Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Thousand Days of Obamacare
All this will not be finished in the first hundred days.  Nor will it be finished in the first thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in the life of this planet.  But let us begin.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963), Inaugural Address
June 13, 2012 – Come January 2013,  when a president is about to be inaugurated,  Obamacare will be one thousand days old, 1013 days to be exact, good enough for government work.
As we look back from that thousand day vantage point, will Obamacare:

·        be viewed as the end of the beginning or beginning of the end of the health care law;

·       be regarded at President Obama’s  signature achievement or as a legislative monstrosity deserving  to be laid to rest;

·       be seen as expanding access, improving care, and lowering cost, or the reverse, perverse,  and  adverse?
Answers will hinge  on political events that took place during the thousand days.
If I were to write on a book on these events, and I may, I would divide these political happenings into four periods.
Period I,  Passage of health law in March 201o to November 2010 elections -  224 days.
Period II,  November 2010 elections to June 2012 Supreme Court decision – 601 days.
Period III,  Supreme Court Decision to November 2012 elections – 129 days.
Period IV – Lame Duck Session from November 2012 elections to January 2012 – 59 days.
The message of the book would be:  Unilateral Democrat passage of the health law against unanimous GOP opposition poisoned the political process and led to bitter partisanship and unfortunate consequences.  

Among these consequences were-  unexpected spikes in premiums,  rising public oppositon, pervasive uncertainties,  obstacles to hiring,  decreased access among the insured, and an unprecedented and growing physician shortage.

In my book,  I would  focus on what affects  Obamacare will have on physicians, why 35,000 physicians are leaving practice each year while only 25,000 are entering, and what this physician shortfall portends for 310 million Americans, one third of whom will be on Medicare and Medicaid, and the shrinking numbers of physicians required to serve aging Americans, insured and uninsured.
Tweet: January 2013 will mark 1000 days of Obamacare, the legacy of which rests on partisan passage, the Supreme Court, and 2  national elections.

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