Those complaining today about how their health insurance plan is being cancelled--or the cost of their existing plan is going up exponentially are going to find little sympathy from me. I'd like to feel sorry for all of those people who are going to end up as the big losers in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but I can't--because I keep thinking about how they chose to ignore all of the warning signs that this would be the end result of the health care overhaul, and they allowed it to happen anyway.
As far back as 2008, as junior Illinois Senator Barack Obama was promising that forcing everyone to buy health insurance would "lower the costs for everyone", they should have been recalling their high school Macro-economics 101 to realize that by forcing insurance companies to pay out more to high-risk policyholders, low risk customers would have to foot the bill. Instead, they thought "Hey, this guy is a Community Organizer, he must know more about how insurance works than I do!"
And in 2009, as Congress prepared for its Christmas Eve vote to approve the Affordable Care Act and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi urged her fellow Democrats to "pass the bill so they could find out what's in it", they could have thought "Shouldn't all of the long-term affects of a major piece of legislation be fleshed out before it even comes up for a vote?" But instead, these people thought "Well, she was a housewife before being handpicked to serve in a safe Democratic Congressional District, she must understand the implications of all 17-hundred pages of the law better than anyone else!"
And again in 2012, as a desperately seeking re-election to preserve his legacy President Obama assured the nation that "if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it", these people should have thought "Why are all of these people in the health insurance industry saying that the President's promise was not true?". But instead those voters went to the polls thinking "Well if there was any truth to that, the President surely would have told us in 2010, right after the Health and Human Services Administration changed the language of the law to force the cancellation of my policy because it won't cost enough."
And then this year, when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius assured everyone that the HealthCare.gov website would be ready and more than capable of handling the required demand for the purchase of insurance they should have thought "Shouldn't something that important be beta tested before it goes live?" But instead they believed "Well a career politician since 1974 should know very well what is required to make a website function properly when 30-million people are trying to use it!"
So complain all you want about losing the policy you were promised you could keep. And cry about increased cost that you were assured you would not have to bear. Those of us who chose not to suspend our disbelief in the rhetoric that was tossed around for five years now don't want to hear it. You had your chance to change the course of this disaster--and you blew it.