The Spectacle Blog

Obamacare’s Last Defender (Or Is The White House Sending This Guy Flowers?)

By on 11.14.13 | 7:52PM

Despite the fact that former President Bill Clinton and California Senator Dianne Feinstein threw cold water on Obamacare, there are still a few true believers out there.

Enter Brigham Young University political science professor Richard Davis. He argues that Obamacare isn’t so bad.

OK, so millions of people are losing their health insurance. Big deal!!! According to Davis, that’s no problem because approximately three-fourths of Americans who have health insurance are on employer-based plans.

Well, imagine what things would be like had Obama not delayed the employer mandate. Sadly, we won’t have to imagine. Obama administration officials anticipated there would be a massive dislocation in the private insurance market once Obamacare took effect and would have an even greater impact on employer-based plans. Here is what Avik Roy wrote in Forbes on Halloween.

The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34,552 of the Register. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their "grandfather status" and become illegal. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million — more than half the population — was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013. 

So nearly 80 million people could lose their employer-sponsored insurance when the employer mandate kicks in. Now that is spooky.

It should be noted that the day after Obamacare took effect, Davis wrote an article titled, “Like it or not, Obamacare is here to stay.” Well, if Davis is correct then that means the employer mandate will be here in 2015 and that will mean a tidal wave of people losing their health insurance.

But when that happens, Davis will say what he is saying now (and, indeed, what the Obama administration has been saying). Davis argues the policies that have been canceled “don’t measure up to what the law requires health insurance do for their clients.” In other words, what President Obama really meant to say was, “If I like your health insurance, you can keep it.” But if we like our health insurance plans then who is Obama (or Davis) to tell us that our health care plans don’t measure up?

For his part, Davis likens Obamacare’s measure up mandates to having seatbelts and airbags in our automobiles. Davis writes, “Some Americans may complain that they don’t have the opportunity to buy new cars without those features today, but all of us are safer when such automobiles are removed from the roads.” But maternity leave is a required feature of any Obamacare plan even if you don’t have a child. To use the automobile analogy, it would be like the federal government telling consumers they have to buy automobiles equipped with child safety seats — child or no child.

Davis further argues that insurance companies have been canceling policies for years, only “the news media didn’t tell us about those cancellations.” OK, so when was the last time in this country that nearly 5 million people lost their health insurance in the space of six weeks?

Of course, Davis would also tell us not to worry about all those cancelations. Those who had their policies canceled “will have more options for better and cheaper coverage.” In what universe is that possible if insurance companies are forbidden from competing across state lines?

It makes one wonder if the Obama White House has sent Davis flowers or a slightly more potent form of plant life. In his concluding paragraph, Davis writes, “Undoubtedly, this is a dislocation for many people receiving the notices, particularly since they believed no change would be necessary.”

And why exactly did those people believe no change would be necessary? Who was it that told people no change would be necessary? Not surprisingly, Professor Davis does not wish to divulge that information.

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