Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Never heard of the Roosevelt Security Act? How about Johnsoncare or Johnsonaid? Of course not. That's not what they are called. Neither Roosevelt or Johnson would have stood for it, not for one minute. ObamaCare, it just seems so damn pretentious. I realize that it didn't start at the White House, but the President has embraced the moniker wholeheartedly. Of course now his detractors are hoping he wears it around his neck like the albatross it is, but he could have insisted the news media called it by it's rightful name - or at least never allowed his personal army of talking heads in and out of government from referring to the ACA by its nickname.
This phenomenon of derisively re-labeling programs and legislative bills probably started in earnest with overly cute nickname given to Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a missile defense system. It came to be known as Star Wars - brought to you by Ronnie Raygun. But President Reagan didn't call it Star Wars, no one in his administration called it that.
As for the reality of what ObamaCare is and how it came to be it probably should be perpetually tagged to one of the most partisan and constitutionally subversive figures to ever come to power in the history of the United States. Its seemingly inevitable failure should serve as a lesson, but it probably won't. More likely it will serve as a model to get what you want in Washington. F--k the opposition party!
Was this legislation really written by the health insurance industry? No one knows, because there were no negotiations, there were no hearings on the final bill. It was finally rammed through the Senate on Dec 24th 2009 on the last day of the session without a single Republican vote. No one had read the bill that they passed - no one. Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said "you'll have to pass it to see what's in it". Let's just imagine this happening when Roosevelt was pushing Social Security, or with Johnson when Medicare or the Civil Rights Act was passed. Something this big needed careful consideration, give and take, and bi-partisan support.
Even after it was the law of the land, upheld by the Supreme Court and frankly inevitable do you suppose it became transparent public policy? No and hell no. So paranoid was the Obama Administration they held the whole thing close to the vest - failed to hire the best and the brightest to craft and develop a system that would touch the lives of every single American in one way or another. What were they afraid of? Well, I think they were afraid of the truth coming out about the total BS it really is until it was too late. I'm afraid it's too late.
So far more people have lost their insurance than have been added to ObamaCare's roles. It doesn't look like it will get better anytime soon. The technical issues with the website and the integration with the states and the insurance carriers is just the tip of the iceberg. Its success hinges on getting enough people - particularly young, healthy people - signed up to offset the cost of the poorest and sickest. It doesn't seem it's likely to happen, at least not until it is buried financially.
Some believe that was the plan all along. The system will get in so deep that a government rescue will be in order - that will mean a single payer system which of course will be the Federal government - the one institution the most ill-equipped to handle it. This doesn't really sound like a good deal for the health insurance industry, does it?
The true believers will pin this failure on those evil Republicans. Sorry folks, that dog won't hunt. Even if some of the provisions in the law are old Republican ideas it doesn't mean the Republicans had any say in this monstrosity. They were constantly and continually shut out. I'm not saying the ever vigilant strategy of trying to overturn or de-fund the law was good and right, its just that human nature eventually clicks on when you been whipped and kicked to the curb over and over.
Yes, by all means and measures there were - are - serious problems with access and cost in the American health system. There are some good ideas - even Republican ideas - to help the situation, but I am doubting Obama and the hard left were ever interested in fiddling around the edges where experimentation might unearth a good model. Total control is the only goal.
ObamaCare is a disaster precisely because it was designed to be a problem not the solution. It may be too late to fix it if the make up of Washington doesn't change soon. I just don't see that happening.