E.J. Dionne: 'If Insuring 32 Million More Americans Isn't Enormous Social Reform Nothing Counts as Change'
No matter how long I analyze liberal media thinking, it never ceases to amaze me.
Consider if you will the following paragraph from E.J. Dionne's column in Thursday's Washington Post:
And, yes, there is the small issue of Obama's real achievements, the health-care law, above all. If insuring 32 million more Americans is not an enormous social reform, then nothing can be said to count as change. The now well-rehearsed list of additional accomplishments - from Wall Street and student-loan reform to the end of "don't ask, don't tell" to the simple fact that the economy's catastrophic slide was halted and reversed - would, in the abstract, do any administration proud.
Let's start with that second sentence: "If insuring 32 million more Americans is not an enormous social reform, then nothing can be said to count as change."
First off, ObamaCare doesn't insure 32 million more Americans, as, thankfully, there was no government option to cover those currently not so. As such, one has to wonder what Dionne and his ilk are thinking when they make this kind of absurd observation.
Contrary to E.J.'s assertion, what ObamaCare did was legally require folks not needing or wanting health insurance to buy it against their will. This is therefore more of a financial reform than a social one even if we ignore the legality of it.
After all, the Constitutionality of this mandate has already been questioned by a federal judge in Virginia, and is destined to eventually go to the Supreme Court. There it seems likely the Justices will be somewhat equally divided with Anthony Kennedy deciding whether this component of ObamaCare stays or is tossed on the scrap heap.
In the end, one man might decide the future buying decisions of millions of Americans.
By his hand, recent and soon-to-be college graduates may be forced to purchase health insurance they likely don't need instead of having more money for rent, a mortgage, a car, food, or paying down student loans.
To folks like Dionne, this is somehow a positive, for in their view, the addition of healthy youngsters into the insurance pool will reduce costs for older, less healthy people that really need the coverage.
But what E.J. and his kind miss is that there is absolutely no certainty that insurance companies will in any way reduce premiums for the currently insured. They may rather choose to increase their currently rather thin profit margins.
The explosion in health insurance stock prices since ObamaCare was becoming an eventuality supports this contention.
However, let's assume the Left are right, and the exponential growth in health insurance costs will at least be halted by ObamaCare. Haven't we again transferred costs to the young?
With Medicare and Social Security heading to certain insolvency in the coming decades, it is a metaphysical certitude part of the equation to rescue these programs will include increased contributions from young workers.
The goal of the individual mandate is another such transfer of costs.
Where does this end? If we continue to burden youth this way, how will they ever provide a lifestyle for themselves near that of their parents or grandparents?
Poll after poll finds people under the age of 30 feeling they'll never achieve the financial success of previous generations. Maybe folks like Dionne telling them they should buy health insurance so their parents' costs for such will go down adds to this angst.
Not surprisingly, E.J. and his kind in the media - for the record, he's 58! - consider this "an enormous social reform."
What will be the next thing folks like Dionne want to force people to buy so that its cost declines for them if Kennedy decides the individual mandate is Constitutional?
Consider the following from Dionne's piece:
Modern American liberalism is not some abstract and alien creed. At its best, it marries a practical, get-things-done approach to government with a devotion to fairness, justice and compassion.
Yes, fairness in Dionne's view is forcing healthy young people to buy health insurance so that less-healthy older people won't have to pay as much for it.
This goes hand-in-hand with thinking that despite the top one percent of wage-earners currently paying 39 percent of all the federal income taxes collected, they're not paying their "fair share."
But what can one expect from a man that thinks "the economy's catastrophic slide was halted and reversed" by the current White House resident?
As Obama took the oath of office with a 7.4 percent unemployment rate, and it now stands at a staggering 9.8 percent, only a liberal media member like Dionne would see this as reversing the economy's catastrophic slide.
More concerning, this kind of thinking is prevalent in today's media.
Heaven help us.