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Election Time! Obamacare Is Not Working

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

Despite the proclamations of President Obama and Paul Krugman Obamacare is not working.

However, if you tell a lie enough times it becomes the truth. This is especially true if you have enough traditional media coverage of the lie.

The reality is consumers cannot keep their own doctor, access to care is decreasing, and you cannot keep your healthcare insurance plan if you liked your  plan because of Obamacare’s imposed rules and regulations.

Healthcare insurance premiums are increasing despite President Obama’s proclamation that healthcare insurance premiums are affordable. Consumers’ out of pocket costs are increasing despite President Obama’s claims.

The narrow and ultra-narrow new networks on the federal health insurance exchanges are decreasing consumer choice of physicians. The access to quality healthcare at a reasonable price is vanishing.

Consumers are feeling these negative affects on their quality of life already. They will not forget it at the polls on Tuesday despite the efforts of the Democrats to keep Obamacare a non-issue.

President Obama wishing that Obamacare is working does not make it so. He cannot simply decree lower prices. He cannot simply say I want better quality. Neither happens out of thin air. Obamacare’s rules and regulations are disastrous.

The reality is government cannot do a thing about the negative affects Obamacare is having on consumers except repeal it.

Neither federal nor state government can tweak Obamacare and fix the negative affects. These affects are here already. Federal and state government cannot hide the avalanche of negative affects that are coming.

Consumers don’t believe President Obama or the government’s spin anymore.   

The mid-term elections are two days away and the progressives Democrats are trying to make Obamacare better with propositions on the mid-term ballot.

They are trying to improve Obamacare in their states and disguise its goal of increasing government control of healthcare. Increasing the rules and regulations in order to control the healthcare system does not work.  

In the process, progressive in various states are contradicting each other. The bottom line is none of the propositions will work.

Progressives have become prisoners of Obamacare as well as prisoners of their own thinking.

California liberals (progressives) are always the leaders in progressive propositions that make no sense. On Tuesday November 4th California’s propositions 45 and 46 stand out.

Prop. 45 would give the healthcare insurance commissioner the power to reject rates he deems “unreasonable,” with no reference to actuarial or solvency standards.

Anthem Blue Cross is raising small healthcare insurance group premiums 9.8% in 2015.  This is happening even though Obamacare guarantees the healthcare insurance industry an adequate profit through the federal government’s reinsurance plan for healthcare insurance carriers.

 Who is paying for this guarantee and this rate increase? Consumers are through higher taxes. The California commissioner is going to try to reduce the increase to 2.1% through added power given to him by Prop. 45. 

What is the commissioner going to do about it?  Nothing! If he does not permit the raise the exchange will not have healthcare insurance companies providing administrative services for its healthcare coverage. The government cannot provide administrative services.  Any attempt at price control has not worked in the past and will not work in the future.

The healthcare insurance industry’s alternative is to have narrower networks and less coverage. The consumer will have to cover the cost of better coverage.

Proposition 45 also gives trial lawyers the right to challenge rates in court. It is a good deal for trial lawyers on both sides of the price control issue. It is a terrible   deal for taxpayers on both sides of the issue. It will increase the cost of healthcare resulting in higher taxes.

A logical proposition would be to develop a competitive system for consumers and insurance companies so that insurance companies fight for consumers’ business rather than impose the bureaucratic practice of selective contracting. The bureaucracy provides a list of demands and then picks a few compliant winners. The losers are excluded from the federally subsidized exchange.

Government would dictate what products consumers are allowed to buy and use its clairvoyance to decide what businesses can charge.”

Why wouldn’t you let consumers decide what they want rather than bureaucrats telling consumers what healthcare policy they can have?

Proposition 46 is another disastrous proposition.

In 1975 the then Governor Jerry Brown limited medical malpractice awards to $250,000 for non-economic injury. It decreased the medical malpractice business for lawyers in California.  Lawyers would not take cases that did not make them enough money.

Proposition 46 is proposing to lift the $250,000 restrictions for non-economic damages on medical malpractice awards to $1.1 million dollars. The affect will be more medical malpractice lawsuits because lawyers once again can make some serious money from frivolous malpractice suits with minimal effort.

Physicians’ malpractice premiums will rise once again, and once again doctors will be forced to raise their fees or leave the state. The availability of physicians will decrease. Consumers will suffer again suffer from a proposition that was not thought out.

It does not make sense. I hope the citizens of California are paying attention to the implications of these two propositions.

The common denominator is the propositions are great for trial lawyers and terrible for consumers. The propositions will not be effective in making Obamacare better for consumers.

The goal should be to lower the cost of healthcare for consumers not increase it.  

South Dakota has a proposition (Prop IM-17) which, rather than limiting networks expands networks.

Prop IM-17 is trying to regulate back into existence the access to medical providers that ObamaCare destroyed.

Patients expecting to keep the doctor they liked continue to discover that the narrow networks offered on the exchanges resemble the standard of care in Medicaid.

“Measure-17 would force insurers to accept “any willing provider.” All doctors and hospitals licensed by the state that met certain de minimis conditions must be covered by all plans, regardless of cost or quality.

“IM-17’s cure is worse than the Obamacare disease.”

Healthcare prices will increase. Healthcare insurance premiums will increase. The conflicts among providers will intensify. Consumers’ access to care will be diminished.

The California and South Dakota referenda reflect liberal health-care confusion.”

America is supposed to be a government by the people for the people. The government should not be a government dictating what can have.

Progressives are prisoners of their ideology.

I hope the American people understand this on November 4,2014 and vote to stop progressives“stinkin thinkin.”  

 The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone

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