Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Obamacare transformational? You didn't know?

We can talk about what President Obama did or did not promise about the new health-care system.  It’s here and what do we do about it now?

First of all, if the media is surprised that the Affordable Care Act is transformational then they didn’t do their job to begin with. The wealthy class knew it would equalize things and that is why it fought the changes — and continues to fight them — so strenuously.

Just because the new law is transformational doesn’t mean it’s bad. There may be better systems but the Congress didn’t adopt them.

Consider the ways in which Obamacare is transformational and then — and only then — decide whether it is good or bad and how it should be improved.

• Obamacare inches away from our third-party payment system, in which employers bear the cost of health insurance. Why is this bad? By placing all the cost on employers, employers, as a result, cut back on wages and number of people hired. Are these good things? Perhaps it is why no other industrialized country has the third-party payment system.

•  ACA includes generous subsidies even for the middle class — that is, those in that class who don’t work for a large employer, perhaps employ themselves, and thus find themselves looking for their own insurance. Again, why shouldn’t these folks have access to affordable insurance?

• The new law makes everyone pay for health care. The premise is: there is no such thing as a free lunch. Yes, that’s a philosophy spawned by the evil Republicans, which begs the question as to why they are opposed to the system.

• Obamacare promotes a competitive marketplace that forces insurers to advertise for customers. And why is this bad? Suddenly, Michigan, 70 percent of whose market has heretofore been sewn up by Blue Cross Blue Shield, has 14 companies competing for your business. More choice. And what, exactly, is wrong with that?

• The upshot of the system may be less care for the wealthy (unless they pay more) and more care for the less fortunate. And this is an ungodly notion? As one informed knowledgeable observer in France said, folks in that country would never dream that the valet is entitled to less care than the president of the country.

Next time someone grouses about Obamacare, ask them what they would do? An inquire about their insurance. It’s probably pretty secure. 

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