Monday, November 4, 2013
No Free Lunch
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Saying attributed to Milton Friedman (1912-2006), conservative American economist
If you’ll excuse a mixed metaphor, the meaning of “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” has come home to roost with ObamaCare with cancelling of millions of health plans for the middle class.
To insure the uninsured, Obamacare’s primary policy objective , the middle class are being uninsured.
That’s the object lesson of the perfect political storm now engulfing the White House, namely, cancellations of millions of health plans for the middle class far exceeds enrollments of the poorer classes. Healthcare.gov’s malfunction has exaggerated the problem. So has the President’s 2009 pledge, repeated two dozen times since, that if you like your health plan (and your doctor) you can keep both. period. Both are untrue. Millions are losing their health plans and their doctors.
The fundamental economic principle at work here is this: If government spends vast amounts of money insuring the uninsured, that money is going to have to come from somewhere else. That somewhere else is the middle class in the form of higher premiums for existing health plans – plans that 85% of health plan holders, say they chose, like, and want to keep. If you’re going to put Medicaid on steroids, funds for the middle class must be redeployed. This redeployment has created a political boomerang that shows consequences of President Obama’s wealth and health redistribution policies on the American economy.
In right-of-center America, the middle class, not the upper class, is the backbone of our economy. That is where the consumers are. That is where most of the votes are. That is where the political angst is. That is why the latest polls show that 60% of Americans consider ObamaCare “a joke,” and why 57% want ObamaCare repealed, delayed, or radically restructured.
ObamaCare is no longer a question of equity, egalitarianism, patient protection, or compassion for the poor. It is a question of unaffordability. It is a question of lack of confidence in the credibility of centralized government to deliver on his promises. It is a question of fairness, competence, and truth. It is a question of the magnitude of the middle class backlash over higher costs engendered by the health law. It is question of whether government can do the job it set out to do.. It is a question of whether the middle class has been ditched, or merely glitched. It is a question whether ObamaCare will be a central issue in the midterm 2014 elections. It is a question of whether healthcare.gov can be fixed or represents a centrally planned disaster. It is a question whether the President can regain political momentum.
There are no pat answers, just looming questions.
Tweet: Cancellations of millions of Middle class health plans raises this question: does insuring the uninsured require uninsuring the insured.