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Even Liberals Should Concede:
Obamacare Is Not Working

| November 9, 2015

obamacare failing

No big tent. (Neon Tommy)

There’s never been a lack of health care in this country. The problem has always been access. The system was rigged. If you were 65 and over, you were OK. You had Medicare, the country’s most sensible insurance scheme we have: government insurance, private sector care and the sort of wide-open choice that grants you Mayo Clinic appointments if you so desire. That’s the benefit of a single-payer system.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive.com flaglerlive If you were younger, you were not as lucky unless you had a well-paying job. Then your company would generally provide fairly good insurance. But you were out of luck if you lost that job or had a crappy service job. You were also out of luck if you had a pre-existing condition. No insurance would have you, which defeated the purpose of insurance and created a large class of sick people who could either go bankrupt or die.

Then came the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, with its promise of affordable insurance and mandates to provide almost universal care. No more discriminating against the sick. No more caps on lifetime insurance coverage. And even bare-bones insurance had to provide certain basics like contraception and, oh joy, colonoscopies.

Obamacare looked promising. But it hasn’t worked as advertised. And it looks like it’s getting worse. For those who have it, insurance premiums keep going up. For those who don’t, the option of paying a penalty is better than getting insurance, at least financially. I can understand why. I personally was grateful for Obamacare the first year. It took care of my cancer treatments without making me homeless. But if I were to stay on that same plan next year, the cost looks like it would increase by $400 a month. I can’t afford it. I could go to a silver plan, but while I’ve been on the mend, I have no idea when the cancer demons might decide to strike again. I’m facing a gamble.

I’m not the only one. Obamacare is enrolling barely half the numbers it projected. Deductibles and out of pocket ceilings are exploding. We’re creeping back to the era before Obamacare, when the only big winners were insurance companies.

It could have been predicted, and was. Anything short of a single-payer system was an invitation to the insurance companies to rig the system again. It just took a little while. President Obama initially wanted single-payer but caved to Republican opposition, back when he thought he could negotiate with scythes.

So are Republicans right? Should it be repealed? They’d like that, considering how well they’ve done to ensure that Obamacare never had a chance, especially in states like Florida that waged war against the marketplace and clobbered attempts to expand Medicaid, even though we still have more than 1 million people without insurance.

Republicans have never had an alternative, not least because Obamacare, formerly Romneycare, was, at its origin, a hard-right idea (which goes a long way to explain its inherent flaws). Republicans pretend to have an alternative. But repealing Obamacare is not one, and what they claim to want to put in its place is like one of those dubious new drugs pharmaceuticals peddle every other day: either the side effects aren’t worth the risk or the benefits are illusory.

Take Jeb Bush’s “plan.” It starts of course with that slab of porterhouse to the base–repeal. It then moves to the favored gimmick: tax credits. He doesn’t tell you in what proportions, which sounds awfully like the John McCain plan of four years ago, a vague attempt to make health care sound like a tax break. It wasn’t. It was a poor attempt to replace actual subsidies with the vague promise of a little help. Put another way: it’s a retreat. And it’s limited to catastrophic care. Bush’s plan would also allow companies to do with health care what they did with pensions: eliminate coverage in favor of “contributions” to employees’ care costs. Again, a retreat masquerading as choice.

Bush would also eliminate basic insurance coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act. In other words, returning to the days of insurance plans that cover two headaches and a splinter a year but not much else for less than a fortune. Forget coverage for preventive care and a long list of basic care. And Bush would double the amount of money that can go into health savings accounts, the health care industry’s version of privatized social security: it’s a boon to banks, but still a gamble to account holders who, the moment they’re hit with, say, three days’ worth of radiation treatment, can see their HCA burn faster than whatever body part they’re getting fried.

None of that is genuine coverage. It’s a betrayal of civilized insurance’s purpose, couched in the focus-group-tested bromides of “free market” and “choice.” Marco Rubio’s plan is almost identical to Bush’s if more vague, with tax credits again its drug of choice. The other candidates’ plans, such as they are, including the one by the fabulist doctor in the bunch (which he presents in fewer than 100 words), cannot be taken any more seriously than the candidates themselves.

Talk about colonoscopies. In this system, I feel like I’m getting one every day. Our system is still the most regressive among all industrial nations and the most expensive. If life expectancy is any measure, it’s also worse than that of every western European nation and Israel, where they have wars to contend with.

