The Obamacare math seems pretty simple to me. On Jan. 1, anyone who wants to sell health insurance in the U.S. must take anyone who applies, whether they weigh 500 lbs., abuse cocaine and alcohol, etc. They can’t reject these people or charge them more than anyone else.
Meanwhile, the government says Obamacare will squeeze out untold savings and eliminate inefficiencies. However, I can’t help but think of the government’s purchase of $2,500 toilet seats and its management of the U.S. Postal Service and be anything but skeptical of these claims. In fact, the disastrous website launch of the insurance exchanges is one heck of a testament to such incompentence.
Additionally, under Obamacare we’re going to insure somewhere between 15-30 million people who were previously uninsured, and that will somehow reduce prices? Let’s face it, we’re not the first country to move toward socialized medicine, and there is good data upon which to base our conclusions on the outcome. The only way to deal with the costs of Obamacare is to ration health care and downgrade the quality of service received.
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What is more difficult to project, however, is Obamacare’s ultimate effect on further health discoveries. The American health care system was somewhat market-based in the past, and the big pharmaceutical companies continued to develop new drugs that the rest of the world then used without bearing the developmental costs that the U.S. system absorbed. The U.S. was also a center for technology improvement, the training of doctors, etc. Without the U.S. system being able to fill that role, is the rate of advancement in human health care doomed to decline?
On the positive side, there soon won’t be any more conjecture regarding Obamacare or this nation’s ability to shoulder more debt. That’s because, once implemented, Obamacare will tell us whether government-run health care is more efficient or not. And that answer will likely provide insight into just how much debt this country can sustain.
In fact, Until the budget deal reached earlier this month to end the government shutdown, the cap on U.S. debt was fixed at $16.69 trillion. I saw a report this week that said, at the current spending pace of $375 billion/week, U.S. public debt would reach $22.70 trillion by the next debt ceiling deadline on Feb. 7, 2014. I really wonder just what it will take for Americans to wake up to our nation's unsustainable fiscal path.
But to President Obama’s credit, he did not nibble at the edges; he said he would transform America, and he has gone about doing it. If he is successful in implementing his version of immigration reform, as he pledged to do after the budget battle was settled, he could well change the electoral climate in this country for decades to come by forming a new coalition that essentially will constitute a new supermajority.
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