Friday, December 14, 2012

An Uncommunicative Bureaucracy Causes Health Care Uncertainties
The burdens of the uncommunicable.

Thomas De Quincey (1785-1845), Confessions of an English Opium Eater
December 14, 2012 -  I don’t mean to be unkind, but sometimes I gain the impression that Obamacare bureaucrats are smoking something. 

But at least I’m kinder than the Wall Street Journal.   In its editorial today, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Obamacare,”  the WSJ calls Obamacare implementation a “farce.”
For sheer political farce, not much can compete with ObamaCare's passage, which included slipping the bill through the Senate before dawn three Christmas eves ago. But the madcap dash to get ready for the entitlement's October 2013 start-up date is a pretty close second.”
Then, just to rub sarcastic salt into the wound, The Journal throws in these zingers.
The WSJ  says HHA bureaucrats are  treating the states as “serfs” rather than partners, calls the $28 billion medical device tax implementation a “hilarity,” and adds the law’s total implementation “is turning into one pratfall after another.” It goes on, HHS has a “special combination of rigidity and ineptitude,”  is conducting a “magical mystery tour,” is pouring out 13,000 pages of regulations “subject to change at any moment,” thus causing massive uncertainty among the states, providers, and citizens in general.
The only problem with this brand  of humor is that Obamacare isn't  funny.  The health reform law is   a deadly serious proposition that affects every America, every business, every sick person,  and every tax payer.   The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act ( both the "protection" and "affordable" monickers  are laughable since companies are dropping coverage for 20 million patients and premiums are soaring) )  will cost a bundle ($2.6 trillion over next 10 years according to OMB), and it will cause widespread dislocations and unexpected adverse consequences.

What they will be no one  knows,  least of all the government. But we do know this: the uncertainties, waivers, blunders, and resistance to the law on multiple fronts do not bode well for its smooth implementation. Further pratfalls, beartraps, pitfalls, and tweaks loom ahead if this ill-designed law is to prove workable.

Uncertainty is the enemy of effective health reform.

Tweet:  The Obama administration has not communicated clearly the timing, details, and regulations of the health law’s implementation.

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