August 2, 2013

 

Opponents of health care reform protest outside the Supreme Court last year. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)
Opponents of health-care reform protest outside the Supreme Court last year. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

This week’s big Obamacare resistance news isn’t so much the 40th House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or the hard-liner insistence on shutting down the government over Obamacare, or even that the House’s 40th repeal vote was again unaccompanied by any “replace” vote.

No, it’s that conservative activists are organizing boycotts of health insurance within the exchanges. We’ve had great reporting by Sarah Kliff, and today by Christopher Flavelle, who interviewed Twila Brase, an Obamacare boycott organizer with something called the “Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom.”

What I really want to know, however, neither Flavelle nor Kliff asked: Are the people organizing these boycotts going without health insurance? Are they going without their own ACA-regulated, government-subsidized health insurance?

And I’m not just wondering about the hypocrisy. Because as much as signing up the “young healthies” is needed to make the ACA exchanges work well, that’s only one potential way Obamacare could go wrong. It’s probably an even bigger problem if too many employers ended offering health care as a benefit (and giving up the tax advantages of doing so), tossing their employees into the exchanges. And then, presumably, urging them to boycott that, too.

Flavelle gets Brase to talk about what a supposedly bad idea health insurance is for her target group. It really doesn’t seem far-fetched to ask whether she subjects herself to the horrors of insurance.

Of course, if she does, and if employees of FreedomWorks and the other Obamacare boycott organizers also use health insurance themselves, then we might begin to suspect that this is just a fundraising scam by “political” activists who are willing to raise money off of their irresponsible rhetoric and are actually willing to destroy young conservatives’ lives by encouraging them to make stupid financial choices for the cause.

On the other hand, maybe they really do believe that ACA-regulated health insurance is a bad choice, or that it’s such an evil that everyone who opposes it should be willing to risk personal financial ruin.

I just don’t know. But I think at this point, reporters should be asking them.