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Sebelius’s New Obamacare Decrees Tip Her Hand

3:55 PM, Feb 25, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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Much of Obamacare wasn’t passed as fixed law but rather as an open-ended invitation for the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make law, our constitutional separation of powers notwithstanding.  That’s how the requirement came about that essentially all health plans must hereafter give privileged status to birth control pills, sterilization, and the abortion drug ella. Now, two new decrees from Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama’s secretary of HHS, highlight the Democrats’ principal goals in the health care realm:  to redistribute money; and to move away from insurance and toward pre-paid health care, preferably controlled by a federal government monopoly (so-called “single-payer” health care, which President Obama has said that he’s “a proponent of” and would “like to see”). 

Kathleen Sebelius official portrait

As Politico reports, the first decree from the 64-year-old Sebelius stipulates that, henceforth, insurers cannot charge those in their 20s or early 30s less than a third of what they charge those in their 50s or early 60s for coverage — even though such younger adults generally cost far less than a third as much to cover.  The result will be skyrocketing premiums for younger Americans.  Her second decree stipulates that “catastrophic” health plans — plans designed to cover only unforeseeable, big-ticket items — must now cover foreseeable, small-ticket items, such as at least three routine doctor visits a year and “other services.” 

In other words, Sebelius is requiring a massive redistribution of wealth from younger (and generally poorer) working Americans to older (and generally wealthier) working Americans.  She’s simultaneously denying Americans the freedom to choose plans (“catastrophic” plans) that are actually insurance plans, rather than pre-paid health plans — even though the former charge lower premiums, are increasingly popular, and have clearly been shown to lower health costs by giving consumers skin in the game. 

Decrees such as these highlight that, for the Democrats, it’s not really about lowering (or even maintaining) health costs, increasing (or even maintaining) choice, or fueling (or even maintaining) competition.  It’s about sharing costs and getting everyone onto essentially the same health-care plan — one that Kathleen Sebelius and her boss approve of.

The 2016 election will determine whether Americans support this heavy-handed Democratic approach or would prefer a Republican alternative.  Thus, that election will go a long way toward determining the future of American health care, the future of each of the two leading American political parties, and the future of limited government and liberty.

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