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November 15, 2013

The Band-Aid Approach

Joe Charlebois

When you have a tumor that is likely to metastasize, you cut it out. When you have an out of control centralized government program that is on the path of destroying the world’s premier healthcare system, you cut it out.


Like a patient who ignores the doctor’s advice to quit smoking and drinking, each and every Democrat that was in office in 2010 – when the Affordable Care Act passed – ignored the warning signs of the impending disaster that would result.


The passage of Obamacare was the culmination of a century long crusade of the progressive left. President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress were finally able to eliminate the free market health insurance system – their Holy Grail.


Unfortunately the Democrats were never concerned about insuring those with pre-existing conditions or affordability; rather it was all about political immortality. If they did truly care about those in need, they would have spent millions to pay for or subsidize the uninsured to purchase the healthcare policy of their choice.


The American public, which had long been wary of attempts by the federal government to centralize the control of healthcare, was duped by false and misleading statements from the president and other Democrats.  It has been recently discovered and confirmed that – for political reasons – full disclosure on the side effects of Obamacare implementation would never be an option. If revealed, this law would never have passed Congress.


The greatest example of willfully hiding the truth from the public was when then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., CA) was interviewed leaving the 2010 Legislative Conference for the Association of Counties. In a “we-know-what-is-best-for-you” moment, she stated: “But we have to pass the bill to see what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.” The controversy that Ms. Pelosi was speaking of was the “false claims” from those impassioned citizens who brought forth their concerns over seeing what was in the bill at congressional town hall meetings. These concerned citizens were catching on to the perils of the bill.


After the passage of the Affordable Care Act, there were further warnings and attempts to warn of pending issues most notably by Sen. Mike Enzi (R., WY) who three years ago on September 29, 2010 said on the floor of the Senate:


“Americans will eventually be forced to buy the kind of health insurance the federal government thinks you should have… Employers will be less likely to hire new workers and probably even lay off workers…Most businesses the administration estimates between 39 and 69 percent will not be able to keep the coverage they have…This new regulation appears to ignore the impact it will have in the real world. It’ll drive up costs and reduce the number of people who will have insurance.”


While Senator Enzi read the bill, nearly all others did not.


Now that Obamacare has been implemented, the individual policy marketplace has been effectively destroyed. Millions are seeking coverage and few if any are finding anything with the value of their previous plan. Each month, as renewal time comes up, we will see another influx of uninsured individuals. The next shakeup will be at the end of 2014 when the employer based plans will be affected. Many knew of the coming storm but only a handful attempted to stop it.


Now is the time.


Democrats that are up for re-election next year (all of those in the House of Representatives and 15 in the U. S. Senate) are running around like Chicken Little and promising that no more acorns will fall. Band-Aids, such as those proposed by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., LA) that would force insurers to reinstate policies, will just perpetuate the current misery that a state-run system would inflict.


These current proposals will not allow the insurance industry to fix what the government has destroyed. The House and Senate need to once again take up legislation that would repeal this law. It needs to be replaced with sensible solutions for those who unwontedly fall into the cracks of the uninsured.


Repeal and replace the centralized government approach with a free market approach that addresses the inherent issues of pre-existing conditions and portability.


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