Under Obamacare, Healthy People are “genetic winners, the lottery winners”

November 18th, 2013

One of the more under-discussed aspects of the Obamacare ethos, and the necessary implication of bans on charging those with preexisting conditions higher rates, is that healthy people will now have to pay more. Underlying this philosophy is the notion that those who are healthy somehow got lucky, and don’t deserve that fortune (in the form of lower insurance rates).

See this statement from Jonathan Gruber of MIT, an architect of Obamacare:

The only way to end that discriminatory system is to bring everyone into the system and pay one fair price. That means that the genetic winners, the lottery winners who’ve been paying an artificially low price because of this discrimination now will have to pay more in return.

Think about that. Healthy people, who have been able to get by by paying less, now “have to pay more in return” for their good fortune.

I appreciate Gruber’s candor. But the law was never sold on this basis. Forget about the “you can keep your doctor” meme. All we ever heard is that those who are sick will be better off. As I’ve written elsewhere, helping the sick comes at the cost of raising the burdens on the non-sick. Perhaps society would have willingly taken that obligation. But that was never part of the agenda.