Saturday

My Problems With The Affordable Care Act

I don't really "do" politics here, but I feel the need to say something about the Affordable Care Act, since it is currently starting to become "real" to many of us. I have a few problems with the general concept of the program, and I feel a little more able to comment since I came from the UK, which had then and still has a single-payer healthcare system - the Nation Health Service. I realize "Obabmacare" is not single-payer, but it looks to be meandering in that direction, at least to me. This is just my current opinion, I'm sure you have your own - and will be able to find articles online and in print both supporting and refuting my points below.


It's incredibly and unnecessarily invasive - the rantings of a few brave souls over the last couple of years are now coming to light as being largely true; the IRS is involved at a very basic and pervasive level, and it's the main administrative mechanism for the program. With everything else that's been coming to light about our government's treatment of our personal information, do we really want that? Seriously, the IRS? There are already examples of things that doctors are "supposed to ask you" (e.g. do you have a firearm in your home) that are just, well, disturbing to me.

It's a typical government money pit - as with almost all government programs from almost all administrations, it is already costing more that predicted - a lot more, and will no doubt continue to do so. Unfortunately, these things are always "sold" or presented as something really cool, and that reduce costs and either "pay for itself" or not cost much. Remember the President's promise that the ACA would save the average family $2,500 per year? That's not looking very realistic now - can you say "sticker shock". The cost of the program itself has apparently doubled too, since the initial projections.

It screws the many to help the few - nothing wrong with helping those that can't help themselves; we have done that by means of both charitable organizations and by taxation/redistribution for some time. Going back to my first point, could the same help not have been accomplished by simply issuing vouchers or giving tax breaks to those in need? There are surely other methods of controlling costs and making healthcare in general less expensive to the rest of us; other countries do it by various means. Did we really need to put this behemoth in play to accomplish the stated goals?

The law was put in place, and Mr Obama was re-elected presumably at least in part because of it, and so it's "the law of the land" now - as we hear so often on TV sound bites. I hope it turns out a LOT better than I fear it will.

I really would love to be wrong about this.

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