President Obama has long held the view that wealth redistribution is good for America. His most famous proclamation of that position came during the 2008 presidential race when in Ohio he told “Joe the Plumber”, “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” But, perhaps the best indicator of how he would govern as president came in a 1998 speech he gave to students at Loyola University. Then, Illinois state Senator Obama said, “The trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some [wealth] redistribution — because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.”
The President’s signature legislative accomplishment as chief executive, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more widely known as Obamacare, is one of those government systems he spoke about whose purpose is to redistribute wealth to help everybody.
All along, it’s been clear that Obamacare’s goal was to provide health care coverage to the millions of Americans who could not afford their own coverage. Its purpose was never to lower health care costs in general. In order to accomplish the goal, Obamacare must take from some (the young, healthy, and responsible) and give to others (the not so young, unhealthy, or irresponsible). At the end of the day, this amounts to nothing more than a program to redistribute wealth on a vast scale. And that is exactly what is happening under the law so far.
CBS News has reported that more than two million Americans have recently been notified that their current health care policies do not meet the higher minimum standards mandated by Obamacare. Therefore, they will lose their coverage on January 1, 2014. It’s been estimated that about half of those who have lost coverage will pay more while the other half will pay less. But, Obamacare is not based on actuarial science like other insurance schemes. Those paying higher premiums in the future aren’t going to be paying more because they smoke or guzzle booze or participate in risky sexual practices. They will pay more to subsidize those who pay less or nothing at all. This defies the very essence of insurance – shared risk. What incentive do the poor have to live a healthier lifestyle if those with more resources will always pick up their bill?
And watching Secretary Sebelius testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I learned that single men, who have never given birth, are required under Obamacare to have maternity coverage! Really? Is this fair or is this a means to transfer wealth from men to women by using the income of the former to reduce the costs of the latter? After all, the Administration believes women only earn about 70 cents of every dollar that men make. Perhaps, the Administration is trying to achieve through Obamacare what it can’t through legislative action?
No matter the case, Obamacare is doomed to failure. Yes, more Americans will be covered but the costs will overwhelm the system and those that are footing the bill. As more and more high risk applicants sign up for health coverage through the exchanges, the premiums of those paying the bill will continue to rise. The incentive for these folks will be to find a way to have Uncle Sam subsidize at least a portion of their coverage. More Americans will become impoverished. That is always the result of wealth redistribution policies. The president is a learned man. He should know this.