Obamacare: Let It Be

“(Obamacare) is in a death spiral,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told The Wall Street Journal. The “Death Spiral” Bertolini refers to occurs when healthy people drop health insurance, keeping their premiums that would have been used to offset insurance payouts. This leaves the insured pool sicker and with less money, forcing premiums to rise and driving the remaining health people to drop their insurance in a vicious cycle that ends when the insurance pool collapses. Aetna will leave the Obamacare market completely in 2018, while Humana recently announced it was pulling out of the state markets starting next year.

Leftist groups funded by George Soros have paid people to attend and disrupt Republican town hall meetings and protest the GOP’s promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. These paid protesters are trying to give the appearance that they are concerned citizens and constituents of the Republican congressmen holding the meetings, when they are anything but. They’ve chosen Obamacare because it’s the most appealing of the Leftist talking points that gives the disruptions the appearance of being spontaneous grassroots concern when they are as orchestrated as a flash mob dance number. They can’t use other hot-button topics such as the “Muslim ban” since most Americans support it, ditto transgender usage of bathrooms and other Leftist hysteria that would give away the game.

But Republicans need to ask themselves this: What’s the point of killing something that is in the process of dying? The number of insurance providers in state markets are dwindling with some states only having a single provider offering plans. Costs continue to rise as do premiums. The American health care system is so screwed up that there are no easy fixes for Trump and the GOP-led congress to put in place. So why even try?

Let it be. Let Obamacare die the miserable death it was destined at birth, rammed through Congress by Democrats who had to use the parliamentary tactic of reconciliation to get it put into law. Not a single Republican voted for Obamacare so its demise will only hurt the GOP if it’s stupid enough to try to save it.

The American health care system is beyond saving. It must crash and burn before it can be replaced and the GOP should do everything to let that happen. At that point everyone will agree that the system is broken and will be willing to make the painful compromises needed to create a workable health care system. That means patients won’t be able to see doctors for every twinge nor will they be able to order their providers to perform tests or dispense antibiotics and pain meds like they were at the counter of Burger King. Health care insurance companies will cease to exist in their current form, becoming much smaller as the move to insure the wealthy as single payer takes over. Malpractice attorneys will be forced to find another line of work. Specialists will have to tighten their belts as will pharmaceutical companies. The pain will be widespread and everyone will feel it.

But until that happens the Republican must let it be. Their instincts were right about the plan 7 years ago and they are right about it today. But they must not believe they know how to fix it because until the current system dies stakeholders will resist every effort to shore it up or modify it. Politically the party has everything to lose and little to gain so in the end they must let it be.

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2 Comments

  1. Rob Miller:

    One problem though…the GOP repeatedly promised to repeal it and replace it. If thye simply let it expire, aside from the misery it will cause many Americans, people will remember that the Republicans lied to them…again. I like my idea better.

    http://joshuapundit.blogspot.com/2017/02/getting-rid-of-obamacare-common-sense.html

  2. Scott Kirwin:

    With all due respect my friend, your solution is too simplistic.
    The problem with designing a solution that works is that everyone who currently participates in the health care system “must have skin in the game”.
    All groups must bear the pain.
    Attempts to do otherwise is like squeezing a water balloon: it just pushes costs and problems elsewhere.

    Patients must face the reality of rationed medical care. If you want an MRI of your tennis elbow you’re going to wait a very long time or pay for the test yourself. Now if you have a series of headaches that suddenly appeared from out of nowhere, you can bet your doctor will order an MRI and you will get it faster. For minor illnesses going to the doctor is going to have to cost – likely through increased waits (thinking of the UK’s NHS here).

    Attorneys must face a new reality where the gravy train of multi-million dollar medical malpractice awards has come to a dead-stop.

    Insurance companies must either exit the writing of health insurance for the general public completely and take on the niche market of writing private insurance for the wealth. Otherwise I could see a system like you mention in Israel. Either way I don’t see insurance companies as the “great Satan” that many progressives do. There margins are relatively low but there is a lot of replication in the back office portion that could be streamlined if the government took it over.

    Medical professionals must get accustomed to working hard and long hours for their pay. Specialists will face an over-due pay cut while primary care physicians and other providers receive a bump. They will also be freed from the shackles of practicing defensive medicine, the nightmare of paperwork with a single-payer or consolidated insurance system, and the loss of patients who view a visit to the doctor like ordering at the Burger King counter.

    Again, the point is that all groups involved must be changed at once. You can’t do it piecemeal. It’s Big Bang or nothing.
    Given the current intelligence of the GOP, I vote for nothing at this point. Sorry.

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