Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obamacare: A House of Illusions

It is natural for man to indulge in illusions of hope.

Patrick Henry (1736-1799), Speech in Virginia Convention, 1775

June 29, 2011- Some critics say Obamacare is a House of Cards and will collapse once its facts and its consequences are understood.

I do not agree. I do not think it will collapse. Instead, its illusions will be revealed, and its beliefs or opinions not in accord with the facts will be become evident. And many of its illusionary trial balloons will be withdrawn or cancelled .

These illusions include:

• That the government can somehow find out what makes doctors tick by sending out an army of “mystery shoppers” to find out why doctors accept some patients and reject others. This trial balloon lasted one day. After reviewing feedback received during the public comment period," a Health and Human Services official today told Fox News, "We have determined that now is not the time to move forward with this research project. Instead, we will pursue other initiatives that build on our efforts to increase access to health care providers nationwide."

• That a government entitlement program, once passed, will grow in popularity. Today, 15 months after passage, national polls indicate public disapproval, if anything, is widening with roughly 37% approving and 53% disapproving. Apparently the idea that government, not the people, always knows best is an illusion and doesn’t play well in America, which remains a conservative nation, distrustful of big government.

• That the long-held and cherished dream of universal coverage is an illusion when accompanied by higher premium costs, dropped coverage by health plans and employers, and decreased access secondary to a growing doctor shortages, physician reluctance to accept new low-paying and bureaucracy-laden Medicaid and Medicare patients, and longer waiting times and difficulties finding a doctor. Universal coverage becomes an illusion when it does not translate into universal access.

• That something is illusionary when the government issues over 1500 waivers allowing political allies and even some states to escape Obamacare fetters and expenses by opting out of the health care law.

• That national documentation of billions of health care transactions through the use of electronic medical records by patients and providers and health plans will somehow become reality if pursued long enough and assiduously enough, even when the government has be at making universal documentation “meaningful” for nearly half a decade now and has proposed to spend some $27 billion to make universal documentation a national priority. The dream may never die even though good documentation may never be the same as good doctoring.

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kevinh76 said...
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