Monday, January 6, 2014

ObamaCare: A Christmas Gift from the Poor to the Rich

My article from the Dec. 20, 2013 issue of FrontPage Magazine:

ObamaCare: A Christmas Gift from the Poor to the Rich

By Matthew Vadum

The increasingly desperate Obama White House is encouraging Obamacare supporters to make Christmas a living hell for those Americans still not convinced that putting the federal government in charge of health care is a good idea.

Because Obamacare will go into an actuarial death spiral if enough young people refuse to enroll, and because it’s a day ending in a “Y,” it’s time for yet another sleazy, lowbrow attempt to strong-arm young, healthy Americans into buying overpriced Affordable Care Act-compliant insurance that they don’t need and in many cases can’t afford. And why is such health insurance unaffordable to the young and the poor? Because Obamacare imposes ridiculous, expensive mandates, for example, forcing old men to cover women’s birth control while forcing young people to cover geriatric medical care.

To trick young, poor, healthy people into subsidizing older, sicker, wealthier people, the Obama administration wheeled out First Lady Michelle Obama, America’s flamboyant answer to the shopping-crazed kleptocrat Imelda Marcos, to sell Obamacare coverage to those who don’t want it or need it.

And to appeal to the young “hipster” community, Obama’s stormtroopers at Organizing for Action (OfA) posted an ad on Twitter showing a young bespectacled man in one-piece pajamas, sitting on a comfortable couch with a warm drink. “Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Talk about getting health insurance,” reads the accompanying ad copy.

It might be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.

But to the incorrigible, true-believing leftists of the Obama administration, everything is political and nothing is sacred. Precious family time must give way for the good of the all-important state. In a spine-tinglingly creepy scene that might have come out of totalitarian East Germany or the Soviet Union, the Obamas lectured assembled mothers on the need to indoctrinate their children into embracing the three-year-old health care law that is tearing America apart.

“There’s something about moms,” President Obama said with his wife at his side in the Oval Office. They have credibility, often make family health care decisions, and “can tell young people who think they’re invincible that they’re not and prod them to at least get information.”

Convincing young adults that they are not invincible is “our job as mothers,” the First Lady said on Wednesday, five days before a Dec. 23 deadline for consumers to choose a plan if they want coverage at the beginning of the approaching new year.

“Make it a Christmas treat around the table to talk about a little health care,” said Mrs. Obama. “Ring in the New Year with new coverage.”

The Obama administration has good reason to be feeling desperate nowadays. It seems clear that the armies of young people Obamacare needs to put on the insurance rolls aren’t signing up. Nearly three months after the Obamacare website and enrollment period launched, the ever-slippery White House Press Secretary Jay Carney implausibly claimed not to know how many young individuals had enrolled so far.

Carney was unusually evasive, saying he did not have “any data specifically broken down by age.” He told a reporter to ask an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services for the information but said not to expect much from HHS. Invoking something like the dog-ate-my-homework excuse, Carney accused young Americans of procrastination, saying that young persons will most likely “wait until the last minute to get their paperwork done or their online applications done.” When told HHS refused to release the data, Carney told the reporter to try again.

As part of the administration’s holiday season campaign, Organizing for Action sent out a mass email last night urging supporters to inflict the media’s latest pro-Obamacare lies, half-truths, and propaganda on unsuspecting family members over the Yuletide season. The push for Christmastime indoctrination comes as the Obama administration encourages Hollywood to weave pro-Obamacare messages into prime-time television shows.

Amazingly, no family members were reportedly killed or maimed during this past Thanksgiving holiday when OfA similarly encouraged its members to conduct socialized-medicine missionary work over turkey meat and cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving, of course, is especially inappropriate for Marxist indoctrination sessions because it is the day Americans celebrate the pilgrims’ rejection of the anti-capitalist Mayflower Compact that abolished the profit motive and led to the death by starvation of many of those newly arrived at Plymouth Rock.

OfA’s “Truth Team” wants you to use the approaching holiday to get in the face of your stubborn uncle who still believes in supposedly outmoded, politically incorrect concepts like self-reliance and paying your own way. All the abusive, manipulative persuasion techniques in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals are presumably fair game.

“We all have that one relative — we won’t name names — who just loves to argue about politics. It’s like clockwork — every year, the same conversations. And you just know that health care is going to come up this year — this time, make sure you’re ready. There’s a lot of good news on our side,” the email claims even though virtually all bad news –and there is so much of it– is on their side.

The email approvingly cites a New York Times opinion piece by leftist economist Paul Krugman, long an Obama lapdog, who looks forward to the “cost-saving measures” that will flow from the Affordable Care Act’s statutorily-created death panel, the Independent Payment Advisory Board. “Now that the filibuster has been reformed, the board can come into being,” Krugman gloats.

The email draws the reader’s attention to “must-read Obamacare success stories from news outlets across the country,” while ignoring the much more numerous, exhaustively catalogued litany of human suffering as premiums around the country double and families get abruptly dumped from their plans in the name of the Left’s idea of progress.

The email cites a morally confused Huffington Post blogger named Randy Turner who brags about how Obamacare has the effect of forcing his conservative friends to pay for his health insurance. He seems barely able to conceal his schadenfreude.

“I enrolled in Obamacare and I like it,” Turner volunteers, adding that he is “getting a great deal on [his] health insurance.” With his new plan, he pays “$501.98 cents a month for health insurance, but I qualify for a $500-a-month tax credit — therefore my premiums will cost $1.98 a month.”

Of course the retired, pensioned, 57-year-old English teacher likes Obamacare! Obama has become his own personal Santa Claus.

Instead of simply being grateful for the involuntary largesse of others, the self-righteous freeloader adds insult to injury, railing against the productive members of society who are subsidizing him instead of acknowledging his own envy-based, class warfare-fueled desire for the unearned.

“How sad it is that people who make millions, sometimes billions of dollars a year, have fanned the flames of resentment in this country to such a point that the people who most need the Affordable Health [sic] Care Act are becoming the targets of scorn and others who need it are willing to go to any length to avoid using it,” Turner whines.

In his view, Americans who don’t delight in being ripped off under Obamacare are bad people who seethe with resentment. Their great sin is wanting to keep their own hard-earned money.

As all but the most dishonest pundits now admit, Obamacare is less about health care, and more about the perverse pathologies that progressives suffer from. It is about redistributing wealth by coercing some insured individuals to pay for the insurance of others. It defies the old adage that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. 

Obamacare teaches uninsured people how to steal fish from their neighbors and to feel good about the theft by rationalizing it away. Robbery under color of law is a modern-day means of achieving that fuzzy condition known as social justice.

That’s not what the Christmas season is supposed to be about.

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