Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Obama Success and Failure Stories

Success depends on three things: who says it, what he says, and of these three things, what he says is the least important.

John Morley (1838-1923), British liberal statesman, writer, and editor

I was never afraid of failure, for I would sooner fail than not be among the great.

John Keats (1795-1821), English poet

The times are approaching when history will consider ObamaCare a success or a failure – the 2014 midterms and end of the Obama Presidency in 2016.

Success Story

According to Farzad Mostashashi, MD, former national coordinator for HHS and President Obama, and founder of Alledade, a venture capital firm which works with primary care physicians to help them save Medicare money through Accountable Care Organizations, and Ob Kocher, a partner in Venrock, a venture firmthat invested in Alledade, the results of a McAllen, Texas, ACO founded in 2012, the results in McAllen have been “stunning,” with $20 million in Medicare savings (“A Health Care Success Story,” New York Times, September 23, 2014).

Doctors in the Texas ACO achieved these savings by focusing on diet and lifestyle savings and quick hospital follow-ups to teach patients about prevention. From 2012 to 2013, control of diabetes rose 11.8% and vaccinations went up 12.2%. Nationally 360 ACOs now serve 5.3 million Medicare beneficiaries, and similar results are expected across the nation.

Mostashari and Kocher predict “ A continued slowing of health care cost growth will ower a great deal to this revolution in how we pay for health care. It is a transformation is now being played out throughout the country – even in the little Texas town of McAllen.”

What Mostashari and Kocher do not say is that physicians are not happy with ObamaCare with 46% giving it a D or F grade and only 25% giving it an A or B grade. ACOs are important in the ObamCare scheme of things. but they are usually least important in the eyes of physicians.


Meanwhile critics of Obama and ObamaCare are hard at it. They are criticizing the President on many multiple fronts. John Hawkins in the September 23 issue of Townhall gives six reasons Barack Obama is a failed president.

1) He was unprepared for the job

Hawkins says of Obama: “ He had never run a business. He had never been a governor. His performance as a state senator in Illinois and during his very brief time as a senator was undistinguished. There was nothing about Barack Obama’s background that should have led anyone to think that he would be up to the job of being President and as it turns out, he isn’t.”

2) His aims are ideological and political, not practical:

“ Obama starts with the assumption that anything that’s good for him, the Democrat Party, and for liberalism must be good for the country by default. Sadly, the long line of broken promises, mishaps, and disasters that have defined his presidency say otherwise.”

3) He doesn't know how to work with Congress:

“Obama’s standard modus operandi is to propose something he knows Republicans will oppose, then trash them non-stop, refuse to meet with them, and cap it all off by complaining that they won’t work with him on anything.”

4) He's narcissistic:

“Obama is always primarily interested in himself. Leaders in this country are supposed to be servants of the people, not their masters. Having a man like Obama, who views the great power he has as a way to serve himself is dangerous for our country."

5) He’s a poor planner who doesn’t think things through:

“This is not a man who spends a lot of time thinking about the consequences of his actions before he makes a decision, which is a pretty scary trait for the President of the United States.”

6) He's habitually dishonest:

“When you’re dealing with a bald faced liar like Barack Obama, you always know that nothing he says means anything more than, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”

This are harsh assessments, and I do not agree with much of them. But neither do I agree that ObamaCare is an unqualified success.

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