Lori Gottlieb has found out the hard way that complaining on Facebook about her increased premiums and her decreased medical network doesn’t get her a whole lotta love from her “friends.”
My guess is that she has never dissented publicly from the liberal fold before, or should wouldn’t be so surprised. After all, it’s standard operating procedure to be on the receiving end of a lot of criticism if one does.
A great many of the criticisms Gottlieb receives in the NY Times comments section to her article have the same general message as that of her friends, “You should be pleased to have this opportunity to help the poor.” Whether the people writing these notes to Gottlieb are happy to have that very same opportunity themselves, and whether they even understand that there’s a difference between the mandatory purchase of overpriced insurance and voluntary charitable contributions to finance the poor’s medical care—is unclear. But their comments drive home the fact that the concept of liberty isn’t even something they feel they need to take into consideration.
I’m afraid that all arguments on the order of Gottlieb’s, which feature sob stories from an individual who is relatively well-off financially who’s complaining about the effects Obamacare has had on them, will meet with a similar barrage of “suck it up, don’t you want to be a good person?” response. Gottlieb’s article fails to emphasize the real point, which is that:
(a) this will happen to many people; and
(b) Obamacare was sold by proclaiming that exactly the opposite would happen
If the ACA proponents had stated, “Look, up to half of the country is going to have its premiums raised and choice restricted in order to give the other half subsidized coverage,” and the law had been passed in a more straightforward manner, we could still complain about it. But the people would have made a decision that it was what they wanted.
The people actually made no such decision, however. Even if you ignore the very odd and suspect legislative history of this bill, the promise that was explicitly made was that the bill would save a typical family $2500 (that one’s sort of gotten lost in the shuffle, hasn’t it?), and that no one would experience what Gottlieb and so many others are now describing.
The bill was sold by a pack of lies. There could be no informed consent.
What’s more, the ACA involves payments to a private, for-profit industry—the health insurance companies—for a product people are forced to buy or pay a penalty. That industry is now so very heavily regulated that although it is not government-owned it is virtually government-controlled and in part government-financed. Such an arrangement could rightly be termed a form of fascism (in the economic, not the vernacular, sense):
Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities.
It’s ironic that the word “fascist” has been thrown around so much by the left as an insult to the right that the true fascists cannot recognize themselves in the mirror.
[NOTE: If you look at the comments to Gottlieb's article, note also how many of them say, "See, this is why we need single payer---which is inevitable at this point."]