Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
It is hard to remember all the defects in President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act at once.
President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act is so flawed it cannot possibly work as it was intended. It must be repealed. A serious, thoughtful, practical and common sense way to “Repair The Healthcare System” must be enacted before all the stakeholders have adjusted to President Obama’s coming changes that will create a more dysfunctional system.
A reader sent me a photo of a poster hanging in his local ice cream store. It is a reminder of previous criticisms of President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act.
The last month the cracks in President Obama’s Healthcare Act have started to widen. Some of the cracks are starting to look like the entire Healthcare Reform Act is falling apart.
1. President Obama’s selected model Clinics for his integrated care “experiment” (ACOs) have turned down applying to this pilot study. The goal of these pilot projects was to demonstrate that Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) will reduce the cost of medical care and increase the quality of medical care. ACOs are a primary tool in proving that President Obama’ Healthcare Reform Act will be effective in reducing cost and increasing quality of medical care. There are too many impractical and costly regulations. There are too many logistical barriers to creating ideologically effective ACOs.
2. Individual States are refusing to set up federal directed State Health Insurance Exchanges as directed by President Obama’s law. The insurance exchanges’ economic burdens will be shifted to the state at the direction of the federal government. The end result will be to increase state budget deficits and decrease state control over their local healthcare delivery systems. Texas is planning to set up its own Health Insurance Exchange under Texas rules even though Governor Perry believes “Obamacare” will be repealed.
There is great antipathy between Governor Perry and President Obama. Texas officials have concerns that President Obama’s administration in the end will say,
“I wouldn’t put it past President Obama’s administration not to certify what we come up with.”
President Obama’s advisors at the Urban Institute have told him that he is creating an additional entitlement and increasing hidden taxes with his Health Insurance Exchanges. Once the America people discover that this is President Obama’s intention they will oppose Healthcare Insurance Exchanges. The exchanges are not going to put a muzzle on the healthcare insurance industry’s devouring of the healthcare dollar. One must question why the healthcare insurance industry is in favor of Healthcare Insurance Exchanges. The answer is they will increase their share of the healthcare dollar with Healthcare Insurance Exchanges.
I suspect few people understand this.
President Obama is once again decreasing states’ rights and limiting personal freedom to choose. President Obama’s exchanges will increase states’ budget deficits. The result will be an increased tax burden for all.
"The exchanges don't just handle health insurance. Rather, they are expected indirectly to operate an entirely new "tax" system that collects another 9 or 10 cents from most insured household for every additional dollar earned and a new "welfare" system that tries to determine in advance and at various later stages households' eligibility for different subsidies."
3. A discovery of a quirk in the law would allow an additional 3 million who earn over $64,000 to $80,000 a year to enrollee in Medicaid. Medicaid cannot attract enough physicians for its current enrollees. Physicians refuse to participate because its reimbursement is less than physicians’ overhead. Adding 16 million new enrollees plus an additional 3 million is untenable.
4. The lawsuits by 24 states challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act is slowly proceeding to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court might have tipped its hand as to the direction it is leaning last week by another decision in favor of “States Rights” and “individual rights.”
Justice Kennedy wrote in an opinion,
"The whole point of separation of powers, the whole point of federalism, is that it inheres to the individual and his or her right to liberty; and if that is infringed by a criminal conviction or in any other way that causes specific injury, why can't it be raised?"
5. Last week McKinsey published an in-house survey that showed that at least 30% of corporations would drop employee sponsored healthcare insurance (ESI) and let employees buy the government’s “affordable and subsidized” healthcare insurance (the Public Option) through government’s Healthcare Insurance Exchanges in each state.The government criticism of the survey was unjustified. The criticism weakened President Obama’s support even further because it became apparent that he was going to try to intimidate his distractors and not heed reality.
All of these defects in Obamacare are becoming more apparent to all consumers. Public support is decreasing daily. It is going to take the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional or a Republican President with a Republican House and Senate.
President Obama remains oblivious to the defects and unpopularity of his Healthcare Reform Act.