Monday, March 31, 2014
March 31, 2014
Tentative Conclusions about ObamaCare
Let us hear the conclusion of the matter.
O most lame and impotent conclusion!
Shakespeare (1564-1616), Othello
Every book needs a conclusion. Yet 6 months after ObamaCare’s abortive launch, October 1, 2013, I have reached no definitive conclusion, foregone or woebegone, on this last day of open enrollment.
The 6 months started disastrously and ended inconclusively. CBS declared ObamaCare a “work in progress.” I would characterize it as a “work in redress,” meaning the Obama administration is still trying to get it right enough to pass political muster.
Again and again, in the course of reprinting 195 daily blog posts that make up this book, I have said ObamaCare’s future hangs on a single thread – the November 2014 midterm elections. Like a tattered sweater, ObamaCare may unravel if voters pull away that thread.
But even after November, no matter what the outcome, we won’t know if ObamaCare has passed the ultimate tests – lives saved, diseases prevented or cured, health of people restored. These are imponderables you cannot hang numbers on. Historians may reach general conclusions. These conclusions will be imperfect and a matter of opinion.
Consequently, in this, the second of my ObamaCare triology, I have leapt to no conclusions.
Politics is the mother of health reform. Politics depends on trust in government, emotional and financial security, demographic well-being, economic growth, and a nation’s cultural underpinnings. Some of these factors are lacking under the present administration. People have little confidence in the direction of the country.
It has been said health reform is too serious a matter to be left to politicians, or, for that matter, to physicians. Only 15% of a nation’s health depends on medical care. The rest depends on poverty, education, family cohesion, and behavioral choices.
Let the people decide what manner of health reform suits them best and what they will accept. The survival or thrival of ObamaCare comes down to matters of peace of mind, personal freedom, and perennial elections.
Richard L. Reece, MD,
March 31, 2014