This Obamacare stalemate bugs the heck out of me. OK, I tend to vote on the Democratic side, but these days I have reservations about both major parties.
The way I look at the government shutdown by Republicans in the House refusing to fund it is this: Obamacare (as much as I hate the term) was a law passed by both houses of Congress, and it’s just beginning to take effect. Again, it’s a law that’s already been passed.
It seems that a certain coterie of Republicans are sore losers on that score: They didn’t defeat the bill that created Obamacare two years ago, so now they’re going to sabotage the normal workings of government just to tell the world how they feel.
They say that Americans are against Obamacare, and that they’re merely representing all Americans. Bull. Opinion polls have it that Americans are about evenly divided between liking and not liking the new health program.
Whatever happens in the next days or even weeks, one thing’s obvious to me: We will not be returning to the old way of running health care, where health insurers could cherry-pick the healthiest Americans to cover (and not cover pre-existing conditions), where young adults would skip having any health coverage at all because they figured they’d never end up in a hospital, and older Americans would skip having insurance either through negligence or poverty. Hospital emergency rooms became the haven for the uninsured.
Going beyond the current crisis, everything I read and hear says that the health industry in the U.S. is way overpriced compared to other countries in the developed world. Doctors and drug makers and medical equipment manufacturers are used to high levels of pay and profit and don’t want to give it up. That’s why you’ll find some Americans flying to other countries for medical procedures where prices are more down to earth.
When I was in Cuba in February, l learned that teachers and doctors there receive no more pay than other workers in the country. Of course they received a free education, but I’m not sure I’d go that far!
I think that Obamacare is confusing to many Americans. Health premiums will go up for some, and may be lowered for others. Let’s let it play out and see where its problems and successes lie. We can always change and modify it as needed.