By Craig M. Watts
For a while now I’ve been hearing from some folks I know and who love tell me that “our freedoms are being taken away.” In particular they have insisted that the health care reform measures were stripping away freedom. I confess I wanted some different kinds of reforms. Still, I hadn’t noticed that any of my freedoms were missing. I certainly hadn’t felt less free. My behaviors weren’t being restricted in any ways that were new or unusual, so far as I could tell. Yet I didn’t doubt the sincerity of my friends, though they had a hard time explaining just how I was being deprived of my freedoms.
I didn’t worry about this too much because the Supreme Court was likely to declare the Obamacare unconstitutional. But that didn’t pan out.
Finally, I decided I should do a little research. After all, I sort of like freedom. I’d hate to lose it. So even though I hadn’t detected any missing freedom, I thought it wise to check, just in case. Here is some of what I discovered, among a long list of others disappearing freedoms.
- We are losing the freedom to have our employers burden us with higher and higher deductibles in order to increase their profits. Now deductibles can’t be higher than $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families. How oppressive!
- We are losing our freedom to have insurance that has no preventive care, something that may have been less costly in the short run but much more costly in the long run. But now I can make sure I’m healthy before I get sick and I don’t have the choice of just getting seriously ill without an opportunity to avoid it!
- We are being deprived of the freedom of having an employer provide insurance that won’t include my “slacker children” up to age 26. Surely, that is an onerous restriction of liberty!
- We are having the freedom stripped from us to have insurance companies raise the premiums we pay however much they want without a review by the Secretary of Health and Human Services who might disallow them if the increases are considered “unreasonable.”
- We are being cruelly deprived of the freedom of having an insurance company board or its stockholders give its CEO –whose average salary is about $30 million dollars a year- more than $500,000 in deferred compensation.
And there are still other ways in which we are being robbed of freedom by Obamacare. It is going to be next to impossible to get insurance that will not provide ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, mental health and substance use disorder services, and prescription drugs. We are being deprived of the freedom of getting inadequate insurance, even if we really, really want it! And, worse, people who are less healthy or poorer than many of us are going to benefit and that is intolerable and ungodly.
Now that I know what is really going on, I feel overwhelmed with a sense of oppression. So many of my freedoms have been taken away I can hardly breathe! I am now virtually a slave and I didn’t even know it. Oh my! This calls for a revolution!
Craig is minister of Royal Palm Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Coral Springs, Florida, Co-Moderator of Disciples Peace Fellowship and a brand new Granddad who is willing to show pictures of his amazing Grandson if you want to see a few.