Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,” Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They’d lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.

In other words, company executives who dare exercise their First Amendment rights to speak the truth about the harm ObamaCare will do to their firms will… get hurt.

For some strange reason, I’m picturing Frank Nitti, backed by a couple of his goons, in an insurance CEO’s office looking around and saying “Nice company youse got here. Be a shame if something happened to it.”

Must be a coincidence on my part.

LINKS: Ed Morrissey see this as evidence that the entire administration is peevish, not just the President.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

UPDATE: Irony alert – The GAO says Secretary Sebelius herself is misleading Medicare recipients:

The Government Accountability Office says a Medicare mailer sent out by Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, to Medicare recipients on the new health-care law isn’t accurate.

In fact, according to the GAO, the brochure, which cost $18 million in taxpayer dollars to publish and emanated from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, presented a view of the health reform law that is “not universally shared,” that it “overstated the benefits” of health reform,” and that it failed to note the possibility of less generous Medicare benefits and higher costs.

While the GAO cleared the administration of putting together a purely partisan or propagandizing brochure, it was nonetheless critical of its content.

Will this mean she has to put herself out of business?  Confused

(via Gabriel Malor on Twitter)


Maybe you should rephrase that, Madame Secretary?

August 31, 2010

When a majority of those surveyed believe that “socialist” is an accurate description of President Obama, saying that opponents of his health-care program need to be reeducated is perhaps not the best choice of words:

In an interview before the latest Kaiser results were released, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told ABC News that the sustained opposition to the Democrats’ health care reform efforts has mainly been a function of “misinformation.”

“Unfortunately there still is a great deal of confusion about what is in [the reform law] and what isn’t,” Sebelius told ABC News Radio on Monday.

With several vulnerable House Democrats now touting their votes against the bill, and Republicans running on repeal of the law, Sebelius said “misinformation given on a 24/7 basis” has led to the enduring opposition nearly six months after the lengthy debate ended in Congress.

“We have a lot of reeducation to do,” Sebelius said.

Get it? Opposition can’t be based on a principled objection to a statist takeover of the health-care system, the insertion of federal bureaucrats into the most intimate decisions about one’s medical care, or the tremendous economic costs this “reform” imposes. Nope, it’s got to be “misinformation” fed to gullible rubes, who need “reeducating.”

Presumably again and again until they get it right.

I assume Secretary Sebelius is unaware of the disturbing associations “reeducation” brings to mind, such as the reeducation camps in Soviet Russia, Maoist China (especially during the Cultural Revolution), and Vietnam, to name just a few totalitarian hell-holes. Now, obviously she didn’t mean “put them all in camps and subject them to reprogramming as in Clockwork Orange,” but the choice of words is unfortunate and culturally clueless.

It’s also revealing, because it shows once again the arrogance and condescension toward the common people that lays behind the progressive-statist mindset: “Government experts know what’s best for you, Citizen peasant, so trust us and let us tell you why you’re wrong to oppose us.”

Come November 2nd, 2010, Secretary Sebelius and her colleagues will be the ones getting a real –and needed– reeducation.

COMPARISON: If you find yourself reminded of the votes a few years ago over the proposed EU constitution and the attempts to force nations that rejected it to vote again until they approved it, you’re not having hallucinations. The statist attitudes of our (Social) Democratic leaders and the European Union governing classes really are that alike.

(via Reason)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


ObamaCare’s impact on doctors

July 4, 2010

A video from the Heritage Foundation:

(via Big Government)


ObamaCare: the penalty for not buying insurance

June 19, 2010

After much back and forth over whether the penalty the government may assess for not carrying the proper health insurance constitutes a tax (and thus breaks Obama’s promise not to raise taxes on the middle class), the matter is settled.

According to President Obama’s own Department of Justice, it is.

So there.  Phbbbttt

(via Power Line)


Obamacare and unintended consequences

June 17, 2010

Late in the health care debate, Norma Desmond Nancy Pelosi famously said we’d have to pass the health care bill to learn what was in it. She was right. Since the Democrats rammed the bill through without allowing enough time for study and debate (or any time at all, really), we seen one lousy example after another of  “what’s in it.” Think you’ll get to keep your health plan, as the Lightworker promised?

Karl Rove says, think again:

In his brilliant exposition of why sweeping policy changes often have unintended consequences, the late sociologist Robert K. Merton wrote that leaders get things wrong when their “paramount concern with the foreseen immediate consequences excludes the consideration of further or other consequences” of their proposals. This leads policy makers to assert things that are false, wishing them to be true.

Which brings us to President Obama’s many claims about his health-care reform. Take his oft-expressed statement that if you like the coverage you have, you can keep it. That sounds good—but perverse incentives in his new law will cause most Americans to lose their existing insurance.

This was brought home to me when I asked the CEO of a major restaurant chain about health reform’s effect on his company, which now spends $25 million a year on employee health insurance. That will jump to at least $90 million a year once the new law is phased in. It will be cheaper, he told me, for the company to dump its coverage and pay a fine—$2,000 for each full-time worker—and make sure that no part-time employee accidentally worked 31 hours and thereby incurred the fine.

This reality is settling in at businesses across America. A Midwestern contractor told me he pays $588,000 for health insurance for 70 employees, contributing up to $8,400 a year for a family’s coverage. If he stops providing health insurance, he’ll pay $2,000 per employee in fines, and the first 40 employees are exempt from fines altogether.

It’s also dawning on employees that they will lose their coverage. Some will blame management; many more will blame those who wrote this terrible legislation.

It dawned on a lot of people before the bill was passed, albeit with no thanks to the mainstream media, but it didn’t matter: the (Social) Democratic majority in Congress gave their (Social) Democratic president what he wanted, ramming this crap sandwich of a bill through Congress against the express will of the majority of the people. The promises about cutting costs and keeping the health insurance you’re happy with were all garbage. All of them.

And now we’re finding all the roaches under the health care carpet. (And there’s never just one.)

Employees who blame their employers are foolish; they’re only doing what is economically rational under the given set of incentives. The people to blame are the President of the United States and every single Democrat in Congress, even the so-called moderates, because their votes to elect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker and Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader facilitated this mess.

Read the whole article and file this away for next November:


When you pass a bill no one has read…

April 13, 2010

Stuff like this is bound to happen:

Baffled by Health Plan? So Are Some Lawmakers

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

(…)

The law apparently bars members of Congress from the federal employees health program, on the assumption that lawmakers should join many of their constituents in getting coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.

But the research service found that this provision was written in an imprecise, confusing way, so it is not clear when it takes effect.

The new exchanges do not have to be in operation until 2014. But because of a possible “drafting error,” the report says, Congress did not specify an effective date for the section excluding lawmakers from the existing program.

Under well-established canons of statutory interpretation, the report said, “a law takes effect on the date of its enactment” unless Congress clearly specifies otherwise. And Congress did not specify any other effective date for this part of the health care law. The law was enacted when President Obama signed it three weeks ago.

Schadenfreude is sweet, and sometimes there is justice in the universe.  Devil

And this quote just begs a “So NOW you’re asking??” response:

The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

A lot of us were raising that and similar questions for nearly a year before this monstrosity passed, but then we had “leaders” like Congressman John Conyers (D-MyWifeIsAFelon) tell us they didn’t need to read the bill:

I can’t wait to watch as they scramble to fix this.

(via Exurban League)

LINKS: More at Hot Air, Fausta, and Sister Toldjah.