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As Long as We Remember...

March 27, 2013

Obamacare: The New Repetitive Stress Disorder

Kevin E. Dayhoff

On January 1, 2014, the revolutionary change in how we will receive our healthcare in the future will become fully implemented. Last Saturday was the third anniversary of the law and even the mainstream media, which coordinated its passage, cannot avoid reporting on how it is already making all of us sick.


Only the diehard Kool-Aid drinker is not ruing the day when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law by a manically joyful President Barack Obama.


With only a short nine months left before its full implementation, many are suffering from widespread anxiety disorder and panic attacks over negotiating the byzantine and punishing labyrinth of new fees, rules, regulations, and taxes which are already looking like symptoms of the flu – or walking pneumonia – for the $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare industry.


John Hayward, writing for the leading conservative digest, Human Events, wrote “Unions and Congress Choke on Obamacare,” last Friday.


“If you haven’t gotten the idea that ObamaCare is a disaster for just about everyone involved, you haven’t been paying attention. A late wake-up call was just delivered to Congress, where the ruling class, and its mighty imperial retinue, is just beginning to realize how difficult it will be to implement the monstrosity they voted into law without reading. A story at Politico notes that Republicans managed to force ‘Congress to live under the rules we pass for everybody else,’ as Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa put it…”


Last Sunday, David Morgan reported for Reuters: “Opponents mark Obamacare's 3rd anniversary with lobbying surge… Healthcare industry wants no taxes on devices, insurance… Employers look for escape from employee coverage mandate… and Non-binding Senate vote seeks repeal of medical devices tax…”


“At issue are a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices valued at $30 billion over the next 10 years, a $100 billion health insurance premium tax and the employer mandate, which opponents say could cripple many small businesses with costly fines.


“The critics used Saturday, the third anniversary of the passage of ACA, to warn that the provisions could undercut economic growth, sap technical innovation and raise costs for Medicare beneficiaries and other consumers.


“America's Health Insurance Plans, a Washington-based trade group, told lawmakers that the premium tax, combined with a proposed cut in government payments to Medicare Advantage plans, could raise premiums for elderly and disabled beneficiaries by $50 to $90 a month…”


Sharp increases in the cost of insurance caused by President Obama’s signature legislation, are already forcing more people to go uninsured as the new regulations are causing the cost of medicine and insurance to soar.


On March 13, the Associated Press carried its “Big Story” of the day that began, “Some Americans could see their insurance bills double next year as the health care overhaul law expands coverage to millions of people.”


The AP story, “Insurers Warn Of Overhaul-Induced Sticker Shock,” by Tom Murphy, stated what most of us already know; the massive health care legislation will leave the nation with a chronic heart condition…


“The nation's big health insurers say they expect premiums — or the cost for insurance coverage — to rise from 20 to 100 percent for millions of people due to changes that will occur when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act roll out in January 2014.”


“While insurers forecast instant premiums hikes starting next January, the overhaul also is expected to tame health care costs for many.Starting next year, the law will require insurers to cover everyone who applies. That means health care costs could fall dramatically for people who have been unable to find coverage due to a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure.


“There also will be tax credits, or subsidies, given to people with incomes that fall within 400 percent of the federal poverty level….The credits should help the 20-something customers that insurers warn will see big premium hikes…”


The poetic injustice to one of the greatest demographic supporters of President Obama, the 20-somethings, is wonderful to behold.


Happy Birthday, Obamacare,” written by David Harsanyi for Human Events, spelled it out clearly that so far all that Americans have gotten out of President Obama’s healthcare reform is fewer jobs, fewer doctors, higher healthcare costs, more debt, and an erosion and deterioration of the quality of medicine.


Moreover, Mr. Harsanyi calls to our attention; higher health care costs: Take it away New York Times:


“Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.”


In the last several years many of us have been impressed with the number of bake sales and fundraisers for friends, family members and colleagues, who have been diagnosed with serious illnesses and cannot pay all of their medical bills in spite of the fact that they were already carrying the huge financial burden of being “insured.”


Much of the current discussions over the cost and bureaucracy of the new era of healthcare have lost sight of the most deleterious aspect of Obamacare and that is the historic erosion of our personal liberties and quality of life.


If you have liked what Verizon has done to your phone service and what Comcast has done to watching TV, you are going to love the bureaucratic speed and efficiency the Department of Motor Vehicles lends to the oversight of your healthcare as delivered by the United States Postal Service with the cost and customer service of Verizon and Comcast.


Ain’t none of us getting out of this alive.


. . . . .I’m just saying. . . . .


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