Friday, September 20, 2013

Obamacare Shutdown

      They’re at it again – the Tea Party.  The focus of their ire this time is Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act otherwise known as Obamacare.  I continue to search the Internet for publications by reputable unbiased analysts to understand the real facts about Obamacare and the bottom-line reasons why so many claim to be against it.  Against it to such an extent, that they will do whatever to stop its implementation, even if it causes Americans great harm by shutting down the government.
      When one takes the pieces of the Act and asks the general public, including the rabid Republicans, which of the law’s provision do they dislike, the majority favor all.  What they dislike are the content of the lies promoted by the opposition, which is understandable.  These lies were created intentionally to promote dissent among those who will never do anything more but listen to or read one-sided arguments. 
In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. —Adolf Hitler , Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X
      Of course, those promoting Obamacare also exaggerate the benefits and diminish the impact of the costs.  They, like the opposition, depend on a constituency that is intellectually lazy and won’t bother to verify.  Nevertheless, several sources that have attempted to repudiate all the propaganda.  A good one is and it publication “Obamacare Myths and Obamacare Facts
      The question one then asks is, "If Obamacare is potentially so good why are so many people opposed to it."  That is hard to answer but here is what we suspect.

    1) Obamacare is NOT free.  It’s an expensive program that somebody must pay for it.  Whereas, the program has attempted to spread the cost across all income brackets, the burden predominantly falls on those who do not need Obamacare rather than those who do need it.  The following is probably the single greatest problem Obamacare opponents have against the law --  It is viewed as another form of social redistribution of wealth where the well-to-do provide welfare for the less fortunate.

      2) Obamacare is likely to explode an already uncontrollable deficit.  It’s really difficult to measure of the deficit proposal.  Most futurists depend on projections by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.  They continue to change their forecast of the impact on the deficit.  Nevertheless, the Act is still expected, when FULLY implemented, to REDUCE the deficit.  See Forbes article “CBO: Obamacare Will Spend More, Tax More, and Reduce the Deficit Less Than We Previously Thought”

      3) It’s called Obamacare and not Romneycare. Even though these two programs are virtually identical and contain ideas over the last two decades from both Republican and Democrat administrations, Obamacare represents a win for Obama and the Democrats. That alone is sufficient for Obama haters.  No way can major groups within the Republican party swallow that.  Sounds petty and implausible , but that has become standard operating procedure for Washington DC.  Here is the long verse on this consideration in the Daily KOS, The Real Reason why Republicans Hate Obamacare,

      As an owner of a medium-sized business, I am on the front line of this debate.  So let me share the FACTS as they relate to my business. First, I employ about 150 unskilled to semi-skilled factory workers.  My average wage is about $11/hour for production worker.  I have always offered my employees insurance and paid for it.  However, over the past couple of decades the cost of that insurance has increased nearly 20% annually.  We have had to continually increase deductibles and share the cost burden with the employees.  Nevertheless, our insurance exceeds the minimum requirements under Obamacare. Our increases since Obamacare passed have been about half of what they were previous to the law. 
     However, 30% of my employees have chosen to waive our medical insurance and even more cannot afford to buy insurance for their families.  They and not my company will face the full brunt of Obamacare. The financial burden they will face was quantified in the recent advisory we were required by law to distribute by October 1’st ( ). 
     Go to the last page as look at the insurance premiums.  They are not affordable, but my employees either buy that insurance or they pay the penalty.  My guess most will go uninsured and pay that penalty, essentially another tax for which they receive no benefit.  They have little other choice.
      For everything I have read, I do not expect my insurance rate increase to be much different than in the last several years, but I do expect several of the my previously uninsured to be “scared into” opting into my coverage, thereby increasing my company’s cost.
     All companies have to compete for employees.  We do it through a combination of wage rates and benefits.  Our wages are reasonable for the area and skill level, and we offer the full menu of benefits.  I don’t know how Obamacare will tip that balance.  But typical of thinking of most business owners, I anticipate it will tend to be unfavorable.  I have been moving my prices to compensate. 
     Eventually, the marketplace will re-balance and fully absorb Obamacare.  However in the process, we should expect a few significant changes to the way American view their healthcare.
     FACT #1: Most Americans do not realize is the cost of healthcare in America is nearly DOUBLE of that in the rest of the Industrial world and according to the World Health Organization ranks about 14’th in quality for the average person.  
     FACT #2: American healthcare costs have NO CONTROLS. Providers can charge whatever they want almost to a level of absurdity. Time magazine ran an article, Why health care costs are so high,
     FACT #3: Obamacare is a bitter pill, but America has NO CHOICE if it wants affordable health care comparable to the rest of the world.  
    Keep in mind that famous FRAM oil filter slogan, “You can pay me now, or pay me later."
    We either pay a small sum now to fix this problem or a far larger and continually growing sum later as medical expenses continue to bankrupt families and our country.  
   FACT #4: Contrary to claims by the Republicans, THEY HAVE NO BETTER PLAN.  The most reasonable solutions of several decades of thought by all parties have been compressed into the massive ACAPP plan.

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