The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

DOLLARS AND SENSE

Let’s start with a premise – that having good healthcare is a good thing.  I think that virtually everyone can agree with that concept.  That, of course, is what the Patient Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was purported to deliver.  It doesn’t – and you don’t have to be a physician to understand that – although many medical professionals have come to that realization.

First let’s begin with the premises on which this bill of goods was sold to the American people by the president.

“If you like your doctor you can keep him.”  The truth is that you may or may not be able to do that.

“If you like your insurance you can keep it.”  Tell that to the employees of Walgreen’s, the retirees at IBM and any number of present and past employees of some of America’s largest companies who are being thrown out of their present policies and on to the government exchanges.

“Obamacare will reduce the cost of health insurance.”  Well, this might or might not be true.  It probably is true if you live in New York state or California – at least for some people.  But if you live in the rest of the country, you are probably going to see your rates rise between twenty to fifty percent.

“Obamacare will allow people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance.”  That is true and that is a good thing.  It is unconscionable for insurance companies to refuse to cover people who have illnesses.  After all, isn’t that the service which insurers are supposed to provide?  But in their defense, they should be allowed to charge appropriate premiums to compensate themselves for the risk that they are underwriting.

That last paragraph speaks directly to the inherent fallacies which, if fully implemented, will make Obamacare the most unaffordable deliverer of the poorest quality healthcare ever conceived by mankind.  Let’s look at some of the financial realities of this Ponzi scheme.

If I were an individual who had a pre-existing condition and was currently uninsured, I would probably be one of the first in line on October 1st to sign up for Obamacare.  That, of course, assumes the premiums (net of rebates which the currently developed computer system can’t compute) were something that I could afford.

But let’s assume that I could afford those premiums.  Let’s further assume that I have not had insurance for several years during all of which I had my particular ailment.  So now that I have access to treatment, the first thing that I am going to do is schedule an appointment to have myself checked out.

Because I have deferred attending to my condition for several years, my ailment has probably deteriorated beyond the point where it would have been had I regularly consulted with a physician and followed a regimen during that time.  Result – the cost of my treatment is going to be far more expensive, at least initially, than it would be had I been regularly treated.  Multiply this scenario by millions of people and you begin to get an idea of how Obamacare is going to be drowned in a sea of sick people, all of whom are seeking attention.

This is not an argument that we should abandon or ignore those who have serious medical issues.  Nor is it a statement about the ethics of insurers to refuse to cover these people.  It merely is a realistic view of what will happen when the exchanges are unveiled next week.

So who will pay for these newly covered sick people?  The answer, one way or another is that you and I will.  The first way that we will pay for this is in increased insurance premiums which will have to be raised in order to compensate for all the new people with medical conditions that will be covered.  The second way we will pay for this is in increased taxes to support this system.  That, of course, assumes that we don’t simply further add the deficits it will generate to our debt – in which case the tax increases will be disguised rather than direct.  The third way we pay for this is by paying the salaries of the increased bureaucracy which will administer this nightmare of a law.

And who will pay the most for all of this?  Those who are young and healthy and probably were among the most rabid supporters of the administration and rallied to get them elected.  Call it poetic justice.  Sadly, theoretical thinking among this group is severely limited, so they probably won’t realize the real impact that it has on their lives until a few years down the road.

Of course, although deferred until after the mid-term elections, is one of the most short-sighted provisions of the act.  That is the requirement that all employers with fifty or more full time (defined as a person who works 30 hours per week or more) employees either pay for insurance coverage or face a two thousand dollar penalty per employee.  If you wanted to turn the U. S. into a nation of part time workers, this particular provision is a stroke of genius.

Let’s think about the employee who will go from being a full time employee at 40 hours a week to a part time worker at 29 hours per week.  That is more than a 25% reduction in his earnings.  Furthermore, he now does not have to be covered under his employer’s group health contract but still has the obligation to carry insurance for which he must now pay personally with a reduced income.  That scenario offers this employee the worst of all possible worlds.  Multiply that by millions of people and you get a picture of what is in store.

Of course, there are other non-financial implications that inevitably must follow the implementation of Obamacare.  Perhaps the most important is a reduction in the quality and accessibility of healthcare.  Doctors and hospitals are either revamping their patient load or refusing to accept insurance because of the reduction in the amount of payments that they know are coming.  Why wouldn’t they?  After all, they have to make a living.

And why will there be a decrease in accessibility?  Well, think about adding millions of people seeking medical attention from a medical community that is shrinking in size and the increase in time to make an appointment and see a physician is an inevitability.  Of course, there is one way around this which probably will occur – that is rationing of and prioritization of services that will be performed.  But that part of the scenario has yet to unfold.

The assertion by this administration that Obamacare is going to provide better healthcare at a lower cost than currently is simply false.  The fact that they continue to repeat this same, tired mantra, despite the obvious falsehood of it suggests that they are either patently stupid or merely are pathological liars.  In either case, I don’t see them as a good choice to manage my healthcare or yours.

And that’s the dollars and sense of it.

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Comments on: "DOLLARS AND SENSE" (3)

  1. A concise and sober analysis of Obamacare. This is so good, that I am re-posting it at Quiner’s Diner. Good job, as always.

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