The question of the month is “what is going to happen to Obamacare?” It is a reasonable question and the best answer so far is “who knows?” The Republicans want to repeal and replace it and the Democrats want it to be left alone as a tribute to Obama. So far, it has been an impasse with the Republicans not able to get the 50 votes to pass any part of any legislation.
The reality of politics is that the representatives and a third of the senators will have to run for reelection and don’t want to do anything that will cost them votes. That has always been the major incentive for the politicians since elections were invented. The attitude of many politicians makes their priorities seem to be 1. ME! 2. The party. 3. The welfare of the country.
That seems harsh and there are many good and dedicated people who are elected officials, but unfortunately it would be very difficult to win an argument to prove that they are a majority based on the records. It seems to take a war or major crisis to get the two parties to work together. The major motivation for most people is “What’s in it for me?” Politics is no exception and perhaps it may be even a bigger motivator in the capitols of the state and federal governments.
Obamacare was a disaster from the start. It was strictly a Democrat bill. No Republican voted for it, but it did pass and became the law of the land. This columnist called it a Ponzi Scheme right from the start and as it progressed it has been difficult to claim otherwise. Most Democrats won’t agree, but if it wasn’t a government program, there most likely be an investigation.
It started out with a inefficient computer program used to enroll people. The software reputedly was purchased from a friend of Michelle Obama, but there was no real investigation and for months the enrollment was confusing and very inefficient. But most of the kinks got worked out and people enrolled.
Medicaid was expanded to cover more people and the liberals shouted and bragged that more than twenty million people finally had health insurance. Since Medicaid doesn’t cost low income people anything the people signed up and yes, they had insurance. Many people have the motto: “if it is free, it is for me.” The “free insurance” was covered by the taxpayers.
Then there was the insurance for the “working poor.” They did not earn enough money to buy a decent policy so the government subsidized them to cover the difference. So far, so good for those who were poor or poorly paid.
They loved Obamacare. Those who were employed by large businesses were for the most part unaffected. The businesses had group coverage and the insurance, for the most part, was still part of their employment package.
The theory of financing this program was to make health insurance mandatory. Young, healthy people would have to buy the insurance and not have to use it so they are putting money into the program without drawing much out. That is pretty much the idea of all insurance. Like property insurance and car insurance, they need a lot of people who don’t need to put in claims so that there is money available for those who have losses.
Here came the glitch. The young, healthy people didn’t want to do that, so the government put a penalty on non purchasing people. It was added to their income tax payment, so from a practical standpoint, they were contributing to the fund, but if they needed medical care, they had to pay for that, too.
To make the purchase of insurance sound better and encourage people to enroll, President Obama on numerous occasions, told the people that “they could keep their doctor and insurance coverage if they liked it.” He also predicted that they could see a $2,500 annual saving in insurance premiums with Obamacare. Later, this was revealed by a top aide that it was a deliberate lie to get the people to accept and buy the government mandated insurance.
Many people who were working and making a decent living, but not part of a group, had a different perspective on the quality of their insurance. It was not unusual for a middle class person to have to pay $1,000 a month for the policy that had a $5,000 deductible before the insurance policy kicked in. That would mean the person had to invest $15,000 before his insurance policy was of any use. Yet, those on Medicaid got the care they needed without any investment on their part.
Those eligible for Medicare got basic coverage for a reasonable premium, but the benefits included deductibles and limits on prescription drugs. Those who could afford it bought supplemental policies to fill in the gaps.
Then, reality struck the country. Since Obamacare mandated that the insurance cover preexisting conditions, the risks were higher. It was like mandating that an auto insurance company insure a client for collision damages after he hit a tree, and then pay for the damages.
The premiums were raised. The $2,500 savings Obama promised were more likely to be a large increase in premiums along with higher co pays and deductibles. Some premiums increased by up to 100% and several insurance companies either went bankrupt or refused to write any more policies.
It became a mess and during this time the Republicans campaigned on the promise of repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a program that works.
They had seven years to work one it and have a plan in place to present to the American people. So far, all we have seen is a huge resistance by the Democrats and no competence by the Republicans to get a workable bill passed. Talk is cheap, We are getting nothing but excuses and failures out of the congress and senate. This should help to make the elections next year very interesting.
The plot keeps thickening and the intrigue gets more complex. How much will the voting public accept from the incumbents? Maybe the elections next year will be as effective as having term limits. The political track record so far hasn’t produced anything to brag about. Note to the congressman and senators. Time’s a wasting. Less talk and more effort is necessary.