The solution has stared us in the face all along. It’s in place. It works. No one wants it gone and there’d be a rebellion if you touched it. With a few tweaks and means-testing, and a slightly higher tax that would still be a fraction of the cost of private insurance premiums, it would be workable for the rest of the century. If it’s good for 52 million Americans, as it has been for half a century, it’s good for the rest of us.

It’s Medicare for all.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. A version of this piece aired on WNZF. Follow him on Twitter @PierreTristam.

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43 Responses for “Even Liberals Should Concede:
Obamacare Is Not Working”

  1. Veteran says:

    I agree that Obamacare is not working, but could everyone afford paying Medicare premiums plus a supplement? It’s a big problem. Some European countries have “free” health care but pay 60 to 75 percent in taxes.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Veteran, there is no such thing as 60 to 75 percent in taxes in Europe. We should be a bit more precise with our numbers if we’re going to get anywhere. If, for example, we are to look comparatively at the tax burden on income by country, the highest rate in Europe is Belgium at 50 percent and Hungary at close to that. The OECD average is 32 percent, which is not much higher than the 29.4 percent average burden in the United States. You can see those numbers more fully here. Obviously there’s more tax burden than on wages, but that’s a good starting point. To go further, we could compare tax rates on social security, which in Europe includes the tax to pay for universal health insurance and retirement. Again, we have too many misconceptions on this side of the ocean about those tax rates. France has the highest rate, at just under 17 percent. But the OECD average is just over 8 percent, which, incidentally, is comparable to our own payroll tax, and we get far less in return. The reason? Health costs in Europe are drastically lower (even though health outcomes are higher) than they are in the United States, where our social security contributions are–for individuals–still just over 6 percent.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with you, Pierre. Obama wanted so badly to get ANY healthcare reform passed on his watch that he caved to those predatory special interests who have been busy plundering the system for all its worth for years and years. What America needs to decide is this: Is our healthcare system’s number one priority supposed to be the health, comfort and welfare of the American consumer or is the number one priority supposed to be the financial welfare and occupational expediency of the providers of health services? For healthcare reform to work, ALL parts of the system, consumers of service and providers of service both, will have to face harsh reality and accept that there will be changes demanded in their levels of expectation. This means that Health Insurance companies will go from being profit driven businesses to being what they claimed to be all along–providers of a public service whose primary mission is serving the health needs of the American consumer. The same goes for Doctors. Becoming a doctor may no longer be an automatic ticket to a stratospheric income. But, that also means that the system that educates Doctors will have to change as well, since you can’t expect doctors to mortgage their lives for years and years to come with so much less to show for it. It also means that nurses and allied health professionals will necessarily be doing tasks that doctors do now. A change in what Pharmaceutical companies and other providers of medical equipment and services can expect to charge the American consumer will also have to change and become more negotiable, as is the case with Medicare. I cannot see that there is any realistic option OTHER than a single-payer system for all, given that our population demographics are trending towards getting older overall. We cannot expect young people to fund humane options for the elderly while accepting crap for themselves and THEIR children. That’s insanity!

  3. downinthelab says:

    Pierre I don’t often agree with you, but when I do I want to give you credit.

  4. nomad says:

    I call BS on Obama wanting to pass a decent healthcare law but those awful republicans wouldn’t let him. Obama and the democrats had FULL CONTROL OF BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE IN HIS FIRST TWO YEARS TO PASS UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE. They chose not to. Democrats and republicans = same difference. The republicans aren’t interested in repealing Obamacare because it’s big insurance and big pharma and big business and those in the medical field who are reaping the benefits. Mandatory insurance also means more doctor visits and more prescribed medicine and more make belief diseases resulting in more increases in insurance premiums. Why, because the claim is that too many people are using the system and driving up costs. I guess the people are only supposed to pay for the insurance but not use it. Only in America…

    But keep taking the blue pill…

  5. Jim O says:

    Anonymous, wait until you see what happens with the Iran deal. The administration wanted a deal… ANY deal and buckle up when it all comes back to scary us.

  6. Banjomatic says:

    It is good to read an article on healthcare that is not promoting a political agenda. Healthcare is both complex and expensive. I have to say that private enterprises like Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente seem to be thriving. Maybe the gov should learn from them.

