Culture challenge of the week: top-down control
Obamacare is a disaster — not because of the clunky, costly, inoperative website, but because President Obama and his Department of Health and Human Services minions have grabbed control over our personal health care decisions and they won't let go.
First, the top-down control means that the president and his know-it-all bureaucrats mandated that every adult purchase health insurance, even if they don't want it. (The Supreme Court's ruling that the mandate is only a "tax" provided helpful cover for the administration.)
Second, the Obama administration asserted control over religious organizations and private companies, dictating the contents of their insurance plans. The move, requiring coverage for birth control, sterilization, Plan B and, in many cases, abortion, was never about ensuring better care for Americans. It was about payback to the reproductive rights crowd for their support of Mr. Obama's re-election campaign. Planned Parenthood and its allies wanted "free" birth control for all, supported by subsidized "access" to abortion. And they got it.
In her recent testimony to Congress, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius dodged questions about Obamacare's lack of transparency regarding abortion coverage, saying "I don't know" if pro-life subscribers can see which plans on the exchanges cover abortions. As it stands, Obamacare effectively requires pro-life folks to pay for other people's abortions.
Third, it's now clear that Mr. Obama's hunger for control extends beyond the contents of individuals' private policies. He hopes to strip Americans of those private policies altogether, and he is succeeding. Last week, the news broke that way back in 2010 — while the president was stumping around the country promising everyone, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan" — the Obama administration knew that many insurance plans would be canceled because of Obamacare. In fact, the administration predicted in 2010 that "93 million Americans will be unable to keep their health plans under Obamacare."
At the news broke, the administration dissembled (i.e., lied). Officials argued that Obamacare would result in only a small percentage of Americans (a mere 15 million people, holders of "inadequate" individual plans) losing their health insurance. But that's not the case. Millions and millions of Americans are losing their employer-based health care as a result of Obamacare.
The administration knew — three years ago — that the top-down control of Obamacare would cause "massive disruption" of the insurance market — not only individual plans but employer-provided plans. The HHS regulations ensured that few existing plans would be "grandfathered" in and allowed to continue.
They didn't care then, and they don't care now.
They don't care about the pregnant mom who lost her private insurance and now must pay double — for less coverage — through the health care exchanges. They don't care about the 100,000 New Yorkers who lost their plans or the 800,000 New Jersey residents who lost theirs.
How to save your family: Vote your freedom
So what's to be done? Two things: In the short term, keep the pressure on your congressional representatives and senators. Let them know that the Obama plan for top-down control over our lives is unacceptable — and it's un-American. Insist that they do everything politically possible to hold back the Obama administration's "wrecking ball."
The long-term solution, however, can be only a complete repeal of Obamacare. That's possible only if we "un-elect" in 2014 every politician who voted for it.
The American people deserve better than excuses and half-baked damage control. This is our republic, our money, our families and our lives. It's time we serve notice on elected officials in Washington that they are not in charge of us — they work for us. And if they don't do the right thing, then we will.
•Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.