Let’s unspin Obamacare

According to John Hood’s (chairman of the John Locke Foundation) June 26 editorial: “After the inclusion in the Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate became the primary issue in legal challenges that ended up before the Supreme Court.”

As it should have. Mandated automobile liability insurance is reasonable because it protects citizens from other citizen’s mistakes and/or carelessness, but health insurance for self-protection should be optional. The only negative is, for example, when someone purchases a motorcycle rather than health insurance, due to an accident becomes disabled, and as a result a ward of the state.

But the individual mandate was not included in the Affordable Care Act, because the Affordable Care Act was not passed. The Affordable Care Act, a reasonable self-supporting public option for the working poor, was spun and expanded into federally subsidized Obamacare, and the health insurance industry is still “laughing all the way to the bank.”

The public option proposal was for payroll deduction of premiums from the paychecks of the working poor who could not afford expensive, for-profit health insurance, but premiums based on policy holders’ needs rather than corporate profit. A real Affordable Care Act would have been federally administered like Social Security, but not federally funded. And without fortunes in salaries and bonuses for CEOs and dividends for stockholders, it would have been affordable. Furthermore, if premium collection did not meet or exceeded the need, premiums could have been raised or lowered yearly. Have you ever known the for-profit insurance industry to lower premiums to policy holders due to a more profitable year?

Hood closed with: “The individual mandate was an affront to American principles of freedom. It’s finally gone. Now, let’s make sensible decisions about what comes next.”

I agree. Let’s unspin Obamacare back into the affordable option proposal for the working poor; stop allowing the insurance industry to use it as an excuse to raise rates on more fortunate workers who can afford for-profit health insurance; and end the federal subsidies the insurance industry so greedily accepts, yet so cleverly and ironically used to paint the original proposal as a tax-payer supported “single-payer” plan. Yes, President Obama said: “If you like your [existing] policy, you can keep it.” If the affordable option for the working poor had not been spun into a federally subsidized “gold mine” for the insurance industry, plus an excuse to unnecessarily raise rates on existing policies, that statement would have been true, now wouldn’t it?

Robert C. Currie Jr.