    As far as the politics go it is business as usual. The Republicans want to provide nothing because they have their own money to buy what they and want to reduce taxes. The Democrats want a platform to raise taxes and use healthcare as the rationale. But the Democrats are rich too. Both sides make a complicated system impossible to navigate as they carve out rules to protect themselves and their money. And if the colonoscopy is covered why am I looking at a $150 bill from Florida Hospital? Probably should have paid higher taxes for better coverage. Socialism and capitalism meet in my lower GI tract.

  7. Karen Buchanan says:

    I am in your exact situation. My insurance rate for 2016 is going up 23%. This is for the most basic insurance. It will be $451 with a deductible of $6450 before anything at all is covered. The pharmacy wants $225 monthly for 2 prescriptions.That’s $12k per year if I need medical help for just me, let alone what we pay for my husband’s. Thanks for letting me know why I went in for a neck lump but had a colonoscopy appointment made for me immediately!! and I haven’t even seen a doctor, only a PA. My insurance fiasco is a complete nightmare and everywhere I turn is a brick wall. I do not qualify for a subsidy, I do not qualify for group coverage, they won’t even let me get decent coverage in the Volusia county network because of my Flagler address. I could get Gold coverage for the same amount as Silver yet they don’t offer it to Flagler residents. People are suffering with pain that could easily be helped except the whole system is rigged as you say. Remember, doctors, lawyers, judges, legislatures all have stock in the health care system, why would they want it changed!?! This is big business. They are destroying those of us stuck in the middle!

  8. Anonymous says:

    No country in the world pays welfare to as many many people as we do in the United States. Try and find a country that pays out as much $$ and a civilized country where so many pay no taxes, simply put Democrats haven’t addressed poverty. They care more about the middle class vote and thats been their focus lately, Obama is a great speaker but a poor President. He forced his plan down everyone’s throat, Obama doesn’t compromise with anyone.

  9. ken says:

    Amazing that Pierre can blame the GOP for the content of the Obamacare bill.
    Zero GOP House members voted for the bill.
    Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats had such complete control that she could famously say “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
    Obamacare is the Democrat’s creation and it is their failure.

  10. Dave says:

    “Obamacare not working” got that right. Our company due to the raising cost of healthcare dropped all of its medical coverage forcing its employees to find health care at “Obamacare” and/or other providers. Well Obamacare cost more than we were paying for the exact same coverage., NO Obama magic there.

    The problem is not the government but the Health Care providers the Insurance companies charging outrageous premiums and the drug companies charging sky high prices for drugs. There is NO control on these business. If the government wants to do something tackle these business and bring those cost down but of course our politicians are all in bed with these insurance companies so nothing will ever get accomplished,.

  11. Bill says:

    First I never believed this was a law to make our health care better or more affordable to ALL. It was nothing more then a power grab by DC and specifically ds in DC. It just shows that NO one party should have complete control over the legislative process. Also this shows how doing SOMTHING just to do something is not a good plan.

  12. Ronnie says:

    Excellent article Pierre

  13. CommomSense says:

    It is far from perfect, however, it can be fixed. If Republicans would stop trying to undo it and would work to fix it it would be good for millions of Americans. We need to hold Congress accountable and demand that it be fixed.

  14. groot says:

    I’ve been for universal health care all along. When Obama Care was rolled out, I was completely disappointed and felt ripped off. A Medicare system for all that addresses and sets medical costs and we all share the cost of premiums would be the way to go. As it is, private payers are getting the dirty end of the stick. My wife’s recently announced 2016 premiums will be $464 a month. We can’t afford it anymore. There are a lot of private payers out there who don’t have insurance because they can’t afford it. They just pay the penalty and the whole point of Obama Care is lost when all don’t participate.

  15. Outsider says:

    In case you haven’t noticed, not much of what Obama instituted is working. I would also remind you that it was liberals who came up with the law that said you couldn’t deny care to anyone at an ER. This in turn created another crisis in that the people who had insurance got charged exorbitant amounts for their care to cover everyone else’s, in particular those who demanded services at the E.R. When we complained that Obamacare was welfare, the left said we were paying for others’ care at the E.R. anyway. WTF? The fact is, before Obamacare catastrophic health policies were very inexpensive. The pre-existing conditions terms were to encourage people to buy insurance before they needed it, not after, as people with actual understanding of financial matters realized insurance companies would go broke without them. The whole reason people are clambering for single payer is because they believe if the government pays it doesn’t matter if the program is solvent or not; the government will simply borrow or print more money it doesn’t have and real laws of finance can be thrown out the window. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to do that forever. Now, I wouldn’t have a problem with single payer other than the fact that people who do nothing as far as contributing financially to the system will be given the same access as those, such as myself that have been working for decades to get somewhere in life. My parents worked for 50 years, earned modest incomes, and always had insurance somehow, and say what you will, but they should not be behind some crack dealer who gets shot on a street corner protecting his turf. There is no incentive to better oneself and contribute when everything is given to them that others have to work for.

