Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Explaining Pope Visit and This ObamaCare Week

I hope Pope’s visit will be inspiring, conciliatory, uplifting, and healing. But, as our forefathers knew, religion and politics don’t always mix , and are often best kept separate, esp. in the current environment when it comes to climate change, immigration, abortion, and same-sex marriage, and conservative and liberal political philosophies. Every side has contrasting points of view, as John Saxe reminded us in his famous poem of six blind men feeling an elephants.

And so these six men of Nirvanastan,

Disputed long and loud

Each in own opinion

stiff and strong

Though each was partly in the right,

And all were in the wrong!

The Pope and the President will be quiet and dignified in their responses, agreeing upon what they agree and being quiet but firm where they disagree. But their followers will point out their differences. Im his quiet and humble way, The Pope has not been hesitant in diving into U.S. politics and matters of church reform.

Which brings me to health care reform. As Garrison Keillor would say, “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Woebegon.” But the woe is not gone. Hillary Clinton has spoke and tweeted the pharmacy companies need to reined in, the government shutdown over Planned Parenthood still looms, a study shows ObamaCare health exchange eligibility is deeply flawed, the GOP says it plans to sue over Obama’s illegal executive action in providing health exchange subsidies, the HHS secretary says it’s going to be “tough” to sign up new health exchange members in spite of the 2016 $695 penalty for not having a plan, and the ObamaCare is going to make a renewed effort to the explain the health law.

Why is ObamaCare so complicated and hard to explain. The best explanation I have read is that of Jonathan Oberlander, University of North Carolina health analysis and an ObamaCare supporter.

“The ACA is not so much a program but a series of programs- regulations, subsidies, and mandates that fill gaps in our current patchwork insurance system. It treats different groups of Americans in different ways , in different ways, at different times, which complicates efforts to explain the law, enroll eligible populations into benefits, and mobilize public support.”

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