Obamacare Threatens Opportunity, Fosters Paternalism
Liberal Democrats and big government Republicans do no favors to anyone in America. Let me rephrase that. They do plenty of favors to their cronies and politically connected lobbyists, but the policies they promote diminish freedom, weaken the economy, undermine civil society, and trammel religious liberty. But, with their policies and ideas, they do no favors to America as a whole, and Obamacare is no exception.
Liberals love to claim their policies strengthen the middle class and assist the poor, and they claim that Obamacare is doing just that. It’s a message we’ve heard frequently from President Obama; during his 2012 campaign he talked about building the country from “the middle out.”
Sounds nice, eh?
But is that what he and his ideological ilk are really all about? Some of them, like the folks at The Atlantic are showing their true colors; their basic message to the middle class is, “You lost the insurance plan you like? Your premiums shot through the roof? Suck it up and shut up.” Take a look:
It’s all well and good to argue that only a small fraction of Americans will see premium increases in the individual market, but most of those who are seeing them—and who also are subsidy-ineligible under Obamacare—are from the middle to upper-income part of the middle class. More than 40 percent of people in the individual market are there because they are self-employed or running a small business. They’re entrepreneurial and independent-spirited by nature, and when they squeak, they make a lot of noise.
How dare those “entrepreneurial and independent-spirited” business owners complain when Obama’s policies harm them directly!
This mentality is, sadly, emblematic of the liberal ideology. The irony is, were it not for progressive policies, many more low income individuals would escape poverty, and many middle class individuals would be able to better improve their economic situation. In fact, “economic inequality has gone up every year Obama has been in office and now stands at an all-time high.”
That never crosses liberals’ minds, though. They’re too busy conjuring up the next major entitlement program to complete their vision for America, in which the government takes care of all of Julia’s, er, your needs.
They would rather revel in the idea that they – through big government, entitlement programs, and Uncle Sam – are cradling Americans, from cradle to grave. Look no further than the same Atlantic article I just quoted above:
By contrast, I’ll be shocked if we see nearly as much attention devoted to the personal stories of the tens of thousands of low-income people now getting insurance through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Instead, we get experts tut-tutting over whether the planned expansion that’s intended to cover an additional 9 million near-poor people over the next year is going to be a burden on the states.
The author never stops to think about how policies like Obamacare will actually help prevent individuals from climbing the economic ladder. In a piece entitled “The Ladder of Opportunity vs. Obama’s Fairness Escalator” Heritage Foundation’s David Azerrad notes that Obama’s message “encourages quietude as we await our government-issued ladders” and “fosters resentment by recasting success as inequality.” (emphasis added) This describes the Atlantic article very well, too. Azerrad adds:
Even worse is the sad irony that the president who speaks so much of mobility has done nothing to address the looming fiscal crisis that threatens it. He has, however, saddled the next generation with an extra $5 trillion of debt. That’s a mighty heavy load to bear when you’re trying to climb your way to the top.
Obamacare will sharply increase federal health care spending, and it will mean more and more individuals on Medicaid, a very costly, failed government program. Heritage’s Chris Jacobs has explained that “people in the exchanges may not have a large choice of plans, and the available plans may end up closely resembling Medicaid coverage.”
The problems with Medicaid coverage are well-documented. Low physician payments mean that many doctors do not accept Medicaid. As a result, health outcomes for patients on Medicaid remain poor, in some cases even worse than uninsured individuals.
But alas, the Left is perfectly content with policies that bring down the middle class and prevent low income Americans from achieving better economic circumstances, as long as it means the paternalism of big government remains alive and well. As Charles Krauthammer noted:
Beyond mendacity, there is liberal paternalism, of which these forced cancellations [due to Obamacare] are a classic case. We canceled your plan, explained presidential spokesman Jay Carney, because it was substandard. We have a better idea.
Translation: Sure, you freely chose the policy, paid for the policy, renewed the policy, liked the policy. But you’re too primitive to know what you need. We do. Your policy is hereby canceled.
Because what you really need is what our experts have determined must be in every plan. So a couple in their 60s must buy maternity care. A teetotaler must buy substance abuse treatment. And a healthy 28-year-old with perfectly appropriate catastrophic insurance must pay for bells and whistles for which he has no use.
The Left’s cradle to grave paternalism hinders movement up the economic ladder, and Obamacare is yet another hindrance to Americans’ success. Sadly, liberals are too busy belittling the concerns of the middle class to notice that they’re harming both the middle class and low income earners in the process.