The openness White House buried what is a de facto elimination of the individual mandate in some technical mumbo jumbo so that it was only uncovered a week later.
It was a huge deal, but the White House wanted to avoid blowback, so it tried to hide it from you as long as possible. Obama and his minions – on the up and up as usual.
The Wall Street Journal smoked it out this week, a rule that will allow people to easily qualify as “hardship” cases who don’t have to buy health insurance:
In 2013, HHS decided that ObamaCare’s wave of policy terminations qualified as a “hardship” that entitled people to a special type of coverage designed for people under age 30 or a mandate exemption. HHS originally defined and reserved hardship exemptions for the truly down and out such as battered women, the evicted and bankrupts.
But amid the post-rollout political backlash, last week the agency created a new category: Now all you need to do is fill out a form attesting that your plan was cancelled and that you “believe that the plan options available in the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy” or “you consider other available policies unaffordable.”
This lax standard—no formula or hard test beyond a person’s belief—at least ostensibly requires proof such as an insurer termination notice. But people can also qualify for hardships for the unspecified nonreason that “you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance,” which only requires “documentation if possible.” And yet another waiver is available to those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their prior insurance. In a word, these shifting legal benchmarks offer an exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one.
I can think of a couple of good reasons for this thoroughly sneaky and dishonest – remember, the White House has long argued, including before the Supreme Court, that the mandate was essential – move. There are probably more.
One is that we are eliminating the safety valve for insurers – the big guaranteed market they were supposed to get of consumers forced to buy their product. As the insurers suffer, the feds must step into their business even more, and we get closer and closer to truly socialized, single-payer medicine.
But also, imagine the political outcry when millions of people get fined for not having insurance. Because – sorry Justice Roberts – it’s not a tax, it’s a fine. And when they have to pay their fines, Americans will realize how distinctly unAmerican Obamacare is.
Obamacare REQUIRES YOU TO BUY SOMETHING. OR ELSE. And that’s just not how we roll in this country.
We are adults, individuals. The Framers of the Constitution assumed that we can think for ourselves – and that the worst thing was to have government thinking for us. And yet that’s exactly what Obamacare does. It tells us what to do. No one tells us what to do.
In other countries – most other countries – there is far greater acceptance of the “right” of government to tell us our business.
I remember once being in France, touring a castle. There were two hallways where we were walking. There was a rope separating them, so that you had to go down one hallway before you turned and went down the other. And so you had to see what was in the other hallway, whether you wanted to look at all the medieval junk there or not.
There was absolutely no reason for the rope, for keeping us out of one hallway, so I stepped over the rope.
Well, that really pissed off the authorities. I got a stern talking to. I don’t like stern talkings to, so I gave a stern talking back to. This nearly drove the authority in charge of the hallways to assault me. The other visitors, mostly Europeans, looked unsympathetic, as if saying, Don’t you see the rope?
I forget exactly what I did. I know I didn’t clock the authority in his Gallic nose, because I don’t remember going to a French jail. I know I wouldn’t have obeyed him either. Probably I stayed stepped over the rope, took a little look around the other hallway, which I was viewing prematurely and in contradiction of the Law of the Rope in French Castles, and then walked away. Screw you and your castles.
Obama would have understood the logic of putting a rope up for no reason. Because people have to follow the rules. Rules are rules. Someone – someone smarter than us – must have thought of it, and they must have their reason.
And he, Obama, has his reason for making you buy Obamacare.
Except those stubborn Americans. They want to be free to see the other hall, or not. And if you give them a stern talking to, they’ll give you a stern talking back to. On Election Day.
We’re not yet fully brainwashed into meekly taking orders from the authorities. And Obama knows that. But he’s working on it.