Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Get ready to RUUUUMMMMMBLE!


Democrats and Republicans are meeting (separately) in Washington today with their managers and trainers to strategize for their upcoming "To Repeal Or Not Repeal Obamacare" heavyweight fight.

In this corner we have the "Oh Dear God, Save My Legacy" Democrats.  They want to keep Obamacare, pointing out 20M people now have insurance thanks to it.  (But they will quietly mumble that, yes, it needs some major "tweaking".)

And in the opposite corner we have the "Repeal and Replace" Republicans.  They want to kill Obamacare, effective on    fill in a date__.  In the meantime they will work on whatever it is they will replace it with, TBD.

Obamacare has helped many people for sure, but stories abound of people whose insurance premiums have gone from $400 a month +/- pre-Obamacare to $1,400 a month +/- after.  And even after that, deductibles and copays are still up substantially.

But "replace later" is a joke, too.  There are far too many vested interest "cooks" in the kitchen for that process to ever produce a tasty dish.  Doctors fear socialized medicine, insurance companies fear serious regulation and/or competition, seniors fear having their Medicare thrown under the bus, young people don't even think they need insurance at all, hospitals are for whatever will pay them the most (and don't kid yourself, "non-profit hospitals" are NOT "non-profit"), pharmaceutical companies LOVE the "charge anything you want" sweetheart deal they have now, etc.

And to make matters worse, BOTH sides agree that we need to preserve the "no pre-existing conditions", "no lifetime $$$ limits", and the "keep the kids on mom and dad's policy" provisions we have now, which are THE MOST EXPENSIVE parts of Obamacare.  We want to have our cake and eat it, too!

The other, not-talked-about option is to re-institute the laissez faire system we had before Obamacare, the one that was slowly-but-surely failing.  Every year a few million more people had their stable (?) corporate jobs and insurance benefits disappear as their jobs went overseas or they became "independent contractors/consultants" with no insurance at all.  These people had to either pay through the nose for private insurance, do without proper health care and be sickly, or depend on hospital emergency rooms for care they couldn't pay for, which often led to bankruptcy, none of them good options.

My opinion (whether you want it or not) is that both replacing Obamacare with something that keeps the strong points of it intact, or heavily amending the existing Obamacare scheme, amount to the same thing.  Both sides might as well sit down together and use that as their starting point.

Right now our society has developed to the point that for national security reasons as well as for business reasons, ALL Americans must have health care.  Leaving some without health care weakens us both domestically and internationally, and we can't afford that.  We're too compassionate to leave some behind to suffer, and our adversaries/competitors have become much too strong for us to go toe-to-toe with unless we work harder than ever and ARE HEALTHY.  We're not China....our workers are not expendable.

So let's suck it up buttercups.  We can either pay for it now, or suffer the consequences later.  (And we WON'T like the consequences!)

S


12 comments:

  1. You are absolutely correct in your statement that both sides want the same thing out of an insurance program. The only difference is the Republicans don't want Obama's name attached to it.

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    1. So why can't we call it "Brucecare" or "Scottcare"? ;)

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    2. We could call it Romneycare...

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  2. This thing is like building an airplane. The first one sucked, but it showed it could be done. You don't just toss the thing away and start from scratch, at least keep the wings...they work. Change the shape, move the engine, add power, yada, yada, yada, but build off the frame and maybe we'll end up with something that can take off and go from point A to point B at a reasonable expense and with some comfort. There will still be first class, business, coach, and maybe even cargo, but a chance for everyone to travel.

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  3. 1) Prioritize 'we the people.'
    2) Lock out the drug company and insurance lobbyists.
    3) Prioritize 'we the people.'

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    1. In theory I strongly agree, Bill, but in reality the drug and insurance lobbies are far too strong to be steamrolled. They will somehow have to be tossed a bone to get them on board. I think as We The People get more and more riled up they can be slowly marginalized, but we're not there yet. Let's keep pluggin'! :)

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    2. Single payer, ala Medicare, where the consumer can buy supplemental if they want more coverage. That way the insurance companies get their $hare. Taking on the out of control drug prices is the biggest hurdle.

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  4. Obamacare is flawed because of all the concessions made by Democrats to get Republicans on board, and then every single Republican voted against it. We need a single pay system like the rest of the civilized world. Obamacare needs to be fixed, not eliminated.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Well said! I have a friend who is alive today because of the Affordable Care Act and is feeling resigned to not living much longer if the whole thing is repealed. It really makes me afraid of some grand sweeping gesture.

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  6. It's really sad that Republicans had 8 years to come up with something better than Obamacare and now that they have their majority and their president they don't seem to have any clue what they'll replace Obamacare with. Even Trump never had any ideas. That's the problem when for 8 years your party philosophy is just saying No and now they're supposed to be in control.

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