Michael Moore claims Obamacare is awful because it doesn’t go far enough, and liberals/Democrats don’t want to admit it.
Perhaps for different reasons, millions of Americans who have seen their coverage canceled, changed, or renewed with skyrocketing premiums, sharply higher co-pays and deductibles, and limited provider networks, probably agree with him. When the postponed employer mandate begins kicking in this fall in the run-up to 2015, millions more Americans on employer-based plans will find their coverage similarly disrupted with significant rate increases and so forth. At that time, employers may be tempted to drop health benefits entirely (as some have done already) and send their workers into the exchanges.
The left-wing filmmaker is an advocate of the so-called single-payer plan, also referred to as the public option, i.e., a medical care delivery/insurance system completely controlled by the government. Both Barack Obama and US Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, have previously expressed support for single payer. The UK has such a system, and an internet search will reveal that the British press is filled with stories of the nightmarish outcomes of its National Health Service. When Scott Brown was elected to the US Senate in 2010, the majority Democrats in Congress lost the opportunity to push for the public option in the Obamacare legislation.
In an Op-Ed, Moore leveled criticism at Obamacare, a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act, whose coverage begins today — assuming, that is, if the enrollment process on HealthCare.gov and the state-based exchanges processed applications properly:
Wrote Moore about Obamacare:
“…Now that the individual mandate is officially here, let me begin with an admission: Obamacare is awful. That is the dirty little secret many liberals have avoided saying out loud for fear of aiding the president’s enemies, at a time when the ideal of universal health care needed all the support it could get…”
“… I believe Obamacare’s rocky start — clueless planning, a lousy website, insurance companies raising rates, and the president’s telling people they could keep their coverage when, in fact, not all could — is a result of one fatal flaw: The Affordable Care Act is a pro-insurance-industry plan implemented by a president who knew in his heart that a single-payer, Medicare-for-all model was the true way to go. When right-wing critics ‘expose’ the fact that President Obama endorsed a single-payer system before 2004, they’re actually telling the truth… For many people, the ‘affordable’ part of the Affordable Care Act risks being a cruel joke.”
Citing a personal friend with cancer, Moore conceded, however, that Obamacare is a godsend. Instead of taking “a victory lap,” Moore urged his fellow so-called progressives to fight for universal quality health care, i.e., single payer, similar to what is on the drawing board in Vermont. “Obamacare can’t be fixed by its namesake. It’s up to us to make it happen,” he concluded.
In the Op-Ed piece, Moore also repeated the urban myth that the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, created what became Obamacare. Heritage never invented the individual mandate and opposed it when it wound up in court. The Heritage proposal favored an employer mandate for large companies, mandated coverage for catastrophic events only, and various tax incentives to encourage consumers to buy health insurance.
Regardless of your ideological beliefs, Michael Moore’s Obamacare criticism seems to be on target to the extent that when Big Government, Big Insurance, and Big Pharma get together in a joint venture, it’s difficult to see how the ordinary consumer comes out ahead.
[image credit: Nicolas Genin]