Monday, April 28, 2014

May, 2014 The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care, Part 1: What Failed and What Should Have Been Done

While we have spent the past few weeks recording the latest month’s worth of American political class insanity, have taken time to review the travesties and embarrassments from our nation’s idiotic tax code, and asked the question what would happen if Washington passed a law that no one obeyed, insanity coming out of the whole Obama Care effort has also been unfolding. 

We have spent many posts each month since last August trying to keep up with the idiocy of Obama Care and those that wrote it and continue to support it in the face of real world realities. Note: these previous posts can be accessed by the menu at the right hand side of this page. These realities continually to paint this legislation as the worst piece of legislation ever produced by Washington by the most inept set of politicians ever to sit in office in Washington. 

Before going into the details of the latest Obama Care disasters, let’s review the known disasters and review why Obama Care has no chance at all of fixing the problem of ever escalating health care costs in this country. A summary of what we have uncovered, discussed, and analyzed include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent and wasted on a Federal Obama Care website that did not initially work despite having three years of preparation.
  • Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent and wasted on state level Obama Care websites that never worked or initially did not work despite having three years of preparation.
  • The Obama Care websites were designed so poorly that they have been called an identity thief’s paradise and an identity thief’s “wet dream.”
  • The expected long term cost of implementing Obama Care has more than doubled since the initial estimate by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) when the legislation was originally passed.
  • Even ten years down the road, the CBO estimates that tens of millions of Americans will not have health insurance coverage despite the fact that the whole purpose of Obama Care was to make sure EVERY American had low cost health insurance coverage.
  • The legislation will conservatively add over one trillion dollars to the national debt load over the next ten years.
  • In 45 states, expert actuaries estimate that the average cost of health insurance will ACTUALLY GO UP despite the promises made by Obama Care advocates that the legislation would substantially reduce health insurance costs. In fact, one of Obama’s biggest lies, note I did not say only lie, was that the average American family would see their health care costs go down by $2,500 a year.
  • Speaking of lies, the President was awarded the Lie Of The Year in 2013 by the usually Obama-friendly Washington Post for his lie, uttered many, many times, that if you liked your current health insurance plan or your current doctor, you would be able to continue to keep that favored insurance plan and doctor.
  • Millions of Americans lost access to their current health insurance plans as a direct result of the legislation, a loss that most did not want or anticipate, given the Obama administration’s lies.
  • Many of those millions of Americans who lost access to their current plans as a result of the legislation found that Obama Care plans were seriously flawed relative to their life situation with many, many of them losing access to their doctors, their favorite hospitals, life saving and life improving drugs, and experiencing substantial increase in health insurance premiums AND deductibles.
  • Top doctors and top hospitals have opted out of serving those covered by Obama Care insurance policies, denying top quality health care treatment to millions of Americans. i.e. the good news is that you have health insurance coverage, the bad news is that you cannot get health care treatment.
  • The President and his administration many, many times broke the law and violated the Constitution by unilaterally altering implementation and rollout dates established in the law.
  • The President and his administration many, many times broke the law and violated the Constitution by unilaterally changing the tenets and the requirements established in the law.
  • The training for the so-called Obama Care navigators, those people that would help Americans sign up for Obama Care, received very sparse training and were never criminally background checked despite having access to Americans’ highly personal data, providing another avenue for identity theft. In fact, at least a handful of navigators were found to have serious criminal backgrounds.
  • The whole operation is supposed to be managed by the IRS, one of the most inept Federal government organizations around, leaving little doubt that Obama Care will also not be run properly, efficiently or effectively.
  • Many individual American citizens who dared to criticize the Obama Care legislation, both famous Americans and ordinary Americans, found themselves in turn being investigated by the IRS, likely for daring to criticize aspects of the legislation, a direct violation of the First Amendment rights.
  • The legislation infringed on the freedom of religion rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution by forcing religious and non-profit organizations to violate their religious tenets or be in violation of Obama Care’s tenets.
  • The legislation is forcing many businesses to put expansion plans on hold as a direct result of the legislation, contributing to the continued anemic economic growth over the past few years.
  • The legislation has forced many lower margin businesses to turn their permanent workers into part time workers, working less than 30 hours a week, in order to financially survive the law’s dictates, further stunting national economic growth.
  • Even worse, the law has forced at least hundreds and hundreds of companies to lay off American workers as a result of the additional business and financial burdens the legislation places on their businesses’ operations.
  • The administration has insulted every American by giving special financial treatment to members of Congress and their staffs from a financial perspective but has not done the same for the rest of America, creating a tide of resentment that those who passed the stupid law do not have to abide by the stupid law they passed.
  • The President and this legislation have endangered the financial well being of Medicare by proposing that $700 billion be stripped out of the Medicare program in the next ten years to make the Obama Care business case and benefits look better than they are.
  • Obama Care insurance companies have already started to indicate that 1) they may have to significantly raise Obama Care premiums in 2015 given the likely sub-optimal mix of younger and healthier Obama Care policy owners and older, less healthy Obama Care policy owners and 2) these same insurance companies might be entitled to bailouts, ala General Motors and the major banks several years ago, as a result of a deal they got included in the legislation to protect their companies’ profitability.
What a mess on so many levels. The saddest thing about the whole disaster is that the legislation has virtually no chance of resolving the problem of ever escalating health care costs because the legislation never attacked the root causes of those high costs. If you do not understand the underlying problem, you have no chance of ever resoling that problem. And that is why Obama Care will eventually implode and fail but still severely damage the economy, Americans' health, and our freedoms and liberties.

What are those root causes? They include the following:
  1. Americans eat too much.
  2. Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, much of which is the result of the government subsidizing the infection of our food chain with too much fattening high fructose corn syrup, courtesy of its misguided crop subsidy programs.
  3. Americans smoke too much, helped in part by the government subsidizing the growing of tobacco over the years to the tune of billions of dollars, artificially keeping the wholesale cost of tobacco products low.
  4. Americans do not exercise enough, resulting in the most overweight and obese nation in the world.
  5. The medical tort system is in need of drastic reformation, reformation that when executed at the state levels reduced health care costs.
  6. Cross state border competition restrictions imposed by the government reduces in state competition for health care insurance policies, increasing costs.
  7. The administration never took the time to understand where the money goes once a person pays for a medical treatment, I.e. they never “followed the money” to see where the true underlying costs are, costs which then could be attacked and reduced.
  8. The bureaucracy to operate our current health insurance system adds layers and layers of cost and reviews to the health care industry, adding even more to overall costs.
  9. The government’s current, large, health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid, lose tens of billions of dollars every year to criminal fraud, lost dollars that could be used to attack these root causes at no additional cost in the form of consumer and business taxes.
  10. America is aging which means there is likely to be a growing prevalence of age related diseases in the future (e.g. certain types of cancers, dementia, Parkinson’s disease), all of which will overwhelm our health care infrastructure, a situation not addressed by the Obama Care legislation.
Creating a massive and inefficient Rube Goldberg government process based on a piece of legislation that was well over 2,000 pages does nothing to address these root causes. That is why it will fail and fail dramatically and expensively. 

Over the next week or so, we will review additions to the above list of Obama Care disasters and failures that have arisen in just the past month or so. However, before we get into some of that new depressing news, tomorrow we will try and take a more optimistic view of what could be done to address the true root causes of our high health care costs and what is actually being done outside the realm and capabiity of the Washington political class. 

There is hope but that hope is based on absolutely nothing coming out of the Washington political class. Remember, their policies and legislation have helped create the problem we are in the middle of now.

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