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Judging from Obamacare, Democrats can’t make government work. Judging from the October shutdown, Republicans don’t want it to work. What’s a democracy to do?
Obamacare is essentially an old Republican idea, hatched by the Heritage Foundation as an alternative to single-payer health insurance. It’s essentially Romney care. The idea is to put everybody in a big insurance poll – through the free market – that spreads the risk and the cost.
It tries to solve the problem of 40 million Americans who have no health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. So they don’t get preventative care. They wait until they’re injured or until they’re really sick, and they go to the emergency room. Then they run up hospital bills in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Which they can’t pay. Which all gets shifted to the rest of us.
The idea behind Obamacare is simple: Get those people into cheaper care earlier. Make them pay something (if they can) instead of sticking us with the bill.
But the execution of Obamacare is complicated. Because it relies on insurance companies. And because Chief Justice Roberts ruled that states could opt out of Medicaid expansion. Which most Republican-run states like North Carolina did.
So you could blame Obamacare’s problems on insurance companies, the Supreme Court and Republican governors and legislators.
Now American has three choices. First, muddle through with Obamacare. Second, go to a single-payer system by putting everybody under Medicaid/Medicare.  Or third, the Republican solution, which is … what?
Oh, that’s right. They don’t have one. In his column Sunday, the N&O’s Ned Barnett had this great quote from John Kennedy in his 1960 campaign: “I have been in the Congress for 14 years, and I know all about the record then, but I have yet to hear of one single original piece of new, progressive legislation of benefit to the people, suggested and put into a fact by the Republican Party.”
Some things never change in politics.


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2 comments on “Whither Obamacare?

  1. Chris says:

    The lesson of Obamacare is that liberal utopias work better in theory than practice.

    Young people don’t want to pay more in insurance premiums so old people can pay less. (Especially when those old people are generally much better off, financially, than the young.)

    The Supreme Court isn’t going to throw out the 200-year-old idea that the Federal and State governments are co-sovereign, meaning that the Feds cannot take control of the mechanisms of state government.

    Men and post-menopausal women really don’t want maternity coverage in their health plans.

    So, why believe that going to a single-payer system will do any better? Recall that Medicare/Medicaid require health care providers to shift their fixed costs to other patients — Medicare reimbursement rates are so low that non-medicare/medicaid patients are charged MORE. If everybody’s on Medicare, then who will pay those costs? Probably nobody, which will drive many professionals out of business. And, quality of care will suffer greatly. Of course, that’s not how liberal utopias work in theory.

  2. Choo says:

    First of all Obama Care is nothing like Romney Care. Obama care put all Americans in an insurance pool, required the insurance pool to cover everything in the world from birth control to sex changes, and then said, if the insurance policy changes a period or one word in the policy then it is null and void. Now that isn’t choice, that is force by law. That is exactly where Obama hung himself with the infamous quote, “if you like your policy and doctor you can keep them”. Well guess what once they all get booted out there is nothing left but pay a tax or sign up. It is nothing more than redistribution of healthcare. The wealthy, and those who have taken care of their health, now have to pay for those who have health problems and do nothing to take care of their health. Lets not spread this false premise that Obama Care is a Republican law. Nothing is further from the truth, as if that matters. If you like the news stations you watch, with government TV you can keep those channels. BS

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