In the disastrous Obamacare rollout, there has been much reporting on the falseness of the president's promises ("If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."), but much less on what that falseness reveals about the underlying game. That game, of course, is to force some large percentage of the population to overpay for healthcare so that others can be subsidized.
But with all the publicity about the false promises, and the accompanying cancellation of millions of policies now deemed non-compliant with Obamacare, it seems that more people are starting to catch on. And now we are starting to learn what is the Official Progressive Answer upon exposure of the lie: We had to do this to you because you are too stupid to do what is good for yourself.
So one after another the spokesmen for the administration put forth the new line, that we are protecting you from your own folly. The rhetoric attempts to direct anger at the evil insurance companies, but no one was forced to buy these prior policies. So in fact what we have is a demonstration of oozing progressive contempt and disdain for the ignorant peasants. As example number one, here is President Obama himself yesterday in Boston:
One of the things health reform was designed to do was to help not only the uninsured, but also the underinsured. And there are a number of Americans –- fewer than 5 percent of Americans -– who've got cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident.
Or Jay Carney in his daily press briefing:
What the President said and what everybody said all along is that there are going to be changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act that create minimum standards of coverage.
Or Congressman Henry Waxman (D, Hollywood) at yesterday's House hearing, who characterized what is going on as no longer "allowing insurers to continue offering deficient plans next year."
So the peasants have been buying "cut-rate" and "deficient" plans that don't meet "minimum standards." Good try, but the peasants as usual aren't as dumb as their masters think. Take a look at the list of "essential health benefits" that must be included in any Obamacare plan. The majority of them are things that no rational person would insure against, any more than you would insure against the cost of buying lunch. Insurance for "preventive and wellness services" is a license for neurotic hypochondriacs to force you to pay for their many useless doctor visits. Prescription drugs are exactly the sort of ongoing and non-catastrophic expense that nobody would try to "insure" against outside the weird healthcare world; ditto for laboratory services. Then there are the things that you can know with 100% certainty that you will not use during the coming year, for example, maternity services or birth control if you are a single man, or substance abuse services if you are a teetotaler.
In fact the peasants know exactly what they are doing, and the elite progressives are the fools. But the peasants are going to have the last laugh, because starting now from day one, people are going to do what they always do, which is to behave rationally to maximize their position in the world given the various constraints that they face. The people will do lots of things, some of which are good for the country and some bad, but all of which are bad for the survival and success of the Obamacare coercive enterprise. As a few examples:
(1) As mentioned here many times, if you are young and healthy (with few assets), don't sign up. Wait until you are sick and then sign up.
(2) Will some enterprising people in Canada please set up a few black market insurers up there and sell policies over the internet? The Canadians are doing this right now with ridiculously overpriced U.S. prescription drugs, making a bundle and completely getting away with it. There are billions of dollars to be made here. If Canada cooperates with the U.S. goons to shut this down, try Cyprus. What are you guys waiting for?
(3) In one of its much underappreciated idiocies, Obamacare defines the entitlement to government subsidies based on "household income." The concept of the "household" is subject to manipulation and redefinition by intelligent enterprising individuals seeking to maximize their government handouts. Are a man, woman and two children with a $50,000 income one middle-class family or a middle-class man and a woman and two children in poverty? If it enables you to qualify for a $10,000 per year subsidy, then get a divorce or build a temporary wall through the middle of the apartment. The handout-receiving "poor" in this country have long since figured this out, and thus have a reported 72% "illegitimacy" rate; now the middle class can have that too!
And those are just the ideas that occur to me off the top of my head. We now have 300 million people at work in the best tradition of capitalism to get around this monstrosity. Social structures that are based on demanding people to act against their own economic interest to benefit others do not work. They won't work here either. I'm betting on the peasants, and against their would-be masters.