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Jun 2, 201401:01 PMVan Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas

One hoot for Obamacare

(page 1 of 2)

From the pages of In Business magazine.

I’m still annoyed at the way the Affordable Care Act was passed. Remember this quote: “You have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” That’s no way to run a railroad, let alone pass landmark legislation.
Nor am I pleased that the case for it was made on a broken promise. “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan, period. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period.” Those kinds of commitments must be kept.

And I still have concerns about healthcare.gov, especially data security with increasingly sophisticated hackers, and the ACA’s overall demographics. It needs more young people (i.e., healthy folks) who don’t cost the system to pay for the geezers (like yours truly) who do.

But I’m also mindful that it replaced a health care system that was unsustainable and would have bankrupted the country in time. For all of the flaws associated with the ACA and its botched implementation, repealing it without a clear idea of what comes next would cause more chaos than a tornado ripping through a trailer park.

Adjustments will be made to benefit health care consumers, who also happen to vote. But with the debate so polarized, we’re forgetting to take the long view of whether this new and evolving system will bend down the cost curve.

(Continued)

Jun 5, 2014 03:13 pm
 Posted by  John

You know what REALLY bends cost curves down? Putting consumers in charge of their own spending. Masking costs through employer or, especially, through government insurance only divorces consumers from rational decision-making and allows costs to run rampant.

The ACA will lead to increasing costs far greater than any savings. We'll start out several billion dollars in the hole just from implementation and the hidden additional employer fees (Transitional Reinsurance Fee anyone?). Then, we'll move to the ongoing government administration of the program where the costs will balloon like every other federal program since, oh, ever. What could go wrong, putting the same people in charge of the VA system, with it's rapidly increasing costs per patient and deadly wait times, in charge of healthcare for an even larger segment of the population? It'll soon look something like this: "In total, the VA spent at least $13.77 million on 251 salaried employees performing full-time union work. Others, who were not included on the list provided by the VA, work part-time for unions at the taxpayer expense. In fiscal year 2011, the latest on record, the VA used 998,483 hours of this “official time,” costing taxpayers more than $42 million." But I'm sure it will all cost less somehow in the end. Ha.

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