Sunday, September 7, 2014

ObamaCare: Witches Brew

I like this definition of Witches Brew - A fearsome mixture, a medicinal, poisonous, and magical potion, an assortment, concoction, disassemblage, miscellany, miscellaneous, motley, mixed bag, multiplayer, multiplex, salmagundi, and smorgasbord.

This definition fits ObamaCare.

It is a health care potion for the nation.

It is a complex brew and stew with multiple ingredients. some delicious, some nutritious, some pernicious, some suspicious.

It possesses medicinal qualities, especially for those 8 million people who signed up in the first health exchange enrollment period, who are below 4 times the poverty line, and most of whom received federal subsidies and who are now eligible for health care coverage through ObamaCare approved health exchange plans, or the 3 million more who enrolled in Medicaid.

But it may be poisonous for others, particularly for those 5 million or so who had their coverage cancelled, and the untold millions who must pay higher premiums and deductibles and co-pays, who must switch doctors, hospitals, and health plans, who must pay for insurance or pay the Federal Piper, and for businesses who cannot afford to expand beyond 50 employees, and who are responding by hiring part-time rather than full-time workers or not hiring at all, and for for-profit health plans who must satisfy stakeholders.

And, lest we forget, it is magical for those young people under 26 who are now covered under their parents’ plans, for those who cannot be denied, or even asked about their health status, when applying for health plans, for those seek "free" preventive tests, for 3 million or so who just enrolled in Medicaid through the exchanges, and for those seniors who fell into the dreaded drug prescription “donut hole."

The pros and cons of ObamaCare, have been enumerated into 10 good “ pros” and good "cons" (Kimberly Amadeo, “10 Good Points for Each Side," About News, August 14, 2014) and 10 “cons,” (Elizabeth Vliet, MD, “Top 10 Reasons Not to Enroll in ObamaCare, WND Health, September 7, 2014).

According to Dr. Vliet, there are 10 good reasons not to enroll.

1) The ObamaCare health insurance policies cost significantly more – likely more than the penalty (tax). Most people can expect to see their premiums double.

2) The ObamaCare health-insurance policies limit your choice of doctors.

3) The Obamacare health-insurance policies limit your choice of hospitals. For example, several major state-of-the-art, internationally known cancer treatment centers are excluded.

4) Your out-of-pocket costs will skyrocket, with the new Obamacare health-insurance policies doubling and tripling the deductibles you must pay before coverage will kick in.

5) Your medical privacy is lost when you enroll, and your medical information becomes controlled by government agencies.

6) Your personal financial and health information may be seriously compromised by the security flaws in the website.

7) You are at risk of identity theft by providing your personal information to the “Obamacare navigators,” a significant number of whom have been found to have criminal backgrounds.

8) Enrolling in the ObamaCare health exchange may lead to compromises of your Second Amendment rights, as medical databases collect information on gun ownership.

9) ObamaCare enrollees are finding it difficult or impossible to cancel their plan if they find a better option.

10) ObamaCare policies are basically “managed care” with limitations on your options – and financial incentives for your doctor to restrict your care.

As an occasional "pro person" but more frequently a"con man', I side with the American public who in poll and after poll have expressed this opinion: “ Mend it but don’t end it” and who consistently oppose ObamaCare by double digit margins.

I am open-minded. I belong to both the end, mend it, and bend it schools. End the individual, employer, and religious mandates, mend it by keeping its good points, but bend it towards market competition and away from government controls, by promoting health savings accounts, by shopping across state lines, by repealing the 2.3% excise tax on the profits of innovative medical companies, by introducing universal tax credits for individuals , by not rewarding or punishing doctors for having or not having electronic health records and judging them on “performance data,” and doing away with the fiction that government can “manage” care at the level of patient-doctor relationships.

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