Back when the idea of government-run health insurance exchanges first entered into Rhode Island state government policy, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity warned that they were being set up to become “dependency portals“:
The exchange will become a dependency portal when other forms of public assistance — from food stamps to cash-payment welfare to child-care subsidies — are integrated into the system and promoted to the exchange user based on information that he or she provides while seeking health coverage — perhaps automatically enrolling people with the merest expression of consent.
As James Taranto points out, the evidence wasn’t long in arriving upon the exchanges’ unveiling:
… Brendan Mahoney [is] 30 years old, a third-year law student at the University of Connecticut. He’s actually been insured for the past three years … through “a high-deductible, low-premium plan that cost about $39 a month through a UnitedHealthcare subsidiary.” But he wanted to see what ObamaCare had to offer. … Now, he says, “if I get sick, I’ll definitely go to the doctor.” Even better, if he stays healthy, he won’t need to go to a doctor, and his premiums will support chronically ill policyholders on the wrong side of 40.
So, how much of a premium is strapping young Brendan Mahoney paying to help make ObamaCare work? Oops. The Courant reports that Mahoney “said that by filling out the application online, he discovered he was eligible for Medicaid. So, beginning next year, he won’t pay any premium at all.”
Sure, it’s just one anecdote, but a policy sold on bringing healthcare to the uninsured appears to be structurally indistinguishable from a policy designed to push people who are willing and able to take care of themselves into dependence on government.