It never had a chance to be successful since it really never addressed the underlying root causes of our ever increasing health costs in the country:
- Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, resulting in obscenely high obesity rates for the country.
- Our food chain is infested with overdoses of high fructose corn syrup, salt, sugar, and other unhealthy additives.
- Americans smoke too much.
- Americans do not exercise enough.
- The country is in serious need of health care tort reform.
- Barriers to insurance company competition across state lines need to come down.
- Obama Care never “followed the money” to find out who is actually profiting from the ever escalating healthcare costs in this country and how to get those factors under control.
- Obama Care never got the immense amount of fraud and abuse in current government healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, under control in order to save money to efficiently fund other government health care initiatives.
- Obama Care never put serious research money towards curing the major diseases that drive high healthcare costs such as high frequency cancers and dementia type diseases.
But it is not just missing the root causes of our healthcare costs that makes Obama Care so horrible. It resulted in millions of Americans losing access to their favored doctors, hospitals, and insurance policies. It has caused insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays to escalate substantially. It will likely add trillions of dollars to the national debt. It has exposed millions of Americans to higher than necessary identity theft chances. It has created government bureaucracies that are wastefully spending taxpayer wealth and being exploited by criminal elements. It has stifled economic growth and job creation.
These are just a sample of the types of idiocy that we have been reviewing for the past several years in this blog relative to Obama Care. To read those past posts, just enter the phrase, “the unfolding disaster,” in the search box above.
1) Many people, mostly liberals and Democrats, have finally realized that Obama Care is a failure. But rather than admit that government bureaucrats and politicians meddling in the healthcare market makes things worse, they want to double down and increase government meddling in the market.
Most frequently mentioned meddling efforts include the so-called single payer system used in such countries as England where the Federal government, and the bureaucrats and politicians that operate it, would be in charge of ALL health care decisions in your life. Given that these same people cannot operate a postal system effectively or a government railroad system (AMTRAK) efficiently despite decades or centuries of practice, doesn't bode well for letting them take over the country’s health care industry.
Recent news out of England shows what happens when the government is in charge of all of your healthcare needs:
- The largest government single payer system in the world, the British National Health Service, recently announced that it will no longer provide non-urgent surgery to people who smoke or who exceed a certain BMI level, i.e. they are fat or obese.
- The driver for this restriction is the need to get costs under control since the system is facing a severe shortage of money to spend.
- Before getting medical care, obese people will have to to lose enough weight to qualify for health care and smokers would have to have not smoked for at least eight weeks prior to getting care.
- Now, while these folks may have gotten themselves into these health conditions because of their actions, over eating, under exercising, smoking, etc., does it make sense to make them suffer by denying them health care when they probably need it most?
- Is it humane to make them wait longer for care, quite possibly making their eventual care more expensive, more painful, and more dangerous?
- Or as we discussed above, would it have been a better idea to attack the root causes of high healthcare ahead of time rather than afterwards?
Much like Obama Care, it appears that Great Britain tried to apply an insurance option against a public health problem with the net result being that root causes are never wiped out or reduced and eventually the system’s monetary resources start to cause cutbacks and rationing.
Lots of good questions that show a single payer system is not the answer to ever increasing healthcare costs. Plus, in a free country, do you want a government bureaucrat deciding whether or not you should see your healthcare needs taken care of even if you paid into that health care process via taxes for years and years?
And one final question: while you may not care if someone dies or suffers because they were denied medical treatment as a result of being overweight or were a smoker because you are not overweight or a smoker, where does the bureaucracy stop in order to be financially stable? If you are a beer drinker, a pot smoker, a non-exerciser, someone with a bad gene, who knows, you may be next to be denied medical treatment in order to save a few bucks to keep the bureaucracy functioning.
Fixing healthcare costs in this country is not going to get done by creating government bureaucracies and deciding who and what gets medical treatment. It gets fixed by addressing the root causes and treating those causes as a public health crisis, not coming up with some Rube Goldberg insurance process doomed to failure.
2) As we do with most monthly reviews of the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care, let's hear from real Americans who suffered some real trauma, medical and financial, as a result of the failure that is Obama Care. As always, our source for such agony is the following website:
Jerry - Arkansas: When Jerry Buckley of Marion bought a health insurance plan for him and his wife two years ago, he wasn’t worried about whether he would be able to keep it after new regulations took effect under the federal Affordable Care Act.
“I didn’t pay any attention to that because the president kept telling you, this won’t affect you if you like what you have,” Buckley said last week.
A few months ago, Buckley received a letter from Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield advising him that his plan does not comply with new standards taking effect Jan. 1 under the health care law. Buckley was told that he and his wife could stay on the plan through the end of 2014, thanks to an extension allowed by the Arkansas Insurance Department, but after that they would either be rolled over into a plan with triple the monthly premiums or they would have to shop for another plan.
Plans that were in effect when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010, are exempt, but the Buckleys are among millions of Americans who bought plans in the individual market that are not grandfathered in because they were purchased after that date.
The issue is giving more ammunition to opponents of the health care law who have also been sharply critical of the myriad technical problems surrounding the roll out of insurance marketplaces, including breakdowns in the national national website built to provide information and take applications for coverage.
Critics say President Obama’s repeated pledge that people who liked their insurance could keep it were at best misleading, as some Americans — estimates range from 7 million to 16 million — are on insurance that cannot continue to exist in its current form under the Affordable Care Act.
Supporters of the law say the people in that group will end up with fuller coverage, and many of them will be eligible for subsidies to help them buy insurance through the new insurance marketplaces.
But Buckley, whose income makes him ineligible for subsidies, doesn’t see an upside to switching. He said he likes his current plan, which has a $400 monthly premium, a $7,500 deductible and 100 percent coverage after the deductible, plus 80 percent coverage for dental and vision services.
He said that if he switches to the most closely comparable plan available through the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, his monthly premium will increase to $600, his deductible will increase to $8,000 and he will have only 70 percent coverage after the deductible. Dental and vision coverage are not included but can be bought separately.
Buckley would gain some new benefits, such as coverage for maternity, mental health and substance abuse services, but he said he and his wife, who are middle-aged, neither want nor need those benefits.
“Our plan was custom-designed for our lifestyle,” he said. “To sit there and mandate that every plan has to have maternity coverage in it is absolutely ridiculous.”
Barbara, New York: said Barbara Meinwald, a solo practitioner lawyer in Manhattan.
Fred, California: I am self-employed and had a modest but workable policy for my wife and two kids paying $350 a month or $4200 a year. The best we found this year under Obamacare was a Cigna policy at $1200 a month with a huge deductible. I have a small business and don't qualify for any subsidies [As if I would want them], so our premium went from $4200 to $14,400 or an increase of 342%, hardly affordable. So, we're part of a medical sharing program and we're paying the FIRST $5000 of our own medical expenses.
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