If the Republicans were fools for trying to defund Obamacare, Democrats are stark raving mad for fighting to preserve and own it. Anyone who thinks the current problems are the result of a correctable computer glitch probably thinks the Benghazi attack was due to a "disgusting video."
Whether through deliberate deception or the majestic incompetence of the confederacy of dunces that drafted it, the Affordable Care Act can never remotely deliver its promised benefits. At this point does anyone believe believes that this health care program is going "to reduce the average family's annual insurance costs $2,500, let people keep their present insurance and doctors if they like them, not result in anyone losing their job or company paid health care, or reduce the federal deficit."?
The public and most of the people who voted for this Frankenstein monster are only now beginning to understand that despite popular delusion, there will be no reprise of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Paying for the "free" birth control pills, abortions, sex changes, psychiatric care, and other minimum requirements of qualified Obamacare plans while subsidizing the cost of insuring an additional 30 million people as well as anyone with a pre-existing condition is going to cost the young, middle class, and comparatively healthy a fortune -- way in excess of the high costs they already pay for their present health insurance coverage.
Despite a one year delay in the corporate mandate, many companies are already canceling their health insurance programs, reducing employment, converting full-time employees to part-time, and restricting their hiring. Millions of individuals who previously had acceptable coverage are discovering that their policies have been canceled and they now face huge increases for the cost of newly designed conforming policies. The young and healthy, barely able or willing to purchase traditionally rated insurance, cannot afford the higher costs of subsidizing everyone else.
The president has called for a "tech surge." Some want Secretary Sebelius to resign. Others seek to delay the individual mandate. None of this will help. The program is structurally flawed and under the present circumstances beyond redemption. Left in its present form, it will collapse of its own weight. Absent the circumstances under which it was passed (one party control of the presidency, the House of Representatives, and a super majority in the Senate) it cannot be materially amended.
The best solution would be to postpone implementation indefinitely, go back to the drawing board, and pass a series of limited reforms to our present system until there develops broader consensus for a more ambitious undertaking.
Al Checchi is chairman of Join Together America, the former chairman of Northwest Airlines, and a former candidate for Governor of California. His new book is The Change Maker.
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