Government Health Insurance Up, Freedom Down

By Terence P. Jeffrey | October 26, 2016 | 4:34am EDT
President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act into law in March 2010. (AP File Photo)

"We've agreed that our health reform bill will promote choice," President Barack Obama said on July 21, 2009.

"Americans will be able to compare the price and quality of different plans and pick the plan that they want," he said.

"If you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it," he said. "Let me repeat that: If you like your plan, you will be able to keep it," he said.

He apparently wanted Americans to remember that — at least until Congress enacted his Affordable Care Act.

This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released an analysis of the Obamacare insurance exchanges that indicates there will be five states in 2017 where only one insurance company is offering health insurance plans through the exchange. These include Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming.

But these exchanges will only be for people who can still afford private health insurance.

In Birmingham, Alabama, according to the KFF analysis, the monthly premium for the second-lowest-cost silver plan for a 40-year-old nonsmoker will increase 71 percent — jumping from $288 to $492.

In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, it will increase 67 percent — jumping from $295 to $493.

In Phoenix, Arizona, it will increase 145 percent — jumping from $207 to $507.

But unlike the Obamacare exchange users in Birmingham and Oklahoma City, according to the KFF analysis, exchange users in Phoenix will actually get to choose between two different insurance companies.

That is what they call a "marketplace."

For Americans worried about these escalating insurance premiums, government apologists are quick to note that, if you make less than 400 percent of the poverty level, the government will subsidize your insurance premiums.

In other words: If you make less than 400 percent of the poverty level, federal taxpayers all across the country will be required to help you buy your insurance.

The government's lesson here: Keep your income down, so you can get other Americans to subsidize your insurance.

Or, if you do not earn enough to buy insurance even with a government subsidy, you can go directly onto government-provided health insurance.

In July, the number of people in the United States enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program exceeded the entire population of the United Kingdom. It also exceeded the population of France.

There were 72,810,267 people enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP this July, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That was up by 15,393,550 people from Medicaid and CHIP enrollment back in the July-to-September period of 2013, which was just before the Obamacare exchanges opened.

Meanwhile, there are only 66,836,154 people in France and 64,430,428 in the United Kingdom, according to the CIA's World Factbook.

In 2015, according to the Census Bureau, there was a total U.S. population of about 318,868,000 and 37.1 percent — or 118,395,000 people — had government health insurance at some point during the year (including Medicaid, Medicare, and military and veterans' coverage).

That was up from 34.6 percent in 2013.

That is a good measure of the trajectory of American liberty: As government control of health care rises, freedom falls.

Under the Obama administration, the federal government worked to establish that it can dictate what insurance coverage you must have. For the first time in our nation's history, the federal government ordered people to buy a product (health insurance), which the Supreme Court upheld as a legitimate exertion of the taxing power.

Wielding this power, the federal government ordered many Americans (by regulation) to buy a version of the product (one that included coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and devices) that violated their moral and religious beliefs and made them complicit in the taking of innocent human life.

Now that the federal government has forced you to buy coverage (including coverage that you do not want) and shown that it will use this power to attack human life rather than protect it, what is to stop it from taking the next step: Telling you what coverage you cannot have.

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of


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