  16. Rich Mikola says:

    NO POOP, SHERLOCK !!! TOLD YOU SO !!!

  17. Obama 2015 says:

    Obama did pass the health Care plan in his 2 year in office.

    The Obamacare program works well and if the Congress and Senate could finally vote to make it stronger we wouldn’t have this problem. Instead of trying to help Americans they just keep voting to repeal it and keep sending minor issues to the supreme court (last one was a sentence because some states like Florida refuse to set up Medicare option so they did it for us.).

    I remember when men like Reagan and Bush SR would work with men like Kennedy and Sanders and try and pass a program to help everyone. Today it’s all about money.

    This is greedy insurance companies as usual doing what they want as our elected representatives stand by with their hand out. (sounds like wall street )

    They are mad they have to provide basic coverage the rest of the civilized world provides and it might cut into their billion dollar profits and NCAA bowl game tickets and advertising.

    Maybe someone should start a class action lawsuit, sounds like collusion to me.

    Here is what the next president needs to do to fix this issue.

    Repeal Citizens United to get big money out of politics.

    Increase the Social Security tax so everyone pays their fair share based on their payroll

    A Medicare program for any and all Americans that you pay with a payroll, SS or monthly payments based on your salary and tax breaks.

    Amend Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973 and make medical insurance agencies, hospitals, clinics and even doctors,service organizations and not for profit.

    After doing this, the medical insurance agencies will be back where they belong and everyone can go see a doctor when they sick.

  18. Geezer says:

    I agree with the commenter “CommonSense.” I hope to see this clumsy system evolve
    into the single-payer model, which was the goal at the outset. Medicare for everyone,
    with the private insurance companies providing “Medigap” coverage.

    I think it will happen, as our current system is unsustainable.
    But unsustainable as it may be – many lives are being saved, and many Americans
    avoided losing their homes to pay medical bills with the much-maligned “Obamacare.”
    The fact that insurers can’t exclude you for pre-existing conditions is revolutionary.

    It’s a shame that in a country like ours that citizens have to resort to buying prescription
    medicine from Canada and Mexico where drugs sell for sometimes 10% of stateside
    prices. Capitalism’s greedy and hoary hands are what’s making your healthcare a luxury.
    Pierre posted an article recently about Daraprim – a life-saving drug that went from
    13.50 a pill to $750.00 overnight because the greedy scumbag, former hedge-fund manager
    decided that a “killing” was better than a living. “Let the bodies pile up” he figured.
    This is the collective philosophy of American healthcare for profit today.

    The only solution is Medicare for all. Once you remove 80% of the malignancy that private
    insurers are, things become more affordable. After that a law should be enacted where you
    lose your patent if you decide to suddenly jack up the price of your drug a certain percentage
    over a defined time-span.

    After this I’d like to see higher education be made free or affordable to all in the USA.
    The brain-drain we’re experiencing has come back to haunt us primarily at election time.
    An educated populace sends shivers down most corporate-bought politicians’ spines.
    An educated populace is less likely to put up with such a duplicitous and fractious government.

    * Medicare for all
    * Education for all
    * Bring back American industry

  19. maggie says:

    Exactly right–the man wanted his “legacy” so bad, he left the ACA wide open for the Supreme Court to gut it. Which is why I laugh at all the recent and ongoing attempts to ‘repeal Obamacare”, because the Supremes essentially did that when they decided that states could opt out of the expansion.

    The ACA was a great concept, but the numbers that made it work were predicated on all fifty states and all eligible Americans having access. The minute the Supremes made that decision, the math was never going to work.

    It’s all over but the shouting. And for what it’s worth, this “liberal” NEVER WANTED this POS “legislation”. It was a sellout gimme to Big Pharma and Big Insurance, and a way to create another invasive bureaucracy. All they had to do was expand Medicare to all. They could have done that with the money they wasted on this new boondoggle, but no–Liberals were told by Democratic Party “Leadership” to shut up and deal with the sellout, that they would “incrementally make it better”. They’re still lying about that.

