National Review, January 5, 2015
Obamacare has come to Harvard, and the faculty is in a state of shock and dismay.
In what has to be considered an early contender for the most hilarious and enjoyable news story of the year, the New York Times recounts the tumult over Obamacare in Cambridge.
“For years,” the Times writes, “Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar.”
In other words, they are getting the change they believed in — good and hard. As a wag commented on Twitter, karma is a pre-existing condition. The Harvard imbroglio is a little like the famously free-market University of Chicago economics faculty launching a revolt against tax cuts or deregulation.
As the saying goes, when you’ve lost the Harvard faculty . . . you’ve lost self-satisfied elites who never imagined that the policies that they support imposing on everyone else might come back to bite them. Perhaps President Barack Obama can issue an executive order waiving Obamacare for Ivy League faculties that believed his election was the dawn of a new era of enlightened rule.
The enrollment guide from Harvard’s human-resources department explains that rising health-care costs, some caused by Obamacare, account for the changes hitting the pocketbooks of the custodians of learning at Harvard. It cites specifically free preventive services and the extension of coverage for younger adults up to age 26 (as well as the impending “Cadillac tax” on pricey health plans).
Q: How many Harvard professors does it take to figure out that free government benefits aren’t actually free? A: As many Harvard professors who are forced to pay the indirect costs of those benefits.