The Outrage Arrives: You can't keep your insurance because Democrats don't want you to control your own health-care spending.
By Holman Jenkins, The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2013
The White House has issued a clarification. When the president said if you like your insurance plan you can keep it, what he meant was you can keep it if he likes it.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans who are getting policy cancellation notices this month can't be as surprised as they pretend to be. President Obama made it clear at his 2010 health care summit what he thought of their taste in insurance.
"It's the equivalent of Acme Insurance that I had for my car. . . . It's basically not health insurance," he explained. "It's house insurance. . . .
"I'm buying that to protect me from some catastrophic situation; otherwise, I'm just paying out of pocket. I don't go to the doctor. I don't get preventive care. There are a whole bunch of things I just do without. But if I get hit by a truck, maybe I don't go bankrupt."
Notice his disdain for those who buy high-deductible policies to protect themselves only from unexpected and unmanageable health-care costs. They are too cheap or too dumb to reach into their own pockets for necessary care that isn't covered by their policy or triggers the deductible.
These customers might like their plan. Their plan might even be the best cure, as many experts believe, for what ails our health-care system, namely too much incentive for Americans to overconsume health care. But Mr. Obama doesn't like their plans so they can't keep them.
Democrats at least are consistent. Back in 1993, during the fight over HillaryCare, Mrs. Clinton explained Democratic reasoning to then-House GOP Leader Denny Hastert. If Americans are allowed too much discretion over how they spend their health-care dollars, Mrs. Clinton said,
"We just think people will be too focused on saving money and they won't get the care for their children and themselves that they need . . .
"The money has to go to the federal government because the federal government will spend that money better."