    If we want to fix what’s wrong, we need to put Hillary Clinton out of our minds and vote for Sanders. Yesterday. The guy WILL fix this crap and he’ll fix it to benefit US, not insurance companies or Big Pharma.

  20. Obama 2015 says:

    Outsider

    Reagan signed Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), the law barring hospitals from turning away patients on grounds of their insurance or citizenship

    He also

    Reagan doubled the size of Medicaid over the course of his presidency to pay for all of those new uninsured patients

    Reagan pushed something called Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs), which essentially had the government set the prices Medicare was willing to pay for each Medicare admission rather than pay for reimburse doctors per cost. DRGs cut Medicare costs by $49 billion by 1986,.

    I guess What Would Reagan Do would be what Obama has been trying to do.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The major issue with Medicare for all is it will put insurance companies out of business. Many of them would deserve that, as they are greedy corporations, but a lot of people would lose jobs.

  22. scoff the cuff says:

    Get government out of health care. How about that?!
    Recently a family member had to pay a $150.00 ‘permit’ to replace a water heater. Thank you city government. (yes, not Palm Coast) Government ‘permitted’ them to be ‘allowed’ hot water.
    I had health insurance before ‘Obamacare’, the government took that away, and so, health care. So, when will government ‘permit’ me to be ‘allowed’ not only insurance again, but health care?

  23. Jim R. says:

    This is why we should be backing Sanders, he’s the only one calling for free health care.

  24. Clyde says:

    When an aspirin stops costing $17.50 and a bandage cost $238.50 without the tape, then maybe we can find health insurance that will not steal our children’s future inheritance or cause me to sell my house and live in the woods.

  25. maggie says:

    It’s not as if a Medicare expansion wouldn’t be hiring more people. All those good workers put out of work by greedy insurance companies will find other jobs. The “jobs” they have now are awful anyway.

  26. Obama 2015 says:

    I hope Bernie Sanders is the key to all this. I respect Hillary but I think we need a guy like Sanders for 4 years with a strong VP like Warren that everyone respects and knows they can’t screw with. They have walked the walk for years.

    This does have to stop, how much more can we the poor be bent before we all break. Some of us can’t even afford to take time off, yet alone pay for medical bills.

  27. Freddy says:

    A lot of good ideas pros and cons being discussed here but are any politicians listening? HELLO??? I am sorry but they do not listen to their constituents anymore. They are all beholding to big donors and special interest. Get into politics and try to get to D.C. and you will have good retirement, medical, and financial benefits. Do you know of any congressman or senator that left D.C. a poor man or woman? Hillary claimed she did. Ya! Right!

  28. Lance the Libertarian says:

    0bamacare isn’t working by design. The lefts goal has always been a government controlled, single payer system. Power and control is the object, marketed as benevolence.

    0bamacare is designed to fail to further government control. It is the same, exact thing the do-gooders have done since they started putting their hands in the system decades ago! However, they need an excuse as to why it has failed, abysmally. The scapegoat will be the insurance agencies.

  29. confidential says:

    Obamacare is not reaching its goal simply because is being boycotted by the right. The wealthy don’t give a R.A about the millions without preventive or any healthcare at all. Not they only moved their thousands of factories overseas taking Americans jobs for greedy benefit from slave wagers leaving our workers without their medical coverage and laid off, but furthermore now they also boycott and undermine the only universal plan to help those unemployed!! But Boy do they demand tax breaks and tax loops for the billionaire individuals and corporations!! All this BS these GOP tells to their believers that taxes in Europe, Canada or elsewhere that have achieved a good Universal healthcare system, are 65% or more!
    We should be a shamed of ourselves for all these tax funds hungry “compassion” to go and help the needy, exploited, abused by dictators elsewhere in the world, while ignoring the basic needs of our own women, children, veterans, men and many of them elderly that roam our cities and woods homeless, jobless and without preventive or any health care at all and to not fault of their own! Many of them are these wars veterans that do not deserve it! Yes we need our Universal Healthcare whether Obamacare or whatever, and we need shelters for our homeless, jobs for our unemployed and free drug rehabs. For how long we all think we will be able to drag along these unresolved problems, without affecting all our lives? We need to start investing the taxes we pay for in what was intended for, at home and on our own.

