Senator Rand Paul said recently on Twitter that he was elected to repeal and replace Obamacare. The repeal part is turning out to be a sticky wicket when it is paired with the replace component.
Senator Paul was right about Obamacare in one way. The law is a patched together retread of the health care law crafted for Massachusetts by then Governor Mitt Romney. As we recall, one of the big shortfalls of the Massachusetts law was getting healthy people to sign up. The answer in MA picked up by Obamacare was to hold a stick over the heads of recalcitrant customers. Fine them for not complying.
It was a problem then. It became a problem under Obamacare. Insurance companies howl like scalded cats because there are too many sick people wanting insurance and not enough healthy ones. Insurance companies, according to their own reports, are losing money and pulling out of some areas completely.
It was a totally predictable result considering the model the law was based on.
Add to that shortcoming, states that could sign up to handle supplying insurance, as Kentucky did under the Kynect program, chose not to do so. The Obama administration wound up serving a lot more customers directly than anticipated. As might be expected, the system was overwhelmed. Computers crashed and disappointed signees complained about the lousy start - all to gleeful giggles of the GOP.
The US House of Representatives, fully aware that President Obama would veto their bill, voted almost fifty times to repeal Obamacare. They didn't bother crafting a replacement or a repair that both sides might use to fix the program. Nope. Off with its head.
Under this President, repeal appears inevitable. Repair? Maybe. Maybe not.
In the past, the solution offered by the Left - Medicare for all -fell on deaf ears. Despite tea party signs imploring the government to "Keep Your Hands Off My Medicare" pundits wondered if there would be support for health care for all.
We keep being reminded that the entire civilized world has nationall health care. America has stuck its toe in the water of government health care - Medicare for the elderly, the Veteran's Administration's series of hospitals and clinics, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (in KY, that's KCHIP).
Still. The boogie man of government inserting itself between doctors and patients continues to be thundered by the Right. Even though Sarah Palin's "death panels" never came about, fear of government interference continues to fuel resistance to universal health care.
No one on the Right mentions the corporate juggernauts that insert themselves between patients and doctors. Ask any medical practitioner about the degree of paperwork required by insurance companies and watch their eyes roll back in their heads. Health insurance companies, if they are losing so much money on providing health insurance, should be lobbying alongside consumer groups for universal health care. The fact that they are not should be instructive.
Dr. Senator Paul is right in one small part. Obamacare needs to be repealed. But it needs to be replaced with single payer health care. Medical providers, especially those in rural areas, are burdened with complying with multiple health insurance companies. Employers are spending time and treasure that could go into higher wages on paying health insurance companies ever growing premiums.
Yes. It's a government program. It is a government program that will put the United States on the same level as the rest of western civilization.
The ubiquitous Facebook meme encapsulates the argument for single payer health insurance: