In a country where a religious leader is seriously suggesting a link between gay marriage and the threat of war with North Korea, it’s not surprising that logical policies are difficult to grasp let alone implement.
So I suppose it was only to be expected that the simple logic of a single-payer health care system would elude America’s leaders. Instead, we have Obamacare.
Page after page after page of convoluted regulations, phased in over a bewilderingly long time, leave the most patient scholars scratching their heads. Perhaps that’s why Congress finally passed the law. Nobody understood it. Indeed, I wonder if anyone read all 2,000-plus pages.
Now, the realities of the law are coming to light. And some of them aren’t pretty. Here’s one unexpected consequence of the new health care law, as revealed in an article by Richard Kirsch, circulated by Salon.com today:
The debate over fast food chains and their workers is revealing one of the biggest flaws in the Affordable Care Act. Many low-wage workers will be put in a very difficult position: pay a big chunk of their limited wages for health insurance that is costly to use, or pay a fine for the privilege of remaining uninsured. This is an example of how the debate around Obamacare is about to take a huge turn. Instead of partisan opponents fear mongering about the theoretical impact of the law, the new struggle will be around the actual experience of those Americans whom the law was written to protect: people who are uninsured because they can not afford coverage or are locked out of the system because they have a pre-existing health condition.
That’s the kind of ironic failure you can expect when you try to make legislation acceptable to all the different “stakeholders.” And, sad to say, it seems to be typical of the president’s approach to politics. He keeps seeking “bipartisan” agreement and “compromise” where no common ground exists. I often hear some political pundit lamenting the demise of “compromise” in Congress, and I wonder if they know what they’re talking about.
You can’t compromise between the right answer and the wrong answer. Two plus two add up to four. Regardless of what anyone else might say, they do not add up to two. If you compromise and agree they add up to three, you will be wrong. It’s as simple as that.
President Obama won a historic battle when he got his health care reform plan through Congress. But Americans still do not have “affordable” and universal health insurance. Not even close.
That goal will not be achieved until America’s leaders look around at the rest of the civilized world and see that a government-run, not-for-profit plan (in competition with private insurers if they want to stay in the game) is the best – make that the only – way to provide efficient, low-cost health care for everyone.