In the aftermath of Obamacare, it was commonplace for conservatives to point out that one of the central tenets of the project was to deny people the option of not buying health insurance. Conservatives intuited — correctly, I believe — that Americans care a great deal about individual choice, and would naturally gravitate toward health-care systems that emphasized choice, and away from regimes that restricted it. But this sort of argumentation has been sadly lacking from the political debate now that the actual reform effort is underway. There is a great deal of discussion about the best way to manage subsidies, lower premiums, stabilize the exchanges, maintain coverage, and lower spending, but precious little discussion about how to maximize choice and foster liberty.Bring on the collapse, Stephen Moore urges.
Don’t get me wrong: premiums, subsidies, the stability of the exchanges — these are all critically important. But these empirical questions are just half of the debate; in all truth, they are the less important half. More important than these is the question of what sort of a society we want to be: What are the values we wish to emphasize and what are the values we’re more willing to sacrifice? Perhaps there are some things that are so important to us that no outcome would be worth losing them; perhaps there are not. Until we can settle on answers to these problems, all the empirical debates in the world won’t fix our health-care system.
Liberals and their insurance-industry allies will argue that the insurance market can't work if healthy or younger people can choose cheaper plans, and they warn of an insurance death spiral. But the death spiral they warn of -- with healthy people dropping out of Obamacare and sick people signing up -- is already happening, day after day, under the current law, and everyone knows that.If a law renders itself irrelevant without being repealed, is it still in effect?
Under a choice-based system, perhaps as many as 80 percent of Americans will see premiums fall by as much as $3,000 to $5,000 a year. As costs come down, more people will sign up for coverage. And if the Congressional Budget Office doesn't get this simple rule of economics, they should be fired.
Liberals understand that giving Americans the right to freely choose their own insurance plans will quickly render Obamacare and its expensive mandates and regulations irrelevant. It will be the death of Obamacare.