Obamacare: Dysfunction & Chaos!

Kathleen Sebelius

By Mike Cronin

Why has the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) been a failure so far? Because it was doomed from the start. Just like any other sector of the economy that gets taken over by the government, health care cannot and will not be improved by central planning and control.  But don’t we need Obamacare, so that people who don’t have health insurance can finally get coverage?

According Dr. Michael Hurd, a psychotherapist who writes a comprehensive mental health blog:

Health insurance started out as hospital insurance. People purchased hospital insurance in the marketplace so that they could afford catastrophic care when and if they needed it. Government regulations (e.g. mandating coverage for primary care) and tampering with/restricting the marketplace (e.g., no purchasing insurance across state lines; tax credits for large companies, but not individuals) are what led to health insurance premiums skyrocketing in the first place.

Piecemeal government interventions made the health care industry dysfunctional and insurance premiums un-affordable, so now the solution is…higher premiums for total government control of health care? Insane.

Health care providers will be unsatisfied because they will be paid based on what the government says they should be paid, not what free-market factors allow them to earn. Further, they will, be micromanaged and second-guessed by bureaucrats and bean-counters, and they will have to comply with ever more red tape.  Bright young people, realizing this, will opt out of medical careers, exacerbating the shortage of care providers. To compensate, the government will be forced to either pay bonuses to medical providers…or draft people into the medical profession.

Beneficiaries are discovering that, enrollment debacle aside, they will be charged exorbitant premiums, (especially the youngest, healthiest adults, in order to pay for the more medically needy); sometimes including mandatory coverage that they don’t need (such as pregnancy coverage for males);  that they won’t be able to keep insurance they already have (not because they law says they have to change companies, but because the economics of implementation have caused their employers to drop their old insurance), or the doctors they already have (again, because their insurance has changed). Some of the sickest beneficiaries will also discover that the government can arbitrarily decide that a given care regime is too costly, so it will be denied to them.

Think of it another way:

Imagine if we relied on auto insurance for “primary care” for our vehicles (fluid changes, tire rotations, wiper blades). Think of the paperwork and billing hassles we would endure for each little oil change. The overall cost of auto maintenance would increase to cover the business overhead. Soon, fewer Americans would be able to afford auto insurance, with serious ramifications for liability, setting the stage for a national crisis. It’s a ridiculous idea, isn’t it? Yet this is the way that health care works in America today. (from dpcare.org)

 

 

One thought on “Obamacare: Dysfunction & Chaos!

  1. And don’t forget the “skimpy” to non-existent provider networks!

    I come from “the left of the political spectrum, and I agree with you that the ACA is a travesty. But for slightly different reasons than you, I suspect.

    Actually, I would prefer to see it repealed and replaced with “Expanded Medicare For All.”

    Or, better yet, I would like to see all Americans enrolled in a self-contained health care system such as the type which was utilized by active duty military personnel in the ’80’s and 90’s. (Don’t know much about today’s, so I’m qualifying my statement, a bit).

    During this period of time, we were medevaced to Washington state for my husband’s disc surgery, from the state of Alaska.

    He recalls making a payment of slightly less than $20 upon discharge, but he can’t remember what it was for.

    Otherwise, including the two medevac flights from Alaska to Washington state (with a stopover in California, in one instance), the approximately $20, in addition to a “per diem” debit for the days that he received hospital meals, were the only out-of-pocket expenses that we incurred. Period.

    This included “traction,” extensive heat and water therapies, hospitalization in an Army hospital before we were medevaced (again, per diem was deducted for meals), prescription medications, doctors’ care, nursing care, etc., etc.

    If all Americans were enrolled in this system (for a monthly premium, of course), Americans would likely receive some of the best health care available in the US.

    I recall that we occasionally saw a PA (Physician’s Assistant) for relatively minor health issues (and we had never heard of one in the civilian world), but we always thought that we were well-served.

    I hope that former or retired military personnel might consider advocating for this type of expanded system. The expanded medical system should be extended as an automatic benefit to all active duty members and their families, and for a VERY nominal fee for retired military members and their spouses.

    I personally [very well] know the many sacrifices that members and their families are called upon to make. Especially today.

    If anything, it might be wise to push for this, because from what I’ve gathered from the President’s Fiscal Commission’s proposal, “The Moment Of Truth,” cuts to military benefits (of all kinds) are likely “coming down the pike.”

    BTW, many (not necessarily you) “from the right political perspective” presume that ALL liberals are “in love with” ObamaCare.

    But it just isn’t so!

    Like

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