  30. Anonymous says:

    The ACA is better than something not quite as good and that was the system we had before. What everyone’s insurance rates were going down prior to the ACA?? Obama’s mistake was caving in to the right wing and taking single payer off the table. And I think I need to say this one more time… Most service/food workers don’t make enough money for or their employer doesn’t offer any health insurance to keep them healthy. So the next time one may want to complain about the high cost of health care, what would you pay to keep from catching a cold, flu, or worse from a worker who needs to go to work due to their low income?

  31. joe says:

    So sad to see you fellow Americans being kept down by your state governments. Only in states where state goverments have made it difficult from the beginning, to sign up and did not do everything they can to help their people is where Obamacare is failing.

  32. Stef says:

    It’s such a shame! Sometimes my husband and I talk about moving out of the country to a nation with a more civilized approach. Even though we are on Medicare, we still feel that healthcare availability in this nation is on a slippery slope, particularly for our kids! Yet, so many people are short-sighted. They don’t realize how vulnerable we ALL are to bad luck, compounded by these ignorant attitudes about the role of government to check the self-interest of the power players.

  33. Anonymous says:

    How soon we forget! While Bill Clinton was President, he tasked Hillary Clinton with spear-heading the effort to make healthcare reform a reality. Congress could not have shut that (or her) down any quicker, in Congressional hearings, precisely because what she was pushing for is exactly what Bernie Sanders is now promising. A single payer, universal healthcare system is a good idea–In fact, it is the BEST option we have for the future–And I have no doubt that Bernie Sanders would be shut down even quicker than the joint Clinton effort was. Bernie Sanders does not wear a superman’s cape. And he is hardly the first person to have tried (and failed) to sell the idea of affordable AND EQUITABLE care. Even Richard Nixon (shudder) supported the IDEA of universal care. Politically, he felt it was a battle that was doomed to lose. We need to gut the lobbies that do their damnedest to prevent what is inevitable before it even gets out of the gate. If the ACA falls, something has to take its place or our healthcare system will be in absolute chaos and EVERYBODY will suffer–Even the Doctors, Insurance Executives, medical equipment manufacturers and Pharmaceutical concerns that are fighting serious reform efforts tooth and nail. They are not stupid–They know that they are bound to lose their cushy ground in the end. They just want to shake the tree as much as they can in order to gather whatever nuts may fall while they still have the power and influence to do so.

  34. Knightwatch says:

    No concession!! Not for a moment. Eleven million Americans have health insurance that they would not have had without the ACA. We now have no lifetime limits, and no cancellation. We have guaranteed coverage for preexisting conditions. We have our kids on our policies until age 26. We have a requirement that insurers pay out 85% of premiums in actual health care. We have plan options and virtual storefronts to shop for plans. We have millions of new insureds that help keep costs down for all of us. We have millions of new insureds that will not have to go to emergency centers for routine health issues, at five times the cost of normal hospitalization, which we were all paying for. We have millions of new insureds who no longer have to endure illness and injury because of the lack of resources to get health care. We have thousands of families who are no longer one illness away from financial collapse.

    The ACA is not perfect. And if Republicans would help to improve it rather than trying to end it because of their implacable political and personal opposition to our president, we could lead the world in health care for our citizens instead of being firmly in the middle of the pack behind other civilized, caring and advanced nations.

  35. Field of Dreams says:

    Insurance companies have been standing between you and your doctor since the Carter administration, yet you think this whole mess was “designed to fail” so the government could “control” healthcare and it’s all Obama’s fault? Please, I don’t like the man either, but if you simply must sit around and point fingers and assign blame, please stop listening to all the industry propaganda (disguised as stories on your nightly news shows) and assign the blame to the correct parties. NOBODY is controlling “healthcare” right now except insurance companies, and that’s exactly how they want it to continue..

    You can’t scapegoat those who are already guilty. Insurance companies do not want to be controlled and they damned well should be. That’s what the ACA was supposed to do. But in order to look all bi-partisany and special–like someone said upthread–Barack Obama was all about his “legacy”. So he sold out to Big Pharma (dis-allowed negotiating prescription drug prices and gutted the rules by which drugs are licensed and marketed, among other things) to get their “Support”, so he could tell Congress The Industry Approves and This Is Our Only Chance, so they rammed it through. And then the Supreme Court scuttled it when they allowed states to refuse to participate.

