Re "Dislodging Obamacare," Opinion, Nov. 30
Michael F. Cannon presents an argument brimming with numbers outlining the costs to states and individuals of various aspects of Obamacare. Absent from his essay are the costs of not implementing it.
He demonstrates how states can exempt 18 million residents from the obligation to buy insurance by skirting the law; what are the costs to states and other taxpayers of those 18 million going uninsured? What about the estimated $1,000 a year it costs those of us who buy insurance to pay for the healthcare of those who don't?
Modifying the law in good faith with an eye toward improving it is sensible and reasonable; "dislodging" it and thus casting us back into the inefficient, unfair and inhumane mess it seeks to replace is bizarre.
If the Affordable Care Act is unpopular to the extent Cannon would have us believe, it is only because of right-wing distortions. It does not constitute a federal takeover of the healthcare system; in fact, the act provides private health insurers with more than 20 million new subscribers and in effect maintains the current private health insurance system, albeit with some modest regulations.
As for the mandate that we all participate, there is no enforcement mechanism written into the law with respect to collecting fines for an individual's failure to comply, and there are programs established to assist those who are financially challenged to qualify for coverage.
And contrary to Cannon's flawed analysis, the insurance exchanges are, in the long run, likely to save money at both the state and federal levels, according to the Congressional Budget Office's estimates.
Obamacare is an incremental step forward in making healthcare more accessible.
Cannon's article reminded me of a rule I follow in making investment decisions: If I don't understand it, I don't buy it.
I am totally appreciative of the goal of the healthcare law, but if an insurance company offered me Obamacare coverage, I would not buy it.
The rules of the dance between the federal and state governments, private insurance, business and the individual healthcare recipient are a convoluted abomination. Better we rename Obamacare and call it "Abominationcare." Or better still, replace it with a federal single-payer system. Otherwise Americans will be waiting in vain for this dance to play out in the courts for years.
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