Are You Feeling Lucky, Punk?

Rory Cooper /

President Obama and his liberal counterparts in the Congress continue to falsely promise that their health care plan wouldn’t affect Americans who don’t crave change. However, all conventional wisdom points the opposite direction. In fact, the Lewin Group has estimated that if a public plan was made available at Medicare payment levels, approximately 119 million Americans would be forced into the government plan. Currently, there are roughly 160 million Americans who have private health insurance. So this figure represents more than two out of three privately insured Americans. Are you going to be the lucky one out of three?

Turns out, luck has nothing to do with it. Even if the private insurance doesn’t “fizzle out” completely after most of its customers are forced into a government program, the federal government is going to slowly kill private insurance through their legislation. On page 16 of the $1.3 trillion Democrat House bill is a little-seen provision that moves to eliminate the private insurance market altogether. It says:

Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.

In non-Congressional terms, this means that if you don’t have private health insurance when the bill goes into effect, then you will absolutely have fewer options after it passes. Under the House plan, all individuals will be mandated to buy Insurance Exchange qualifying plans only. And thanks to a laundry list of new regulations, these plans will be much more expensive after the bill takes effect.

So, buried in the 1,018 page bill are President Obama’s broken promises in black and white. And all of these efforts are to advance a bill that Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf said would raise health care costs, not lower them. Thankfully, Blue Dog Democrats like Arkansas Congressman Mike Ross are making an effort to stop this assault on your personal health care. Ross says: “We cannot support the current bill.”

As Investors Business Daily puts it, “A free people should be outraged at this advance of soft tyranny. Washington does not have the constitutional or moral authority to outlaw private markets in which parties voluntarily participate.” Exactly.