Friday, August 23, 2013

Obamacare and Chief Business of Business
The chief business of business is business.
Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

What is the chief business of government?
·         Is it stimulating the economy so everyone prospers?

·         It is assuring the economy is “fair” for all classes?

·         Is it guaranteeing all people have access to affordable health care?

·         Is it protecting the safety of Americans against all threats –foreign and domestic?

These are major issues confronting  the Obama administration.
How is Obama doing?
Not very well,
  • if you believe Gallup.  Its poll puts Obama’s handling of the economy at 35%;
  • if you put credence to approval of Obama’s health care law.  The average of major polls stands at 39%, with 51% disapproving;
  • If you look at the implosive and explosive events in the Middle East;
  • if you judge by this week’s business news.   United Parcel Service,   Delta Airlines,  the University of Virginia, and  the American Automobile Association (AAA) have announced they intend to drop coverage for spouses when that coverage is available from other sources.
What’s the problem?  Business says it's  increased  business costs secondary to health law provisions -  covering young adults under parents’ plans and those with pre-existing illness,  bans on lifetime spending limits,  $65 in new fees for every health exchange enrollee,  limits of health plan profits,  and a host of regulations,  penalties, fees, and taxes. 

All of these things, say business,  make it hard to grow business  to hire full-time workers, and to plan for the future.  In essence, it comes down to  hazy uncertainties surrounding Obamacare, survival,  delays, and future.
What’s at work here may be Parkinson’s third law – expansion of government means complexity, and complexity means decay and delay.   Due to complexity, the employer mandate has been delayed a year. Due to complexity, businesses aren’t hiring full-time workers.   Due to complexity,  the national coordinator of health information technologies, the champion of electronic health records, is stepping down as EHR adoption flounders.
How does government adapt to complexity?    It can deny a problem exists.  Obama can say, “For the 85% to 90% of Americans who already have health insurance  don't have to worry about anything else."   He can say “It’s working the way it’s supposed to work,”   Or “Everything is on schedule.” It can hue to its ideological beliefs – that Obamacare will follow the experiences of  Social Security and Medicare, that every vast federal programs has its glitches.  It can demonize its opponents by saying they are hard-hearted devils bent on denying health care coverage to the beleaguered masses.
Or it can admit and accept certain truths.   That business success and cooperation are important.   That the private sector, not government,  creates jobs.   That profits are necessary for prosperity.  That business is central to capitalism.  That there is no such thing as a free lunch.  That paradox and tensions between government and business are inevitable. That diversity,  not uniformity,  is part of the American free enterprise system. That compromise is necessary.  That self-reliance and self-responsibility are necessary to achieve the American dream.  That government cannot “force” its mandates upon an unwilling majority of the American people .
Tweet:   As Obamacare expands, it creates complexities and burdens for American businesses, whose cooperation is necessary for Obamacare success.



No comments: