The Democrats are feeling their oats, so to speak, as Republicans work to recast the health care delivery/payment system with the end goal that of an actual working health care delivery and payment system. My local favorite talker, Jay Weber (WISN 1130), spoke to this issue this morning.
A phrase used many times before comes to mind: They Broke It – They Own It, they being the Democrats who, without a single Republican vote as you’ll recall, broke our nation’s health care system. They confuse health care coverage with access to care. Without taking the time to make an actual tally of those covered, there are possibly more people covered today than were covered before. But, there are decidedly fewer people with real access to health care even though they may be covered, due to the costs of health care system access. Health care is no longer as affordable as it once was and the change that occurred was what I choose to call ObamaCare.
The marketplace artificiality of ObamaCare has affected the health care delivery system for the worse. While it may be true, but I reserve that final determination of truth for another time, that ObamaCare has more card-carrying covered people than we had before in this country, I’d wager that we have a nation with fewer people actually accessing health care, especially the higher cost areas of health care, than ever before. And, the health care system has suffered significant erosion of insurers and significant consolidation of providers…both results about which we ought to be very concerned.
The Republicans face a real uphill battle in trying to effect sufficient change to Obamacare so as to make it workable and affordable. They also face the usual Democratic disingenuousness of thought and debate. It is situations such as this that cause us to shun things political. We voters seem to think that we control government, but that seems not to be the case. Our government is controlling us. It mandates what we can and cannot do. It mandates where we can and cannot go for health care services. True, we elected those people who made these decisions that created the current reality we face. I would suggest that President Trump is the result of our mass disgust with the government we found that we had. But that is another discussion.
The apparent driver for this mess is the voter who votes for whoever promises him or her the best free stuff. The accomplice driver is the Democratic Party that understands the dynamic of the low information voter and uses that to maximum advantage to gain power.
I wonder if the biggest issue the Democrats have with President Trump is that he is more believable to the typical Democrat voter. Is that what they fear most about him? He is a success by the usual measurements of we the people. His name is plastered all over the place on big buildings. If we are to believe Hillary Clinton, someone must’ve stolen enough votes to keep her out-of-office.
Back to the topic, ObamaCare and how it must be fixed. The difference between being covered and being able to afford to use the coverage suggests just what the Republicans are attempting to do now. They are making access less expensive, therefore care more obtainable beyond simply having an ID card in a purse or wallet. There may be some diminution in terms of the number covered but those covered will really have coverage that is more affordable for them. I’d suggest that this is better than what we’ve had for the past few years. There will be safety nets for those who lose their ‘coverage’ but they likely had little to no ‘access’ to that coverage in the first place. There will be safety nets for those who cannot afford the costs of care received.
There are other significant issues that have been caused by ObamaCare. Among the most significant issues is the consolidation of health care facilities, health insurance carriers being acquired by others thus diminishing the overall marketplace for coverage, etc. Beyond this is the increasing cost of health care. Given the loss experience of the remaining health insurers, we can expect premiums to be higher. Given the diminution/consolidation of providers, the insurers face tougher negotiations to set rates that will enable them to pay the claims and run their businesses. Given the elimination of the “pre-existing condition” clause, people can sign up for coverage who would’ve been blocked from the marketplace before. That is beneficial for those needing care. That is not beneficial for the insurers who need to make a profit in order to please their stockholders and remain in business.
This kind of upheaval in any marketplace would elicit the same results. Fewer players and higher costs. But, this is not just any marketplace. This is our entire health care delivery system and, quite frankly, if it goes away in its present form and comes back as government-run health care (think Veterans Administration), remember who caused this debacle: The Democrats broke it and they need to be made to own it.
That is up to you and me since the press and the Democrats will not engage this issue in any meaningful way. If you voted Democrat last time, maybe this is a good time to make a change in your party affiliation. Of course, the likelihood that you’d be reading this conservative blog suggests that you are not at fault for the destruction of health care as we knew it. But you may be the driver to help rescue it in time to be able to recreate what we enjoyed before the Democrats fixed it for us.