Facts and Predictions

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services

Fact; Doctors are falling in line to refuse to support ObamaCare and to treat patients insured by those plans approximately 2:1. 

Prediction; Not enough paying contributors will sign up for ObamaCare.  As “Baby Boomers” age and pass into their geriatric phase of life when health care costs skyrocket, and as the new law provides free health care to millions of Americans who previously had none, ObamaCare math requires that a great many millions of healthy, young, paying Americans sign up for ObamaCare.  They are not doing that, perhaps because the website is still broken… or perhaps because they don’t care very much about health care and about paying for insurance.  After all they are by definition “healthy and young” and need little health care.  Even though this group is working they are also typically not making much money – just enough to get along in most cases.  Even more reason not to sign up.

Fact; There are only three ways to fix that:

1. Charge those who do sign up even more than the already high rates we are now seeing related to ObamaCare, which will drive even more Americans away from the program, and cause those already in the program to try to get out.  That will simply not work.  No one will sign up to pay any proposed newer, even higher rates.

2. Subsidize ObamaCare with your tax dollars.  That might work for a while if the spotlight were not already on ObamaCare, but also shining brightly on our already ballooning debt, and our overwhelming list of social programs like welfare, food stamps and public housing.  The Democrats and Republicans are obviously irreparably split on financial issues.  The Obama administration has not passed a budget since he took office.  They shut down the government every time the debt ceiling debate comes around.  Congress will never pass such a huge new tax.  Never.

3. Increase the ridiculously low fines for not joining – between $95 up to 1% of gross annual income (about $250 for an income of $25k/yr) – to something more in the multiple thousands of dollars range.  Many Americans will not be able to pay that fine of course so the IRS will be take that money out of their tax returns… and out of their checking and savings accounts if necessary.  That’s why ObamaCare established the IRS as the enforcement arm of the new law right from the start.  That’s why the IRS is getting 16,000 new agents.  That’s why the most loyal of Obama’s supporters in senior positions in the IRS have been left untouched by the recent (and ongoing) IRS scandal in which they denied tax-exempt status prejudicially to conservative organizations.  No one in the IRS was ever fired for that.  Obama needs those ideologues there to support him.

Only this last option – increasing the fines for non-compliance – has any chance of working.  The revolt from that action – the IRS attaching the wages and bank accounts of millions of Americans will bring about a revolt so strong that Congress would have no choice but to immediately intervene to stop it.

Those are the three “real” options, but two more are also out there:

4. Drop the whole thing and start over – which Obama and the Dems will fall on their swords to oppose, because this is their crowning achievement in their push toward “fundamentally changing America.”  It’s Obama’s only real legacy for his two terms as President.  For the rest of the Democratic Party allowing ObamaCare to collapse would be an open admission that the Republicans were right all along.  It might even threaten Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Presidency in 2016 – remember that she has supported similar health care reform since she was First Lady and her husband was President, and that both she and her husband are on the record as strongly supporting ObamaCare.

5. So the last option is (drum roll please) a single-payer system…  (Ya, I know – Wikipedia… bite me)

“Single-payer health care is a system in which the government, rather than private insurers, pays for all health care costs.  Single-payer systems may contract for healthcare services from private organizations (as is the case in Canada) or may own and employ healthcare resources and personnel (as is the case in the United Kingdom).  The term “single-payer” thus only describes the funding mechanism—referring to health care financed by a single public body from a single fund – and does not specify the type of delivery, or for whom doctors work.  Although the fund holder is usually the State, some forms of single-payer use a mixed public-private system.”

Fact; Many prominent Democratic Party politicians and talking heads are already on the record as wanting a single-payer system.  In fact the current ObamaCare law toyed with the idea of a “partial single-payer” aspect (that’s the mixed public-private system mentioned above.)  In some aspects ObamaCare in its current form, in some aspects, is already a mixed public-private system, although at this point Americans are still free to obtain their own health care… as long as it meets the minimum requirement established by ObamaCare (geriatric care, pre-natal care, mental health care, pediatric care, full hospitalization, drug-addiction treatment, to name a few – whether you need those are not) because plans that don’t meet that new standard are simply “illegal” under the new law, and having such a plan will NOT keep the IRS from fining you!

Prediction; Dems cannot get a single-payer system.  It will never pass the Congress.  It is already at least possible that the Dems will lose control of the Senate in the upcoming election in 2014 specifically because of public outcry over ObamaCare, although that is unlikely.  In fact the Huffington Post actually posted an article titled “Meet the 37 House Republicans Who Could Lose Their Jobs For Shutting Down The Government” only a few days ago.

It is possible that this time next year the American people will look at their personal financial situation and say “Ya know, I have a lot less money now than I did last year.  I bet it has something to do with the Republican party shutting down the government last year for 16 days!”  Don’t laugh… it could happen.

I’m sure that even my left-wingers out there clearly see that the recent shutdown will not even be remembered by the American people come next election.  Hell, most Americans didn’t even know it happened last month when it was actually happening!

No.  In 2014 the story will be ObamaCare.  It’s pretty unlikely that the Republicans will lose the House, but it’s also pretty unlikely that the Republicans will win the Senate.

Next on the list of those who would stop a single-payer system is the Supreme Court.  They will never uphold moves to a single-payer system.  They very nearly stopped ObamaCare as it is back in June of 2012.  The law squeezed past that body with a 5-to-4 vote.  Of course we do not elect the members of the Supreme Court, but the House and Senate only barely passed the law before it went to the Supreme Court, and a few months later in November of 2012 Americans gave control of the House to the Republicans.

But all political actions require money, and the medical industry – from the health insurance companies like Aetna and Blue Cross / Blue Shield, to the corporate hospital networks like Kaiser Permanente, to the pharmaceutical corporations like Pfizer and Bayer – has a great deal of money.  The broader network of independent doctors, clinics and hospitals also have a lot of money to donate, and will support moves made by the medical industry because it will be in their best interests to do so.  Collectively this bloc definitely has the ear of America.  They control our health care.  They speak directly to Americans in those little exam rooms.  Hell, they see us naked.  These are smart people – probably a lot smarter than our politicians.  Further they are driven by profit and greed – arguably that’s the same thing that drives our politicians!  They saw this outcome of ObamaCare.  They’re working up for the fight right now.

Of course the fate of ObamaCare is not certain – I am not implying that it is, and honestly I do not clearly “see” any particular outcome to all of this.  But one thing is certain; the math just doesn’t work, and something has to give.  Many Americans (probably 40%, with estimates of as high as 65%)… working Americans… voting Americans – will pay more for their health insurance in order to pay for millions more Americans who will pay very little or even nothing, and I believe that they will vote to correct that starting this time next year.

There is no free lunch.

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PS: amidst all of this ObamaCare stuff please don’t lose track of the Syrian civil war, the Iranian nuclear weapons program, the financial crisis in Europe, the spread of al Qaeda in Africa, the resurgence of Russia as a world power, Chinese military expansion into the Pacific, and the continuing North Korean aggression and their nuclear weapons program.

… oh, and the US National Debt hit $17 trillion dollars a few days ago.  Did your evening news report that to you?  Don’t watch an evening news show?  Huh!  How’s that working out for ya?

So all that kinda makes that business with a new hat for the Marines, and little boys being allowed to piss in the little girls room in California schools little more than ‘shiny objects’ doesn’t it?

Wake up America.

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