Thursday, November 21, 2013

A disaster, perhaps?

I don't write much about politics here anymore. I still have an interest but it does not ignite the fire in my belly that it once did.

This has happened over a period of time and, frankly, I like myself a lot better now. All of that is a topic, perhaps, for another day.

I can't resist the urge, however, to say something about the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. You can go back through my posts (not that you would want to) and see that I never once bashed the ACA. And in fact, once the legislation passed, I wanted it to work. I really did.

For years I have had mixed feelings about this nation's handling of health care, battling with my conscience over the people in this country who don't have access to adequate care, while having a gnawing feeling in my gut that the federal government is not equipped to handle such a gargantuan task as insuring millions of people.

That gnawing feeling is largely supported by the news over the last several months. It looks like our government was and is woefully unprepared.

I'm not ready to say the whole thing is a disaster, but it is disturbing beyond comprehension that the website through which a large portion of the citizenry was supposed to have obtained health insurance is so overrun with glitches that it's become a joke.

And not a very funny one, I might add.

Yes, the ACA has withstood a Supreme Court challenge. I get that. But what are we supposed to do now? Just wait, wait and wait some more? How long?

And what about the president's promise, made so emphatically, that if you liked your health insurance plan, you could stay with it?  I don't doubt that he meant it, but it's looking like it's simply not true. I saw one of those news shows last night with a panel of commentators, one of whom stated that it's just a small percentage of folks who are having their health insurance policies canceled.

It might be a small percentage, but it still numbers in the millions. I think that is unacceptable when those people WERE TOLD IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN!

So what happens now? Your guess is as good as mine.

I'm not ready to call it a disaster just yet, but it might not be long. Here's hoping something gets cleaned up fast.


Kelly said...

We seem to be okay with our plan for the coming year, but after that...who knows? The jury is still out. It's best for my stress levels not to think about it until I have to.

Bob Barbanes: said...
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Bob Barbanes: said...

Sorry to be late getting to this, Bob, but here's my take on this fiasco.

Obama directed his staff to come up with the ACA. But remember that it was 4,000 pages or something when it came out. Even if somebody in the White House had read the whole thing (which I doubt), did they understand every bit of it...did they foresee all of the consequences? I'd bet not. I'd bet that Obama got a "bullet-points briefing" but that he himself did not fully understand all the nuances of the Act...because you KNOW that he didn't read the whole thing, what with him being PRESIDENT and all (although I'm sure his critics will say, "HE SHOULD HAVE!!").

So in defense of his much-ridiculed plan that critics began calling "Obamacare," the President gets up in front of God and everyone and tells people that if they like their current plan they can keep it. Was it assumption on his part, or did some staffer assure him it was true? I suspect the latter.

And, I suspect that the President had a literal shit-fit when he was told that, um, gee boss, that's not know...uh, true. "WHAT?!?!?!? You dumb bastards have made me look like the world's biggest idiot!"

I can just imagine the staff meeting that day! You can bet that someone has already lost their prestigious government job over it.

I doubt that Obama was being deliberately dishonest about that, "you can keep your plan" stuff. I think he made an assumption based on what he was erroneously told. And I bet he is privately very embarrassed about it. Because it did make him look bad.

I don't know whether "Obamacare" will work in the long run. I do know that as a self-employed itinerant helicopter pilot who does not work for a company that provides health benefits, I'm looking forward to being able afford it, something I simply could not do under the old system.

Bob said...

Thanks Bob. You are just the type of person that SHOULD benefit from it and I hope you will. I agree that Pres Obama did not intentionally mislead people, kind of like when the first Pres Bush said "Read my lips, no new taxes." Oops.

Bob Barbanes: said... defense of Bush #1, he didn't implement any *new* taxes did he? He said nothing about raising any EXISTING taxes though, which was the "wriggle room" he left for himself with that catchy "read my lips" promise.

The more I think about Obama's "keep your plan" stuff, the more I think that it was that the people in the White House who should have known better did not fully think it through. The ACA was mandating certain coverage levels (e.g. pre-existing illnesses) which some (many?) policies do not now cover and the providers of which had no intention of covering!

So I think it's plausible that while Obama and his staff did fully intend that you could keep your current coverage, they failed to anticipate that some health insurance companies would simply stop providing theirs rather than cover things they didn't want to. Gotcha!

Never underestimate the evilness and bottom-line mentality of health insurance companies - companies which are supposedly in business to help least in a philosophical sense.