Comment: Redeeming parts of Obamacare?

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Redeeming parts of Obamacare?

I think the best thing they are doing is the establishment of the health insurance marketplace, and what is essentially a penalty fee waiver, although it remains to be seen if this will drive prices down (Jan. 1, 2014). Otherwise, this bill does not come close to doing anything other than mandating that citizens purchase healthcare from the pre-existing, over-expensive HMOs and PPOs, who are likely responsible for much of the legislation in the bill. I don't believe in half measures like this, so if liberals think this is a stepping stone to nationalized healthcare, there is a big difference. If they truly wanted to cut costs, they could have remodeled the entire system off of Medicare or the VA, and got rid of the middle man. Under the current program, health insurance companies now act, as essentially, 100% administrative overhead. They are, for all intents and purposes, a middle man. The attempt is admirable, but without price controls, and with mandated employer-provided healthcare, I fail to see how this will reduce the price of individual insurance costs significantly. It seems like the law is aimed at increasing profits for the HMOs (largely a construct of the Nixon administration's healthcare reform policies), while undermining medicare and medicaid. If you want to participate in this system, you will also need to file taxes, which seems to be an aim of the bill as part of stronger IRS enforcement to provide a revenue increase to the federal government. It would have been better to see a price gouging law on markets with unlimited demand, like healthcare. This would help prevent hospitals from charging $10,000 for an x-ray, as is the case here in NY.

To me the law does not go far enough if it is supposed to be mandated government-subsidized healthcare. In fact, this is not a valid description of what it is. The government is forcing you to buy goods and services from private entities, which seems quite out of alignment with American values. As long as the government continues to protect health insurance companies with impunity, prices will continue to skyrocket. Complaints from these same companies seem to have become faint, since it must clear to them that this is a way of reaching customers who can not truly afford care, or do not need it, without any effort whatsoever. This will effect the bottomline of these companies while undermining the doctor/patient relationship and giving the federal government potential access to confidential health information, of course, for "national security" reasons.

It will be interesting to see what happens once the enforcement provision goes into effect early next year.