Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thugocracy In Action

There is no free lunch. If you want increased services, then there are inevitably increased costs, with the only question being whether the costs are passed on to the recipient or absorbed by the provider. Thus, is there anyone who can possibly think that Obamacare, with its many new mandates, would not increase health insurance costs?

Some of the new mandates coming into force in the next month include:

Lifetime dollar caps on coverage are abolished, and plans must allow parents to keep their children on the policy up to age 26. Many plans will also have to guarantee coverage for children regardless of a medical condition, and provide preventive care with no cost-sharing for the patient.

And with it come the new costs:

Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.” And The Wall Street Journal was not alone. The Los Angeles Times and Dallas Morning News also reported rate hikes in their states, some as high as 16%. And this comes on top of news that Obamacare is forcing health care companies to stop offering coverage for kids and forcing colleges to stop offering coverage for students.

All that is basic economics. But now that the bill is starting to come due, the Obama administration is engaging in a blatant and outrageous abuse of power to stifle the speech of any health insurers who would blame premium increases on the Obamacare mandates, threatening any who do it with, in essence, with the death of their business. This from the AP:

President Barack Obama's top health official on Thursday warned the insurance industry that the administration won't tolerate blaming premium hikes on the new health overhaul law.

"There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to the insurance lobby.

"Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections," Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They'd lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.

These new health insurance markets will be the primary vehicle for the purchase of health insurance in our brave new Obamacare world. Thus, exclusion from the government market will be a death sentence for many insurance companies.

It is difficult to think of an act more violative of First Amendment rights in our nation's history. For Sebelius to condition access to the government market based on whether the insurer speaks negatively about Obamacare is something we would expect to see in a dictatorship. And indeed, as the WSJ opines:

Zero tolerance for expressing an opinion, or offering an explanation to policyholders? They're more subtle than this in Caracas.

And as Micheal Barone opines, this is more thuggery from the Obama administration:

"Congress shall make no law," reads the First Amendment, "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."

Sebelius' approach is different: "zero tolerance" for dissent.

The threat to use government regulation to destroy or harm someone's business because they disagree with government officials is thuggery. Like the Obama administration's transfer of money from Chrysler bondholders to its political allies in the United Auto Workers, it is a form of gangster government.

"The rule of law, or the rule of men (women)?" economist Tyler Cowen asks on his marginalrevolution.com blog. As he notes, "Nowhere is it stated that these rate hikes are against the law (even if you think they should be), nor can this 'misinformation' be against the law."

This act of Sebelius is criminal. It is also an act that, were it perpetrated by a conservative, would be front page news for months. Yet from our MSM, only calm silence.

This also points to a larger issue involving Obamacare and, indeed, rule by 'progressives.' The Heritage Foundation sums up the larger issues at their blog, the Foundry:

Secretary Sebelius’ Hugo Chavezesque threats against the health insurance industry demonstrate why the fight to repeal Obamacare is also the fight for the soul of our country. Obamacare and the progressive movement represent a fundamental threat to our founding principles. For the left, “progress” means fundamentally transforming America through bureaucratic dictates that will engineer a “better” society by assuring equal outcomes. Through Obamacare, progressives would redistribute wealth through a distant, patronizing welfare state that regulates more and more of the economy, politics and society. The question Americans face is: Are we a country ruled by law or by bureaucrat?

If anything passed during the Obama years still stands after 2012, then the answer to that question is the latter, and our nation will continue its long, slow deterioration because of it.


Soccer Dad said...

Do you remember a few months ago, a couple of big corporations indicated that their bottom lines would take a hit due to changes in health insurance due to Obama care. I think that Howard Berman wanted to haul the CEO's out on the carpet for badmouthing Obamacare. But then they pointed out that they needed to reveal this information because of the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley! Berman backed down.
I wonder if Sibelius will discover that Sarbox will force inconvenient admissions from other large corporations. How will she penalize them then?

Anonymous said...

The question Americans face is: Are we a country ruled by law or by bureaucrat?

Lawless bureaucrats.

William Stout said...

The left would have us ruled by a dictatorship. That is why Hollywood dreams about forcing the left's agenda down our throats and that is why the media backs the tyranny of the Federal system. Should we really be surprised that Kathleen Sebelius is acting like a Soviet Commissar?

This is the ultimate end of progressivism. It is Marxist/socialist at its core and we should not be surprised at anything that this government does under such a system. The people are no longer in control because the Unions and Marxists have wrested control from the people with the assistance of the Democrats.

We have seen their morals, we have seen their tactics, and we have seen their lust for power. These are not the people who should lead a supposedly free society. Truth be told, they are far better suited to Red China or North Korea.

1389 said...

Now anybody who burns a Koran - or even talks about doing so - is being punished:

2.0: The Blogmocracy: It's our fault islamonuts threatened to go nuts

Rare Resource said...

I loved your blog content because you have just described what your mind says about the administration and government anyway great job and fantastic splash out.I would like to exchange link with you in a smart manner already i have placed your blog in my friends blog roll so i hope you will kindly exchange link with me. my blog details are http://rareresources.blogspot.com/

Auditions for All said...

I think You have just splashed out what your heart and mind says.Because i didn't see such a person who has written his posting with the full freedom..I think you must be a creator to create these type of blogs,and i am particularly want to say that you are awesome.The explanation of the posting make me to think for while anyway thanks for making me to think.well written my favorite blog.classic collections.I loved your blog so i have added your blog to my blog roll list at http://auditions-for-all.blogspot.com/
So would you put my blog too, on you...

Ulisse Di Bartolomei said...

The Fiat patent fraud. About the Fiat hybrids: the technology double clutch with electric motor between has been stolen by a patent that Fiat Company has never wanted to purchase, but only shamelessly to copy. This hybrid solution will be the basic technology with Chrysler's electric and hybrid car program. Please give a look in my blog where the "vitality" and boldness of the Fiat planners it appears in all of evidence: http://dualsymbioticelectromechanicalengine.blogspot.com/
If the industries can afford unpunished to copy the ideas and defending it need very expensive trial, to which target need the patents? How to defend the rights of private inventors? How our young people can find intellectual courage if the economic potentates crush the rights of the single ones? Whoever is about to ask for a patent or wants to propose a proper patent to a big firm I suggest to give a look to my experience with the Fiat, to get able to operate with better adroitness. Thanks and good time to everybody. Ulisse Di Bartolomei (Not spam! Please don’t stop this comment)

auditions-auditions said...


Great post, I like this post.
I 've added your blog to My Friend's Blogroll at


So would you put my blog too, on you...

you can get healthy traffic from us and our visitors can get relative and useful information from your blog.

Hope you would add my blog.
Thanks a lot.Keep blogging....