    The way this thing stands right now, peoples’ rates are going up because of simple math, folks. HALF THE COUNTRY ISN”T PARTICIPATING. The first years’ subsidies were based on projections of numbers for all eligible Americans in every state. Now reality is sinking in as the “premiums” negotiated on behalf of the insurance companies–by those who didn’t change the math when half the states opted out–are skyrocketing. Gee, guess what? Nobody did a damn thing to rein in insurers COSTS.

    Well, here we are, and something needs to be done. Understand, right now, that the Free Market cannot fix this, it needs to be gone.. Scrap it and open up Medicare to all. The infrastructure to do that is already in place. So stop listening to all these liars who keep telling you it can’t be done, that’s a damned lie. We’re at the point where we have no choice. People are dying because they can’t afford simple doctor visits. That’s obnoxious, outrageous and un-American and it has to stop.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Keep in mind, if you can’t afford it you get nothing.

  37. Ken says:

    Good job Pierre. You still couldn’t help yourself taking a jab at the republicans but good article anyways.

  38. confidential says:

    And we should all keep very present in mind that those very rabid Congressmen and Senators against Obamacare or any Universal Health Care System for their fellow Americans are the very one’s that we are all taxpayers forced to pay for their luscious government health coverage benefit that they have!
    I say now those that undermine Obamacare while supposedly representing us in office should be stripped too of their health care insurance that we are forced to pay for them. Talking about totalitarian/feudal form of government in congress and senate, by denying to all what they give themselves with our monies! We are back into the dark middle ages?

  39. Donna Heiss says:

    Democrat, Republican, none of this matters to me. Have any of you been admitted into the hospital? How many hospitalists have you seen? A new one everyday perhaps? Do they come in and ask “so, whats going on with you”? They have no clue. Your own doctor is no longer allowed to care for you or even come into the hospital to see you. It doesn’t matter what kind of insurance you have. Our premiums (private insurance) is $1500.00 a month with a $6,500.00 deductable. All this to see doctors in the hospital who do not know you have never treated you and have no idea what your conditions are. I had one doctor visit me in ICU that would have killed me if I would have let him put me on a certain drug. He had NO knowledge of my history. His answer to me? “Well thats a risk we have to take” Umm no, really its not. I threw him out.

    What is really needed is insurance reform.

  40. Will Awdry says:

    Anonymous was wrong when they said…
    In case you haven’t noticed, not much of what Obama instituted is working. I would also remind you that it was liberals who came up with the law that said you couldn’t deny care to anyone at an ER. This in turn created another crisis in that the people who had insurance got charged exorbitant amounts for their care to cover everyone else’s, in particular those who demanded services at the E.R. When we complained that Obamacare was welfare, the left said we were paying for others’ care at the E.R. anyway. WTF?

    Wrong. You said ‘liberals who came up with the law that said you couldn’t deny care…”, but that was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by a Republican President.

  41. just me says:

    Confidential many Rs put forth the suggestion that ALL in DC must be on 0bamacare BUT it wasthe Ds who would not go along with it. like so many times we see those in power making one set of rules laws for us and they get to live by another.

  42. Nancy N. says:

    So Outsider thinks that pre-existing condition policies were designed to force people to buy insurance before they were sick? Yeah, that’s not how it ends up working though in the real world.

    I’ve been battling my entire adult life with lupus. When I say “entire adult life”, I mean that literally. I had my first issues at age 18. At the time I was on my parents’ insurance. I then transitioned to my husband’s insurance. Due to my health, I’ve been self-employed my entire adult life. Several years ago, before the ACA law went into effect, I lost insurance through my husband. I spent about 18 months uninsured until the ACA law went into effect. NO ONE would sell me insurance privately because of my health, and I had no other way to get it. I’d had insurance my entire adult life, but now I was sick, and without a way to cover myself with insurance.

    Now, my daughter is in the same boat. She’s 12, and was diagnosed several years ago with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and several other auto-immune diseases. She will likely eventually develop lupus. Under the old system she would never as an adult have been able to purchase insurance on the private market, and – as she has autism as well as the health issues – it is uncertain whether she will ever marry or be employed in a way to earn employer guaranteed insurance. What would have happened to her when she became an adult and was unable to be carried on her parents’ policies any longer?

    To everyone complaining about the high cost of policies on the insurance marketplace, that come with high deductibles, I say you really need to look at the silver policies. They are slightly more expensive per month but the silver policies are eligible to receive subsidized deductible and patient pay cap amounts if you have low income, making them in many cases far more affordable overall if you have health issues than the “cheaper” bronze plans, because your total out of pocket over the year will be far less.

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