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Jared Polis, you’re wrong: Obamacare is a government takeover

With Colorado Rep. Jared Polis (D) facing reelection for District 2 against either Republican Eric Weissmann or Kevin Lundberg (& those from other parties), it’s worth examining Polis’s record on health care policy.

Polis claims that ObamaCare is not “a government takeover of the health care industry.”  He’s wrong. The only way he could be correct is that if he argued that, even before ObamaCare, government had already taken over the industry.
Polis writes:

One of the biggest misunderstandings about this law is that it is actually a government takeover of the health care industry. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, instead of creating a new government program, the new law works within our current system of private health insurance by expanding opportunities for individuals to purchase private health insurance and increasing competition among private insurers.

He called insurance companies private insurers. This is absurd. First, they are so controlled by politicians and bureaucrats that a customer’s transactions with them are not at all private.  Second, government essentially prohibits “insurers” from selling real medical insurance.

As for how ObamaCare is a government takeover, Charles Krauthammer summarizes it well:

Under Obamacare, the state treats private insurers the way it does government-regulated monopolies and utilities. It determines everything of importance. Insurers, by definition, set premiums according to risk. Not anymore. The risk ratios (for age, gender, smoking, etc.) are decreed by Washington. This is nationalization in all but name. The insurer is turned into a middleman, subject to state control — and presidential whim.

Third, the assault on individual autonomy. Every citizen without insurance is ordered to buy it, again under penalty of law. This so-called individual mandate is now before the Supreme Court — because never before has the already inflated Commerce Clause been used to compel a citizen to enter into a private contract with a private company by mere fact of his existence.

This constitutional trifecta — the state invading the autonomy of religious institutions, private companies and the individual citizen — should not surprise. It is what happens when the state takes over one-sixth of the economy.

Cato‘s Michael Cannon destroys Polis’s denial that ObamaCare is a government takeover:

“It is irrelevant,” I wrote, “whether we describe medical resources (e.g., hospitals, employees) as ‘public’ or ‘private.’ What matters – what determines real as opposed to nominal ownership – is who controls the resources.” I detailed how making private health insurance compulsory – as ObamaCare does – “would give government as much control over the nation’s health care sector as a compulsory government program.”

I even quoted President Obama’s health adviser Jeanne Lambrew, who acknowledges, “the government role in socialized medicine systems ranges from complete government ownership and salaried facilities and providers to public financing of private insurance and providers” (emphasis added) – which is exactly how ObamaCare operates.

… Left-leaning columnist Michael Kinsley wrote of ObamaCare: “If the government requires insurers to accept all customers and charge all the same price, regulates all aspects of their marketing to make sure they aren’t discriminating, and then redistributes the profits to make sure that no company gets penalized unfairly, in what sense is the industry still ‘private’?”

Read Cannon’s whole article at Kaiser Health News: Just Call Me Liar Of The Year.

See also: Jared Polis (D-Boulder) wrong about Constitution & mandatory health coverage.