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Replacing Obamacare: The time has come

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Snake oil salesmen in the old west used to promise that their product would reverse the signs of aging, increase strength and agility, cure disease and generally improve health and wellness with just a few servings a day. This has come to be synonymous with the over-hyped sales pitch and under-delivered product. When President Obama was selling the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), he promised it would reduce the deficit, guarantee universal health insurance coverage from all Americans, end health care inflation and drive down prices create jobs and generally be improve the physical and economic well being of the entire country. Obviously this has not happened

Instead, millions of jobs and working hours are being cut from the economy and some employers are specifically blaming Obamacare for the cutbacks. What is worse is that millions of people have lost their health insurance as their plans have been regulated out of existence. The massive push of people onto government programs is going to overwhelm the system a la Cloward and Piven and the administration doesn’t seem to care. Some are even celebrating it as a good thing that some people will stop working so others can support them. For all of these problems Obamacare has not expanded coverage. Even after the persistent and continuing issues of people unable to enroll, the back end data for many of the people who are able to enroll is still problematic. It doesn’t have to be this way when other options exist.

To be fair, I really believe that President Obama, because of his worldview and positions, thought a massive government overhaul was the best way to approach the problem. Being wrong does not make him malicious. Obama and his loyalists also have a lot of time, money and political capital invested in Obamacare but sunk costs should never be an excuse for future costs. The house Obama built has failed by every measure, including the ones he established for himself. A realistic leader concerned with the good of the country would take this opportunity to examine lessons learned and start reviewing other options. Fortunately for Obama other options do exist.

The House and the Senate have each put forth bills containing alternatives to Obamacare. Each of these retains certain popular items like staying on a parent’s health plan until age 26 and guaranteed acceptance. What they do is to do away with are the massive government controls and market disruptions while fostering an environment conducive to lower costs. By starting with a different set of assumptions than those who foisted Obamacare upon the country; these alternative plans get closer to the stated goals of expanded affordable coverage. They do this without relying on the intrusive government leviathan.