All during late November and December of last year, I began seeing internet discussions of the looming disaster that is Obamacare – and yes, I will hang that name on the so-called Affordable Care Act, also known as the un-Affordable Care Act. The man behind the desk in the Oval Office pursued this as his singular achievement; his legislative allies rammed it through over protest, and his media allies have viciously abused those who advised caution. So it is only fitting and fair that his name get attached to it at every opportunity, especially if it brings down his whole political machine in a spectacular fashion, rather like a slow-motion Hindenberg collapsing.
Just before the disastrous roll-out of the Obamacare sign-up websites, I began to note, among all the chaff, some sober speculations here and there; commenters speculating that once people began having to write substantial checks for healthcare insurance, out of their own pocket – that’s when the beautiful theory of quality healthcare insurance for all would run into the jagged rocks of reality. Exactly those people who had bought into it as a lovely idea, because it was fair and all – they would be disillusioned in large numbers.
Which is what we see coming to pass; first in blog discussion threads, then the major media organizations begin dipping a cautious toe into reporting the actual impact of Obamacare on real people, I discussed it privately with certain friends who share somewhat of the same beliefs, and just this week, I overheard a vociferous discussion in a public place, among people who were strangers to me. My daughter and I were in a retail store, a defiantly old-fashioned five and dime – and up at the front, the three cashiers were discussing their insurance options under Obamacare. They were all three at a guess, about ten or fifteen years older than me, and the town where this establishment is located is a pretty well-to-do place. No, the three ladies were baffled, upset and venting freely – being of the age when chronic health problems begin to bite.
Increasingly, the internet ‘chatter’ is speculation that the disastrous roll-out of the Obamacare website, the paltry numbers who have actually been able to sign up for health care insurance through it, and the wide-spread unhappiness with it as evidenced by the overheard discussion, all have another purpose. Yes, the Obama administration had a cunning plan all along – and all this was intended to pave the way to so-called ‘single-payer’ once those pesky private health insurance providers are sidelined. Never mind that this has and will continue to cause disruption of every sort; from employers cutting back on hiring and the number of employee hours worked, to people with serious health issues who will be affected, and those who had health insurance but don’t any more. People will suffer and some – very likely some will die because of it – but apparently the ends justify the means, if the end is a noble goal such as a national health service like Canada, or England.
Which is apparently what all the civilized nations have, as a commenter on Open Salon had it, some months ago; one nationalized health care service coming up, for which everyone pays in taxes – or at least, those of us who do pay taxes pay for it – and everyone receives what they need in health care services. Just like … the Veterans Administration medical care, or military medical care, or the Bureau of Indian Affairs medical care, only spread nation wide and to all citizens. Yum, yum; the appetizing prospect of having your doctor not work for you, with your best interests and health at heart as a primary goal because if you are unhappy with the result, you will go elsewhere seeking a better result. Instead your medical care provider is working for an impenetrable, unanswerable bureaucracy, a bureaucracy which – no matter what its failing might be in your particular instance, is somehow never found at fault in a meaningful way, especially if you or one of your loved ones suffers or dies from that bureaucratic failing. And the worst insult of all is knowing that those elected officials who are preparing this particular s**t sandwich for us, will exempt themselves from ever having to take a bite of it.
Interesting times. Discuss.
(Cross-posted at www.ncobrief.com)