On the big issues of the day, Charles Krauthammer lays it out the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to make sense of the subject. And so it is today with his column on the contraception mandate.
Unlike others who have weighed in on the contraception kerfuffle, Krauthammer underscores what is truly at stake, not just the mandate itself, but also choice, yes, choice, the ability of insurance companies to craft a variety of plans and the freedom of the consumer to choose the one that’s best for him (or her).
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.
Now, to be sure, Krauthammer also gets at the subterfuge of the compromise the president announced last week. As he puts it, “The president of the United States has just ordered private companies to give away for free a service that his own health and human services secretary has repeatedly called a major financial burden.”
Simply put, Obamacare empowers the government to determine what kind of plans insurance companies may offer and to define how these companies may factor risk ratios into a particular policy’s price.
Read the whole thing. It’s Krauthammer.