The Battle Of The Narrative: How Ordinary Americans Can Fight ObamaCare

by Paul Hsieh, Forbes.com  |  published on December 27, 2012

Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Constitutionality Of Health Care Law

The 2012 election ensured that ObamaCare will not be repealed anytime soon. But opponents continue to fight back. 26 state governments have declined to establish insurance “exchanges.” 40 lawsuits are still pending against various aspects of ObamaCare. Ordinary Americans may not be able to directly affect these battles. But they can play a key role in the all-important battle of the “narrative.”

As the problems of ObamaCare inevitably emerge, the big question will be whether they will be blamed on the residual free-market elements of our health system or on the new government controls. This will be the battle of the “narrative.”

ObamaCare has already caused economic harm. For example, employers with more than 50 full-time workers must provide government-approved health plans or else pay a stiff penalty. As a result, many small and large employers have announced layoffs and/or work-hour reductions to avoid these increased business costs.

Many on the Left are blaming greedy employers for heartlessly refusing to provide employees’ health insurance. But in fact, these businesses typically operate on thin margins. These staffing changes are necessary for them to remain economically viable. The problem is not employer greed, but rather government mandates on employers.

ObamaCare has also spawned a lobbying frenzy by special interest groups seeking to have their pet benefits included in the state-level “essential health benefits” that all insurers must sell (and that consumers subject to the individual mandate must purchase).

As the New York Times recently reported:

Four states — California, Maryland, New Mexico and Washington included acupuncture for treating pain, nausea and other ailments… [I]nsurance plans will have to cover weight-loss surgery in New York and California, for example, but not in Minnesota or Connecticut. Infertility treatment will be a required benefit in New Hampshire, but not in Arizona.

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