If they awarded medals for linguistic gymnastics, The Sun editorial staff would take the gold.
For the hundreds of thousands, soon to be millions, the abrupt cancellation of individual health insurance policies is, according to the Sun, "hardly a calamity" and only "a momentary discomfort." Relax, you're simply being "shuffled around." And you truly misunderstood President Obama when he said "if you like it, you can keep it. Period." In breathtaking tightrope language, the omniscient Sun editors then go on to tell us what the President "really meant." Because you have chosen a "substandard" policy, the president's pledge and his words, properly interpreted ... well they simply don't apply. Got it? If not, you just don't understand "nuance."
Until Oct. 1, 2013, millions could shop freely for individual health insurance and could customize a policy that fit their unique coverage needs and budget. Buried in the 20,000 pages of Obamacare regulations are specifications of the "essential health care insurance benefits" that the federal government mandates each of us must purchase. If the policy you shopped, you bought and you like doesn't conform, it will be terminated by law.
If you plan not to have children, this doesn't matter, you now have prenatal care. Never partook in recreational drugs, doesn't matter. You now have a drug counseling program. Democratic lawmakers purposely crafted Obamacare to force you to pay for benefits you will never use in order to subsidize the program. The essential conceit of Mr. Obama, the Department of Health and Human Services, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid et. al. is that your informed choices don't matter and that Washington better understands your health care needs. And you're compelled to follow their dictates. Think of the 16 oz. soda ban on steroids.
The real problem with Obamacare is not the dysfunctional website, which is predictably symptomatic of a federal government that is too big, too profligate, too insular, and smugly unaccountable. The real problems are the unintended consequences of this bad law, its arbitrary rules and intrusiveness on our sputtering economy. In short order Obamacare has institutionalized the 30 hour work week, the part time paycheck, the 49-employee company, perverse incentives to outsource and an excise tax on medical device companies that suffocates research and development.
Add to this the evaporating credibility of President Obama, regulatory metastasis and uncertainty and you have the real cause, not the symptoms, of economic stagnation. No wonder the president postponed the employer health insurance mandate. In 2015 when millions are dropped from employer sponsored health plans, will the Sun call this another "momentary discomfort"? Bad policies equal bad outcomes. Period.
One cannot criticize attempts at health care reform. But surely there are better ways to provide insurance for the 10 percent in need without the federal government intruding upon and nullifying the personal choices of the other 90 percent.
Joe MigliaraCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun