As with ‘Affordable Housing’, GOP and Dems fail on health insurance


Photo of needle: Deborah Cartagena/CDC

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is facing well-deserved criticism over Republicans’ failure to come up with a solution to the Democrats’ Patient Protection and Affordable Care tax bill commonly called Obamacare.

Democrats deserve an equal share of criticism for creating a new handout program to some populations while gouging middle class workers and employers to pay for their poorly crafted policy. 

Democrats blindly cling to a bill they know will ultimately implode, in part because they, with the blessing of then-president Barack Obama, either issued waivers or repeals for tax hikes aimed at funding the bill. Lobbyists wrote the bill most Dems didn’t read before passing.

Both parties have failed the American people. Although veteran ‘protesters’ show up at town halls to berate Republicans, they should be doing the same to their own party.

An undercurrent in the political grandstanding, partly over Dems’ fervor to protect the Obama “legacy”, exists in the form of collectivists demanding ‘single payer’ insurance, otherwise known as putting the government in charge of your healthcare.

Even the American Medical Association, cheerleader for Obamacare, has issues with the entity known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The board is political by its very nature. Aimed at reining in Medicare costs, the IPAB could ultimately be the figure pushing granny off the cliff, a role Democrats assigned to Republicans anytime the issue of Obamacare reform arose.

As Republicans struggled, first in the House and then in the Senate, to do something about a crisis we can count on occurring in years to come, social media became littered with demands for a healthcare system like that in Canada.

Listen up. In Canada, those who can purchase supplemental policies in a manner similar to Medicare enrollees here in the states. One elderly loved one is paying almost half her income out for various forms of insurance to cover what Medicare doesn’t. To its credit, leftist media The Washington Post in pre-Jeff Bezos days, disclosed that practice in a column back in 2012 about health insurance in Canada.

WaPo also included this:

“While Canadians are guaranteed access to hospital and physician services, it is up to each province to decide whether to cover “supplementary” benefits, like dental care and drug coverage.”

The fact Dems aren’t even willing to meet the GOP on matters like purchase-across-state-lines and providing consumers with real choices puts them in the same Dunce corner their counterparts are in.

At present lobbyists have won the game and American consumers are the losers. Even if you’re on Medicaid, ultimately you will lose because most top notch doctors aren’t eager to fill up the waiting room with Medicaid patients. Those who do rely on Medicaid for bulk revenue will have less time to actually deliver health services.

There is no denying some realities.

Democrats blindly cling to PPACA because they love the tax revenue the tax bill produces and they are obsessed over protecting Obama’s “legacy” and winning reelection. Toss in their capitulation to lobbyists.

Republicans dodge doing anything about PPACA because many of them love the tax revenue the tax bill produces and they are obsessed with winning reelection. In addition to that, some Republicans, especially those in leadership roles, seem to like being the minority opposition instead of actually doing what we elected them to do. Toss in their capitulation to lobbyists.

Both parties in an earlier time would have been tarred and feathered for an epic failure of leadership, honesty, and ability.

Solutions to health insurance reform belong in the domain of the individual states. There is not a single word in the US Constitution that can be construed as providing empowerment for the federal government to run healthcare. Medicaid and Medicare, fraught with fraud and ‘improper payments’ and ultimately facing either cuts or producing tax hikes, were two programs destined to fail long term.

Once the feds intruded on the health insurance market, naturally prices rose. Once Medicaid, Medicare, and children’s health insurance paid for by US taxpayers fragmented the market, the American worker absorbed the cost.

If you’re a rah-rah Dem or Republican, thump yourself on the head right now. Both parties’ leaders have failed to address an issue created by bureaucrats and activists within the government.

Six years ago, the oft-cited Congressional Budget Office, said Forbes, “ overshot actual 2016 enrollment by 120 percent.” Yet we have relied on them without question as the ongoing Obamacare duel progressed.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

If we wanted real health insurance reform, every one of us would cancel our policies today. Out of that chaos we might actually achieve consumer justice.

Fact is, none of us has the cojones our forefathers had.

Both parties used the same tactics on so-called ‘Affordable Housing’ programs. Anytime reform was mentioned, Dems played the race card. It’s a matter of public record.

We all know how ‘Affordable Housing’ worked out. The same will be true of Obamacare—it should be called ‘Lobbyist-care’—in years to come.

Despite media advocacy, the reality of this ‘matter’ is that the failure rests on Congress, not on President Donald Trump. Chuck Schumer, Dems’ appointed ‘leader’ in the Senate, and McConnell, the GOP ‘leader’ in the Senate, own this failure. American consumers should hold both these men accountable at the ballot box.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/July 18, 2017)

About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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