Okay, I hate to keep beating the same drum over and over again, but seeing as how “Obamacare” is now constitutional it is going to have an impact on this country from now on, and I suppose it is up to each of our personal feelings over this law as to whether that impact is for better or for worse. It shouldn’t be any sort of surprise to anyone who has read anything on this blog that I am not a fan of this little piece of legislation, and while I thought that the Supreme Court would have knocked down the individual mandate clause, the fact that they didn’t was not exactly a huge shock to me; especially upon hearing why that clause was upheld (it falls under the constitutional taxing authority of congress). I’d say that my general response was a sigh of resignation, only furthering my belief that the country envisioned by our founders is dead, never to be resurrected.
Now I know that all of the Republican lemmings out there have their hopes set that their Republican leadership, and candidates will hold true to their pledge to repeal this law, but I am here to tell you that they are only paying lip service to this, hoping that all of their bluster will motivate everyone angry about this law to vote for them. The odds are well beyond long that the Republicans will actually succeed in their “pledge” beyond the House of Representatives; they simply don’t have the votes for a repeal to pass the Senate. The current plan is to hold the repeal vote in 2013, which is after the national elections, and for their repeal to succeed it would require that Mitt Romney (and his Romneycare – the basis for Obamacare) win the White House, the maintaining of and expansion to the majority they hold in the House, AND to gain a majority in the Senate. Essentially they need a clean sweep come November, and politics is like any sporting event, the odds are usually pretty long if you are betting on a clean sweep. So, I am here to tell all of you who are wishing that this law will go away, that it is here to stay – sorry.
This is what I believe will happen in the coming years, as this law begins to become a full on institution in our government, and since it deals with our health, our daily lives too. All of those who can afford health insurance will go out and buy it, as to avoid the penalty – I mean tax – for failing to comply with Uncle Sam’s wishes. People with preexisting conditions will also get coverage, and all will seem right with the world. That is until everyone starts to see that their health insurance premiums are not going down as promised by all of those oh so honest politicians. Instead people will continue to see their insurance rates go up, and they may even rise faster than they were before the law was passed. This will be because the health insurance companies will be forced to raise rates because they are now assuming the added insurance risks by being forced into covering preexisting conditions, as well as others who are at a higher risk of injury and illness. Covering these individuals will lead to the insurance companies having pay for all those people’s hospital visits and treatments, and the expense from that will have to be passed along to ALL insurance holders premiums. Then there is the unintended consequences of what happens when more people have access to doctor visits, because they are now insured, and that is that the doctors and hospitals can and will raise their rates because of the increased demand for their services. If you don’t believe that this will happen then simply look at the explosion in college tuition costs over the last 20 or 30 years, which just so happens to coincide with the explosion in the granting of countless student loans. It is called supply and demand people, demand goes up then so do the prices.
The thing is that by the time we the people fully realize that our rates are not going down, but accelerating upward, the passage of and controversy over Obamacare will be but a faint memory. By the time we see that this law has failed in its stated mission, we will barely remember the equal failed attempt to repeal this law. Yes, by the time that we see that this law is a failure it will have become an institution; fully incorporated into our government and our lives. It will have become accepted as simply the way it is. Congress will be equally forgetful of all the failed promises made about this law too, and their response to the fact that the “Affordable” Care Act hasn’t made healthcare more affordable will be to find a scape goat. That scape goat will be none other than the evil health insurance corporations and all of those privately run, for profit hospitals – many of which are corporations too. I mean how dare they try and profit in the suffering of others, and they should be punished for it. The rhetoric will be reminiscent of how they are treating the banks in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. However, since these corporations are in the business of treating people for injuries and disease, they will be treated much more harshly. Before too long, probably well within my lifetime, the government will act in all of our “benefit” and they will fully socialize the healthcare industry; thus killing the evil health insurance companies, and using this “necessary” act to justify a massive tax increase upon all of us; and at the same time making many more of us become all that more dependent on the beneficent Uncle Sam, who will give us everything that he thinks we need. And despite all of this we will still joyously sing the final words of our national anthem, “… land of the FREE and the home of the brave,” not to mention whenever we say the pledge of allegiance and say, “… with LIBERTY (which means freedom) and justice for all;” and yet we will fail to see the irony in those words as we allow for more and more government intrusion (taking away of our liberties/freedom) into more and more of our daily lives. Chew on that as you enjoy the coming Independence Day holiday, but you probably know it simply as the Fourth of July and don’t give the independence thing a second thought.