As the multitude of private U.S. health insurance companies consolidate into three, en route to one, we must understand what happened to our medical care to better prepare for what’s next on the D.C. Prix Fixe dinner menu.
Amidst the perfect storm of single party control of a big central government machine fueled by special interest and unthrottled by lack of term limits, we were told the country would be fundamentally transformed, starting with centralized control of our health. We were told we have a right to healthcare. The government’s self-anointed central planners grant us our rightful healthcare in the form of a mandate to purchase government-stipulated “health insurance,” or else. What’s next?
If we have a right, AKA mandate, to buy government sanctioned health insurance, don’t we logically we have a right, AKA mandate, to buy government sanctioned food? As of January 2015, 46.5 million people receive government support to buy food via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but many people don’t have access to SNAP. It’s just not fair. Everyone needs SNAP! Have no fear; ObamaFare will no doubt soon be here.
ObamaCare actually sets the stage for ObamaFare, deeming our diet a pillar of our health and setting forth a multitude of policies, rules, and regulations to control what we eat. ObamaCare requires food suppliers, restaurants, and even vending machines to list calories of every item served, and central planners, including our First Lady, lead initiatives that target what we eat and even what our children are fed in our public schools. If the government applies the way it grants us our right to health to granting us our right to food, get ready for this.
Applying the ObamaCare model, government bureaucrats will decide what and how much we should eat. We will be required to buy an ObamaFare meal plan from a government approved list of qualified grocery stores, restaurants, or vending machines, called “qualified food entities.” These “qualified food entities” must sell us what the government deems “minimal essential food.” We must buy all the “minimal essential food” even if we don’t want it. We will pay huge and ever increasing amounts of money monthly for the food, whether we eat it or not. This is our monthly “food premium.” If any of us want or need to buy different or more food than is on the government’s essential food menu, we must pay a second huge lump sum of money to buy it for ourselves before ObamaFare benefits chip in, this is called our “food deductible.” On top of the monthly food premiums and food deductible, there is a food-sharing expense too. Every time we actually go to the restaurant, grocery store, or vending machine, we must pay an additional flat fee on top of the monthly food premium called a food co-pay, sharing the cost of buying the food with our qualified food entity. If our qualified food entity does not approve of the food we want, they will not pay for it whatsoever and won’t apply what we spend on it to our food deductible. In that case, we must pay for it ourselves on top of our food premiums, food deductibles, and food co-pays.
If we say, “This is a rip-off, I’m going to grow my own food or go directly to restaurants, grocery stores, and vending machines that cost less, sell me the food I actually like, and aren’t working for the government as a qualified food entity,” and if we then don’t buy the ObamaFare meal plan, we will be penalized by government- fined in the form of tax penalties for not buying the government mandated food plan. By the way, the cost of the food plan is not tax deductible, it is taxed, so the government forces us to buy the meal plan and rakes in billions of dollars in additional tax revenue by making us buy it and taxing us more if we don’t.
They’ll make it sound really good at first- “If you like your grocery store, you can shop at your grocery store.” “If you like your restaurant, you can go to your restaurant.” “If you like your vending machine, you can use your vending machine.” “If you like hamburgers and fries, you can eat hamburgers and fries.” “And, you will save $2500.00 a year using the ObamaFare meal plan.”
They will delay and change things on a whim for a while to appease us. Then, the ObamaFare reality will set in. We will have 3 mega qualified food entities to buy our food plans from. The menus will all be the same. The prices will be high. We can’t go to the grocery stores, restaurants, or vending machines we like- only the “qualified “ ones. We can’t eat what we want. And, it costs thousands more, not thousands less, to eat. In fact, the qualified food entities are paid by us and subsidized by the government. The entities collect the money, and in a perverse system, they keep more of the money if they dole less food out to us. Food entities are businesses first and must show a profit to their investors. They are business savvy and concoct ways to delay and restrict our food to increase their bottom line. They do things like-requiring preauthorization of the food we want to eat, establishing quantity limits on how much we can eat, and offer us a very limited menu from which to order- the bare minimum.
