On Thursday, November 7, President Obama said he was sorry that people lost their health insurance. Whatever Bill Clinton's motivation, he urges Obama to make good on his promise, "If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance." And bipartisan pressure is growing to make good on that assurance as well.
It has been a week since the president's "sorry" but for now over five million Americans that lost their health insurance and are waiting for what comes after "sorry" and what leadership may follow.
There has been no new strategy, no further solutions. The White House claims they are working on a "fix." This is much deeper than the website problems. Conversely, the amount of people who have lost their insurance coverage has been minimized; "it's only five percent of the country" we hear.
But we have been left with heart wrenching, horrific tales; Americans with cancer treatment underway, panicked at-risk patients, families left without ability to pay the sky-high premiums due to the legislated coverage. Some say they will give up hope of further treatment because they are out of health care options. How is this possible in America? It is not acceptable by any means.
To quote Elton John's prophetic sorry song, "It's a sad, sad situation; and it's getting more and more absurd."
According to a November 4, 2013 Rasmussen Report, 53 percent of Americans view the law as unfavorable and it is a growing sentiment.
Gallup Poll reveals that only 22 percent of uninsured Americans (the target audience of Obamacare) plan to purchase insurance or have already purchased insurance through Obamacare exchanges.
The problem grows with the danger of the continuation of Obamacare as we know it. The ability to fund the program is solidly based on shared responsibility for collective health care. Letting people keep their plans does not pay for the subsidies baked into Obamacare. The lack of participation, particularly the young and healthy, will not provide the revenue needed for the success of the program resulting in potentially unfunded debt. The minimum of 2.7 million young and healthy needed to float Obamacare is not possible, period.
There is a proverbial and very simple catch 22 in action... If people will be permitted to keep their plans as promised, they will not purchase insurance through Obamacare. They will not pay premiums that will pay for subsidies. The result will be additional increases in premiums and/or government assistance in the form of new taxes, period. And there is no guarantee that their former insurance companies will reinstate their former coverage, premiums, and deductibles.
We cannot forget, providing affordable health insurance for 15 percent of Americans is the primary goal of Obamacare. The wholesale upset of the entire industry is at stake and must be immediately addressed.
• Systems experts recommend scrapping the faulty system and move on. Write off the millions spent on a bad product. Shut down the personal information from the site. The risk for cyber-attacks is real and information has already fallen into the wrong hands. Learn from it and hold those involved accountable.
• Remove the politics. Hire a team of true experts to create reasonable/affordable/accessible options, not requirements that people can choose to purchase and participate. Concentrate on the target audience of the 15 percent of Americans who need care.
• Let people keep their insurance plans, let insurance companies market outside of state lines, provide means for community health options. Beg the insurance companies to reinstate those who want to return to their plans.
• Stop the requirement for premiums for unnecessary coverage.
• Spend money earmarked for Obamacare advertising, systems, and rollout by partnering with community clinics, Minute Clinics, to provide options for day-to-day health care needs. Create a reasonable and user friendly process for healthcare needs and plans outside of catastrophic emergencies. We cannot forget that emergency rooms do not turn away true emergencies.
There certainly should not be a wait and see philosophy. For the better good of Americans, aggressive remediation and professional common sense solutions and amendments must be provided immediately to save the vestiges of healthcare quality that remains.