Thursday, October 31, 2013
Obama, Under Siege, Goes to Boston to Defend Obama Care – As Romney Care! – Sebelius Falls on Sword –The Republican Blame Game Begins to Sound Hallow - Ted Cruz to Leno!
From the Boston Globe The President stopped in Boston, Massachusetts yesterday to defend his Obama Care plan, and compare it to the Massachusetts Romney Care plan upon which, he insists, it was modeled. Romney on the other hand, suggested – not-so-much – pointing to the folly of attempting to define what works for one state and transferring that model to the entire nation.
With Massachusetts basically the size of a postage stamp, bleeding population, and with a health care system that is far removed from what Romney envisioned but, for reasons unknown still defends, has enjoyed the following: lower premiums for some, huge increases in the budget, and deficits to run the program, large increases in insurance premiums (on average 20 to 40% per year) for private payer systems, and middle class families that fall through the cracks, completely uninsured. Those that do not make quite enough to qualify for Commonwealth Care subsidies, and with premiums for families at the $800 per month level, a family making less than $50,000 a year (before taxes), simply does not have the room to pay for that kind of coverage – so they pay the annual fee to the Commonwealth, instead – they are not insured.
Imagine transporting that system nationwide before thoroughly investigating the problems, and designing one that would, yes, be similar, but would address those problems so that no-one would fall through the cracks. The practice of hiking insurance premiums through the roof based on one set of economic levels, in order to pay for the subsidies of those that fall below, does not take into account the individual circumstances of those who are “deemed” capable of paying more. Massachusetts’s model has been less than perfect from the get-go – and those who pay the fines rather than enjoy the benefits of insurance – are unreported.
It was a hard sell to begin with to half the nation and now with the individuals nationwide losing insurance coverage as their policies are deemed “inadequate” (they need to pay higher premiums and load the coverage with all types of extra benefits, not necessarily fitting lifestyle in order to pay for others.), the fact that the President lied (along with others in D.C.), that one could keep what they had for coverage, for three years prior to the start date, the fact that the startup was totally mismanaged by a contractor that had ties to the Administration, it is a total mess.
To take the blame outright in order to attempt to appease the detractors, Kathleen Sebelius, took the blame for all, while the President blamed – those Republicans. (New York Times).
Herein lays the problem with that scenario for the thinking person. Yes there was a temporary government shutdown, the purpose of which was to stop funding and delay the program for at least a year, if not entirely. That lasted merely 17 days, with the rollout of Obama Care, supported in the Senate and the House by the Republican Leadership, who were battling their own members who wanted to derail what they felt was certainly going to hurt American People. However, that aside, did 17 days really matter in the grander scheme of things with a program that was signed into law in 2010, and should have been, under any conceivable circumstance, ready to roll out three months minimum before the start date. The entire mess, therefore, belongs to Obama and his administration and to anyone who signed onto the plan in the Senate and the House.
The system could work, with a lot of if’s attached, but in its present form, heavily mandated, driving up individual premiums and driving doctors out of the program, it will not. A few tweaks would help a great deal, and those have all been proposed – by Republican’s in the House. Unfortunately, those who would cast blame (see Harry Reid, Obama, et al), would not even entertain those options. Ego got in the way and they wanted to have a plan that was solely the creation of the Democrats. So, shame on them.
It would be the same if the shoe were on the other foot, and the Republican’s pushed through unpopular legislation, lost control of the House as a result, then pressed on, with a press that would look the other way under any circumstance – and roll out a substandard national program – then blame the Democrats!
Sick of it yet?
One might be going out on a limb here, but one might hope that the President will go on the stump in 2014 and 2016 for every single Democrat candidate who supported this program, and that John McCain might do the same for the Republican candidates that were the counterparts, especially those locked in heated primaries with Conservative candidates. The people may be determined to be “low information voters”, hwoever, should this mess continue, one will bet the House and the Senate, that night major political party will be thrilled with the outcome when the dust settles.
2016 Update - Maybe The Senator that has the ability to say "I told you so", one Ted Cruz of Texas will make an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on November 8th (Variety) . As with past speculation on appearance by Sarah Palin, etc., the appearance does not necessarily mean the individual in question will actually run for the Presidency. In the case of Cruz, it allows him the ability to become more familiar with the general public, and perhaps, give them a little insight into what's up with him and the causes he supports or refutes.