Via a link from El Rushbo, here is a must-read piece from CNN Money written by Shawn Tulley of Fortune magazine: “5 Freedoms You’d Lose In Health Care Reform“.
You really need to read the whole thing, but here are the five freedoms that you’ll lose, guaranteed, under ObamaCare. Readers of WizBang will immediately recognize all of them from our own numerous health care discussions.
1. Freedom to choose what’s in your plan. Under ObamaCare, the government will mandate “standard benefits packages” that all health care plans must offer in order to be “qualified” by ObamaCare. Will this really make health care less expensive? Don’t count on it. “Every group, from chiropractors to alcohol-abuse counselors, do lobbying to get included. Connecticut, for example, requires reimbursement for hair transplants, hearing aids, and in vitro fertilization.”
2. Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or to pay your own costs. Under ObamaCare, all qualified plans must conform to a yet-to-be-developed “community rating” scheme, whereby all insureds pay roughly the same premium, regardless of age or health. Giving a break to people who suffer from chronic or hereditary conditions like diabetes or cancer is not a bad idea, but community rating is like “car insurers [having] to charge the same rates to safe drivers as to chronic speeders with a history of accidents.”
3. Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage. The mandatory low-deductible, full-coverage benefits packages in qualified ObamaCare programs will end the ability of consumers to buy cheaper, catastrophic care health policies and use the resulting premium savings to pay for occasional doctor visits and prescriptions out of pocket. For young, healthy Americans who do not need monthly prescription medications, this is an attractive and affordable option for health coverage. (This was the type of coverage I bought until I got married and had kids. It cost me $110 a month in the mid-1990’s.)
4. Freedom to keep your existing plan. This has been discussed at length here at WizBang. And frankly, it’s the biggest lie currently being told by the Obama Administration. Draconian restrictions that will be placed on private health insurance plans by ObamaCare guarantee that almost everyone who is currently covered by private insurance will be forced out of those plans and into the public ObamaCare insurance exchange within 12 months.
5. Freedom to choose your doctors. Under ObamaCare, you’ll be “assigned a primary care doctor, and the doctor controls your access to specialists. The primary care physicians will decide which services, like MRIs and other diagnostic scans, are best for you, and will decide when you really need to see a cardiologists or orthopedist … The danger is that doctors will be financially rewarded for denying care, as were HMO physicians more than a decade ago.” If the fees paid by the government to primary care physicians are going to be based on efficiency or cost-saving ratings by government bureaucrats, then doctors can also easily be punished if they make too many specialist referrals. Is this really the way to sustain quality health care for Americans? Remember, one of President Obama’s goals is to level the playing field with respect to how much money primary care physicians and specialists earn.
As Mickey Kaus recently noted, “Nothing will change” under ObamaCare … except the entire health care delivery system.
Free markets periodically undergo what Joseph Schumpeter termed “creative destruction,” whereby certain segments of the market, in response to economic conditions and demand, dissolve and reform themselves into much more efficient and profitable entities. Governments can’t force these kinds of changes — when governments willfully destroy free markets in an attempt to implement a centrally-planned scheme designed to save money and streamline operations, the result has always been a crippling combination of bureaucratic red tape, shortages, and economic stagnation.
That’s a prescription America doesn’t need. Ever.