ObamaCare is quite firmly entrenched in our society today and repeal will be tricky business. It isn’t nearly so simple as a vote in Congress.
Special interests, in this case, physicians and hospitals and insurers and medical care IT firms, have been very active from the beginning of the rumors of the repeal. They all have skin in the game, some more than others, without even thinking about the people who gained coverage for the first time and those whose coverage became more affordable given government grants.
The design of ObamaCare was intentionally insidious so as to make changes very difficult to accomplish without raising hews and cries from a broad sector of the country. The Democrats who passed this law in the wee hours of the morning weren’t smart enough by half to have intentionally concocted this ‘witches brew’. They took the advice of Obama’s master magician, Jonathon Gruber from MIT, and slammed this past the Republicans. There was not a Republican vote to be counted early that morning. That should have caused some Democrat somewhere to question why the Republicans, in toto, had rejected this beast. Instead, they did their victory dances on the way to the nearest television camera and microphone.
I wonder just how those in Congress think they can undo this monster without causing a big “to do” and costing themselves some votes in their next election. I want ObamaCare repealed and replaced but I want a well-thought and well-orchestrated plan to make that happen with a minimum of disruption. Yes, there will be some disruption. That is inevitable with something this complex.
Some people will be harmed without any doubt. Physicians will be harmed without any doubt. Hospitals will be harmed without any doubt. Health insurers, even though no one feels sorry for them, will be harmed and that will show in premium rates unless the Feds kick in money to offset those things. We don’t want our taxes to go up and we don’t want to pay more for our health care insurance and care, but something, or all of those things, will have to give to make this happen.
We know, or should know, that we’re in for some difficult times with this change-over. Having spent many years in the world of health insurance and health maintenance organizations, I think I understand many of the intricacies involved. There has been a significant shrinkage of some of the organizations involved. Provider networks have come and gone. This has come largely through mergers with some lesser-developed entities simply having vanished. The physician networks have been merged in many cases so as to limit selection to just those in a particular network.
I value the relationship I have with my primary physician whose world has changed as the result of ObamaCare and mergers. I also know that he is looking forward to the day he can retire since the practice of medicine isn’t nearly so fulfilling as it once was for many physicians. The mergers have seen new signage on our hospitals and clinics as relationships changed. In many cases, we have to drive further for the appointment and an emergency may see us twenty or more miles away even though we live in large communities.
There are now mega-insurers. The Blue Cross Blue Shields and United Healthcare and other mega providers of this new world have evolved and absorbed or wiped out other entities. Some lost significant sums in these early years of ObamaCare and the government hasn’t always lived up to its promises of making them whole. Those promises were made since the MIT guru Gruber, in his infinite wisdom, knew there were tons of untreated people waiting to obtain coverage and be treated, and he also understood that no insurer would be able to withstand that load of claims without some help.
The repeal and replacement of ObamaCare may be, and very probably will be, even more difficult than was the original creation of that Frankenstein monster of health care. This is not something to be rushed into. If we are too anxious for this change and subsequently put too much pressure on our elected servants, we could well be in a worse position than we are today. The current iteration needs to be carefully unraveled and replaced, maybe even incrementally, in order to avoid breaking something while we thought we were fixing something else.
I hope that our elected leaders understand that the private sector needs to be the driver with the help from government restricted to that of passing whatever new enabling laws might be necessary. That having been said, those in Congress, and therefore already part of our government, with good understandings of this world, need to be the drivers of any action at that level that may be required. This also requires expertise in the Trump White House.
We do not want to emulate European countries’ solutions of national health care. We still want our healthcare delivered by private sector institutions and networks. Maybe this would be a great time to privatize our Veteran’s Administration healthcare since it is in such a sad state of disarray today.
I know one thing for sure. I’d not want the current health care abomination to be known with my name associated. I suspect this will become one of the black marks for the Obama Administration as the years fly by. It already is in my mind.