Odds are, because they are required to be essentially the same, the three mega food entities will eventually merge into one under the government umbrella. The menu soon evolves to consist of only the government’s minimal essential foods. It is soon proven cheaper to just offer us a limited number of qualified essential food cubes, dispensed only at qualified restaurants, grocery stores, or vending machines (that have lobbied and struck deals with politicians to sell the cubes) by eligible food professionals (who precisely and unquestioningly follow the Secretary of FFS’s marching orders). No matter how old we are, how big we are, how active we are, or what our individual dietary restrictions or needs may be, we will all get the same number of tasteless, food cubes that have been chosen for us by the Secretary of Food and Food Services in consultation with crony food consultants who get government grants and profit on the side from the advice they give her. The Secretary of Food and Food Services is not a dietician or chef, but a life long, executive branch political crony who majored in government, philosophy, and economics.
The central planners and their bureaucrats don’t have to buy the ObamaFare meal plan. They can go to whatever restaurant, grocery store, or vending machine they want and eat whatever they want using special cards we buy for them.
The government controllers and food entities will only pay the food providers if they do exactly what the central planners say. All food providers, from chefs to dishwashers, will be classified as eligible food professionals and will all be paid the same. A new generation of food professionals will be cultivated who will willingly follow government food guidelines and dispense only what the food (cube) government algorithms say. The eligible food professionals will be paid and graded for how well they follow the Secretary of Food and Food Services rules for making the cubes, passing them out, and keeping a computerized record of everyone’s cube consumption using a special cube coding system. If they do not use the nonsensical cube code and transmit each individual’s personal cube consumption data to government, they will not be paid.
Cubes are limited. Eligible food professionals will get paid to talk to older people about not eating as many cubes, so younger, more productive people can have more cubes. This is considered heroic. More heroic is when the food providers give older or sicker people the “little red cubes.” The older and sicker people can eat the little red cubes whenever they choose, when they just want to die…as heroes. And then there are the “teeny-tiny red cubes” that women can take if they inadvertently get pregnant and don’t want to share their cube allotment. The teeny-tiny cubes just dissolve the prospective, potential cube-consuming baby tissue, leaving more cubes for the already burgeoning populace. Oh, and if we have a moral objection to any of this, or can’t eat a certain food, let’s say pork, due to a religious belief, too bad- we all have to buy the same meal plans that pay for these foods and cubes that are morally wrong for us, so that others can have them.
If an eligible food professional for some reason does not want to comply with this perverse system of food cube allocation, but instead wants to prepare the most nutritious, delicious foods for others, he or she must break free and take a big risk. He or she will face potential bankruptcy, because few people will have any money left over to buy the food they sell after having paid the usurious monthly food premiums. The resisting food professional will also face public humiliation on the Secretary of FFS’s website, because she posts a composite performance score of 0-100 for each eligible food provider based on how well they do her bidding. Not complying with her scoring rubric results in a 0. But, if a few brave souls will resist, break away from the government monopoly, and create an alternate food system, people will have a choice to go to the new and different restaurants and grocery stores operated by these innovative food professionals.
The problem is, the ObamaFare mandated meal plan is so expensive and the penalties for not buying it so high, that the poorest will have no money left to buy anything else; they will be forced to live on government cubes forever. A two-tier food system will result… unless a massive number of food patrons refuse to buy the expensive, restrictive ObamaFare meal plans and instead use the money saved by not buying the meal plan to directly buy the delicious, nutritious food from the innovators. The pleasant surprise is that these foods cost 80 to 90% less than the government foods, because they are not subject to the burden of the government’s bureaucratic regulatory redundancy and waste.
The Food and Food Services Secretary will try to make it impossible for the rebel chefs and grocers to even create and cook at all. Their very existence threatens the central planners’ plan for everyone to have the same government cubes- in their quest for food justice.
God wiling, brave, innovative food professionals will resist and will create an alternate world where people can eat as much as they want, of what they want, when and where they want it, and brave patrons will refuse to buy the lousy ObamaFare meal plans choosing instead to buy their food from innovators outside the government-food entity cartel.
The tasteless, little red, and teeny-tiny red cubes will be replaced by delicious, nutritious meals of each individual’s choosing, sprinkled freely with the spice of life.
Yes, as a people and as a nation, we are living through our leaders’ promised fundamental transformation, brought to us warp speed via ObamaCare. As the morals, virtues, and beliefs of our leaders evolve, so does ObamaCare. This piece is just a little glimpse forward to ObamaFare- when your health plan evolves to your meal plan. Is this the fundamental transformation we seek? Or do we hunger for something more?