Thursday, May 28, 2015

Is ObamaCare Fair?

In the course of writing 1700 blogs on ObamaCare since 2013, I find myself still asking: Is ObamaCare fair? Progressives insist redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor is the only fair thing to do. Conservatives say the best way to distribute health benefits is through free-market growth that lifts all economic boats.

Pragmatists believe all’s fair in love, war, and politics. As Winston Churchill, sagely noted, the end result usually blends capitalism, “the unequal sharing of blessings”, and socialism, “the equal sharing of miseries.” The U.S exemplifies the former, European welfare states the latter. The pragmatist looks at results, the ideologue at principles.

ObamaCare boils down to a contest between competing ideologies – those on the left take it as a given universal coverage is” fair” and therefore worth any price: those on the right maintain entitlement spending has limits if it interferes with economic growth and individual freedoms.

These differences lead to nettlesome questions:

Is ObamaCare fair if:

Only one political party representing roughly of Americans voted to pass the health law while the other political party the other half of Americans opposed it?

The health law contained coercive mandates forcing every individual to buy health care coverage whether they believe they need it or not or pay a penalty, every business to cover workers’ health care or pay a $2000 penalty for every uncovered employee, and every business to pay for contraceptive or abortafacient drugs if their religious belief says otherwise.

The health law redistributes federal and taxpayer monies from those who pay for coverage and from the young and healthy to the those subsidized for coverage and to older and sicker people .

The health law forces physicians to install expensive electronic health records, to collect data from all patients, to ask federally mandated questions in the name of quality, to bear the burden of time-consuming federal regulations, to prescribe electronically, or to be punished with lower Medicare or Medicaid or health-exchange payments.

The health law remains unpopular among the American people by majority margins of 10% or more, and results in higher premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs, cancelled policies because they do not meet federal standards for “essential benefits” many policy holders do not think they need, and the dropping of physicians and narrowing of insurers networks because physicians choose not accept lower payments and time-consuming coding regulations.

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