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Does ObamaCare trump the First Amendment? HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius must think so. Yesterday, after apparently tiring of criticism of the new law from the companies it will eventually put out of business, Sebelius offered to expedite that process for those who don’t take an opportunity to shut their mouths:
“Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,” Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They’d lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.
Rarely have we heard a Cabinet official tell Americans to stay out of political debates at the risk of losing their businesses. It points out the danger in having government run industries and holding a position where politicians can actually destroy a business out of spite. It also demonstrates the thin skin of our current administration, where Hope and Change means keeping your mouth shut and pretending that everyone is happy while businesses slowly circle the drain.
Unpredictable premium hikes are a constant worry for small businesses and people who buy coverage directly. Employees of large companies are generally shielded from big rate swings from year to year, although their costs also creep up.