Imposition 2012-Health Reform: Some of the Problems with the Affordable Care Act

   The Affordable Care Act is known by some as ObamaCare (he got there), by others as RomneyCare (he got there first) and by at least one economist as Americare (the current trend of health care costs accelerating like Ms. Pac-Man chasing the little dots {Americans} to eat them, he says, is unsustainable). You may have some other names for the ACA, which was signed into law two years ago but will not be fully enacted until January, 2014, in hopes that all Americans will get well by then.

   Mr. Romney says he will repeal all the ACA as soon as he wins. Mr. Santorum says it makes him sick but, then, lots of things make Santorum  sick. Mr. Gingrich says he will insure everyone, put the 51st state on the moon and balance the budget. After that he will carrry Frosty the Snowman through Hades. Mr. Paul says he will not do any of that but he will repeal the income tax and build lots of new roads.

   Mr. Obama is waiting to see what Mr. Romney will do so he can decide what he should do.

   What in the name of George Wooden Dentures Washington is going on here?

   So, let's clear up a thing or two. 

   The ACA does not actually promise to cover all Americans or all the people in America, even those who are not Americans. At its most generous, the ACA will leave 23,000,000 people uncovered. Of course, 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 of those are in prisons or jails, so they have coverage. Your kids may not have coverage but all the local felons are doing well, so don't worry. Of the rest, about 3,000,000 live on some form of government reservation and, so, are covered. 

   Peel it down some more and you get to the nub. There will be about 11,000,000 people on our shores who are not covered and these are illegal aliens. The thinking in the hallowed halls of Congress is that no one is going to get super excited about paying higher taxes to cover the illnesses of illegal aliens.

   So, the ACA is not going to stop the practice of using local ER's and public hospitals as clinics. This is not the purpose of the ACA.

   The ACA will not break the federal budget. For that we have our foreign wars, which have punched about a two trillion dollar hole in our national budget. Someone should have seen this one coming. You cannot have two really big foreign wars and some really big tax cuts at the same time, without a massive deficit. Now we have a super giant deficit and we will be some time digging out from under this one.

   The ACA will do somethings, if it lives. It is aimed at the Americans who fall between the cracks of the current system. That is a growing group. One of the ways I know it is a growing group is the accelerating number of calls I get at my small church asking for help with health costs. Let me quickly discount the people who ask for help in the form of cash, no questions asked, just passing through and need a little help.

    No, the people I am talking about have lived in our community, paid taxes, raised kids, made sacrifices and now need someone to pay a clinic bill so they can have a treatment. Some of them are college educated, lately unemployed and, oh, by the way, overwhelmingly white. 

   They also seem bewildered. I get calls from their friends, from their parents and their grandparents who have paid so much out of their own pockets they have nothing left to give. They sound increasingly desperate.

   The help we could give if we gave our whole budget and institued Health Care Bingo Night, would be, at most, symbolic. And these are not beggars, only now they are begging for their children and I would do it too.

   Health care costs in relation to the amount of the gross national budget is rising in an unsustainable way. The whole system could crack and spill out on the ground.

   So, what should we do?

   To hear one side, we should just throw money at it. To hear the other side, we should just pretend it is not happening. In fact, both sides have been pretty happy not to address the situation directly, because both of their front runners proposed health care reform and one actually enacted it in the sphere of his governance during his tenure. He even admonished the other fellow to enact the same program nationally, though now he says he did not say it or, at least, did not mean it, or, better yet, it would be good for him if everybody just forgot what he did and said.

   The point, however, is this, that something large and national must be done and soon. And both parties know it.


Opinions expressed here are mine alone.

5 thoughts on “Imposition 2012-Health Reform: Some of the Problems with the Affordable Care Act”

  1. I did a land deal with a former advisor of then Gov. Bush back in the day. The things I learned from this elder man of wisdom began my journey of disinterest with respect to national politics. This year, I’ve had a bit of a resurgence. I’m finding I’m decidedly more socially liberal than I used to be, but probably just as fiscally conservative. Though it took me about 30 years, I also finally realized that God is not a conservative republican. Both parties genuinely repulse me. As quirky as Ron Paul is, I do like much of what he says, though public opinion and pollsters render him irrelevant. Care of the poor, marginalized and needy should be the responsibility of the Body. I think the kingdom demands it. We’ve failed and the result is what we are seeing unfold in the political realm. I don’t see any proposed solutions as much as entanglements. Good to read your mind here. Makes a lot of sense to me. You must be crazy also. Hope your family is doing well. Scott Griffith

  2. Have you looked at the latest CBO report on ABA?
    CBO reports on ABA do have to be taken with a grain of salt, because CBA says outright that the assumptions it is forced to use — that Congress will actually make cuts they’ve counted as savings already, for example — are highly unlikely.

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