Death Spiral: Kathleen Sibelius and W.B. Yeats

On 29 February,  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius was on the Hill testifying as to why the Affordable Care Act is not the cause of the decline in employer provided health insurance.  When asked about the decline in employer provided health insurance coverage, the Secretary replied:*

“Well again, Congressman, what you’re seeing…  It wouldn’t have mattered if we had passed the Affordable Care Act or not. The private market is in a death spiral.”

In health insurance parlance, a “death spiral” is:

“The health insurance death spiral occurs when individuals with higher health expenses are driven by market forces towards one particular plan. The higher costs associated with individuals who have pre-existing health conditions cause premiums and out-of-pocket costs to escalate, which drives healthier individuals out of the plan, because the cost becomes too high for the small amount of need they anticipate. This causes premiums and out-of-pocket costs escalate further because there aren’t as many healthy individuals left to absorb the risk, so even more healthy people leave the plan, and prices climb even higher. This cycle continues spiraling on and on until prices are so high that the coverage is unaffordable.”.(source)

This describes Obamacare.  Of course the private market is dying.  That’s the idea.  It always was.

It is something of a cliche to quote the most well known of Yeats, but when I read the word death spiral could not but hep think of the falcon’s gyre in “The Second Coming.”

                                     Turning and turning in the widening gyre
                                     The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
                                     Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
                                     Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world

This administration’s attack on the insurance market is only one instance of the anarchy they have loosed  Obama promised fundamental change.  This is one promise he has kept.

                                     The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
                                      he ceremony of innocence is drowned;

Marx and Engels condemned the bourgeoisie in that  ” It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors.”   That of course was what led to the great advances in human prosperity and freedom.  The modern Left wishes to sunder the ties of law and civic responsibility that have made Western  Civilization so successful,  and reestablish those feudal ties to our natural superiors, the governing class. The sundering of of ancient ties to our freedoms has been accomplished without the blood once foretold by the likes of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, but that “ceremony of innocence,” our confident sense of self, the optimism and energy that so entranced deTocqueville, are indeed drowning.. And thus we turn to government, even for something so basic as deciding who will care for our bodies, and how this should be done.

And those who should be guarding our institutions, seem helpless, lost, or worse, indifferent, while the new vanguard advances heedless to all objection

                                   The best lack all conviction, while the worst
                                   Are full of passionate intensity.

There is no question as to the “passionate Intensity” of this administration in pursuing its goals. Indeed, the death spiral Ms Sibelius cites is an unintended metaphor for what may be yet to come, as she testified on March 2nd:

Sebelius told a House panel Thursday that a reduction in the number of human beings born in the United States will compensate employers and insurers for the cost of complying with the new HHS mandate that will require all health-care plans to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that cause abortions.

“The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception,” Sebelius said. She went on to say the estimated cost is “down not up.”

On the less weighty side of things, Ms Sibleius’ comment is typical of the kind of flip accounting gimmicks that are thrown up by all sides in political discourse.  In the longer view, it is deeply troubling. The Secretary is then perhaps unaware unaware of the demographic death spiral in the old cultures of Europe, where the birthrates for native Europeans – and yes, that means whites – have long since fallen below  replacement.

Or perhaps she is, and subscribes to the notion that the shortfall in human beings can be replaced with industrious immigrants.  One need only look to Britain where population has increased due to immigration from countries with a much lower level of economic, and human development, resulting in vast welfare dependency, defiant and resistant enclaves committed to Islamic rule, and a government that submits to the demands  of the invaders for whom it threw open the gates. Such a society most certainly “lacks all confidence.”

In the U.S., births were at replacement rate as recently as 2007, after thirty- five years  below that rate, 2.2 live births per woman, necessary to maintain a population, but has since dropped again.

“The rule which we intend to promulgate in the near future around implementation will require insurance companies, not a religious employer, but the insurance company to provide coverage for contraceptives,” Sibelius told the subcommittee.

The key word is “promulgate”.  It smacks of the arrogance of imperium. The praetors of the left know best. What we have here is a whiff of the totalitarian population control fantasies of the 1970s, a leading exponent of which was  John Holden, Obama’s “Science Czar.” He has since tepidly disavowed these views( rather recently, in fact, when they came to view), but the lesson is that he was wrong then, yet this administration is once again looking to population control, and, one could say, the eugenics of Margaret Sanger, when one considers African -American abortion rates, to manage a perceived problem.

The lLft simply doesn’t like people, other than those who form their self anointed elects( and not always then, as the history of leftist purges demonstrates)  The communist regimes of Europe and Asia spoke of their love of the masses, then slaughtered them.  The soft totalitarianism of the modern left will keep them from being born.

Coda: Finally, in a story that has hardly blazed across the airwaves, The estimated ten year cost of affordable Care, according to the CBO has doubled and the impact on employer provided coverage far more severe than anticipated.  Isn’t it always so?

*On these posts, it is my habit to use only “mainstream media”  as sources.  I am often alerted to stories by “right wing blogs,” but as I hope, in my small way, to perhaps , one at a time, convince the unconvinced, I research the stories in the traditional media which, quite undeservedly, retain a reputation for accuracy and even handedness.Yet, I was unable to find any reference on to Ms Sibelius’ testimony in the alphabet services. It’s real – you can see the video here.